When you’re planning your trip from Denver to Telluride, there are a few ways you can get to our dreamy destination. There’s little chance your trip to Telluride will be boring or uneventful, but each route offers a different experience! The following tips should help you identify the best route for your trip to Telluride with just the right amount of sightseeing and adventure for you.

Flying or Driving to Telluride

Whether you drive or fly to Telluride largely depends on what your goals are for the trip. If time is of the essence, flying to Telluride can be faster. Boutique Air offers multiple, daily round-trip flights from Denver to Telluride. Flight time is about 1-1.5 hours, which means that you can arrive at your destination quickly and get your vacation started.

If you’re looking for a trip to Telluride that includes more sightseeing and excitement, you’ll want to consider driving. If you decide to drive, your should arrive in Telluride around 6-8 hours after leaving Denver, depending on the route you take and the number of stops you make.

Best Highways to Take to Telluride from Denver


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There are two routes you can travel to get to Telluride from Denver. No matter which route you take to get there, you’ll be traveling southwest for most of the trip. You can consider traveling the I-70 route or the US-285 route. Both routes lead you to parts of highway I-50 and take about the same amount of time.

The I-70 corridor from Denver to Telluride will take you through a number of other destination towns you may want to stop in for lunch or a quick look around. You’ll pass through Silverthorne, Vail, and Glenwood Springs, a popular hot springs destination. If you’re traveling with children, Vail is always a fun stop as there are plentiful choices for food and a number of playgrounds where they can burn off some of that road-trip energy.

If you have extra time, Breckenridge and Aspen are a little further off of I-70. Towns like Eagle, Edward, and Grand Junction provide additional options for coffee breaks or playground stops. Driving this route with minimal stops will get you to Telluride in just over six hours.

If you’re wanting a more scenic drive to experience the best that Colorado has to offer, then you may want to travel along US-285. More than 100 miles of this drive is through the majestic Pike and San Isabel National Forests. This highway is typically very peaceful and serene but offers less conveniences and places to stop along the way.

You’ll pass small towns, National Forest visitors’ centers and enjoy drives through spacious forested areas, over mountain passes, and by a wide variety of landscapes, which can make your road trip to Telluride just as fun as your vacation in the town itself.

Even after you’ve reached the US-50 portion of the route, you’ll still be provided with a lot of amazing scenery. Bring your camera and stop by the Blue Mesa Reservoir near Gunnison, Colorado, another scenic stop on your route from Denver. You’ll reach the reservoir soon after passing Western State Colorado University and just before you reach the Black Canyon, National Park. This route also takes just over 6 hours. With a few stops, the drive should take you around seven hours.

Check Road and Weather Reports

Denver to Telluride: Trip Length & Travel Tips

Photo Credit: Doug Kerr Flick CC2.0

Before you decide to travel to Telluride from Denver, we’d advise checking the road and weather reports for the route that you’ve chosen. The weather in Denver won’t be the same as the weather in Telluride and can vary throughout the trip, which is something to consider before setting off. If you’re traveling to Telluride during colder months, a 4-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle is preferred, particularly if you choose the more scenic route along US-285.

Take First-Aid and Road Assistance Kits With You

Denver to Telluride: Trip Length & Travel Tips

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Safety is among the most important aspects of a road trip. Although you’re traveling from one Colorado town to another, the trip by car is long enough that you should consider having first-aid and road-assistance kits with you. These kits come in many shapes and sizes but don’t take up too much space in a car, which means there’s no good excuse for not packing them. Accidents can occur even if the weather is perfectly sunny and calm. Occasionally during winter storms, mountain passes can close unexpectedly which means you could end up spending extra time in the car, so extra snacks and water are also a good idea.

Based on the time you have and what you want out of the experience, your drive from Denver to Telluride can be anything you want it to be! If you choose to fly, you can kick back, relax and spend extra time getting to know our amazing box canyon town. Either way, we’ll be so happy you’re here and ready with a warm welcome. Safe travels!