Things To Do During Fall In Telluride

Fall is one of the most popular times to visit Telluride—and it’s not hard to figure out why! Our charming mountain town transforms from a bustling summer destination into a true alpine paradise.

The fall weather in Telluride is cool and enjoyable during the day, which is perfect for enjoying the great outdoors, and chilly in the evenings, which is a great time to shift gears and enjoy decadent dining and entertainment.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of things to do in Telluride in the fall, you’ve come to the right place! Check out our baker’s dozen roundup of our favorite autumn activities, and pencil in a few for your mountain getaway.

Fall is beautiful, but you should know before you go that the free gondola closes from in late October and re-opens for ski season during the Thanksgiving holiday. Many of our local businesses and restaurants close for some or all of this “off season” as well. If you’re looking to catch fall colors and enjoy all Telluride has to offer, mid-late September/early October are great options!

Hiking and Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking
Photo Credit: Thor Liland Larsen via Flickr CC2.0

Autumn is the ideal time to get out and explore Telluride’s alpine beauty. The lush summer blooms fade as the season transitions with ravaging shades of yellow, orange, and deep red. Trails are still easy to navigate compared to the snowy months and the temperatures are cool and welcoming. Hiking and mountain biking is also a great way to seek out popular waterfalls that aren’t easily accessible via a vehicle, like Bridal Veil Falls, Bear Creek Falls, and Box Canyon Falls. These stunning natural beauties are well worth the effort!

Check out our favorite Telluride hiking trails and our guide to mountain biking to get started.

Ride The Gondola

Ride The Gondola Telluride
Photo Credit: Glenda Jeffrey via Flickr CC2.0

You won’t want to miss a chance to catch a ride on the famous Telluride gondola! This unique transportation system takes visitors on a scenic ride up the mountain—free of charge! The 8-mile, 13-minute ride is fun for couples and families and is the perfect place to enjoy a mountain sunset. In fact—this popular attraction even made the list of Telluride’s most Instagram-worthy spots. How’s that for a scenic selfie?

Spend a Day in Mountain Village

 

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Telluride’s charming mountain village is the perfect way to spend the day. Hop on the free gondola ride or enjoy a short, scenic car ride to the village, which is nestled in the cozy mountain valley floor. In the heart of the village, you can grab a hearty breakfast at Telluride Coffee Company and shop ‘til you drop at local boutiques, then venture out on an scenic Mountain Village Boulevard hike! There’s plenty to see and do in Mountain Village.

Fabulous Festivals

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
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Telluride comes to life in the fall with an impressive lineup of fantastic festivals. The Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, which boasts over 150 fermented favorites and three full days of live bluegrass, is ideal for craft beer and music enthusiasts. Or, if a more casual, low key festival is more your speed, pencil in the Telluride Film Festival, which takes over the town of Telluride over Labor Day Weekend is perfect for artists and film enthusiasts alike.

See a full list of Telluride festivals and pencil in your favorite!

Hit Happy Hour

 

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Hit the trails, hit the slopes… what about hitting a quick happy hour for fabulous deals on beer, wine, and tasty adult beverages? From $5 cosmopolitans at The Cosmopolitan to sumptuous snacks at there bar (the fried Brussel sprouts are an absolute must!) there’s a happy hour deal for every taste or budget.

Check out our favorite Telluride happy hour deals—Cheers!

Kayaking and Paddleboarding

Photo Credit: Scott Mahon via Flickr CC2.0

The water might be a little chilly for swimming, but that doesn’t rule out scenic water activities. Kayaking and paddleboarding are still very popular in the fall, and you’ll find that summer’s most popular spots are placid, like the beautiful Alta Lakes. We recommend hitting the water in September or early October, otherwise, it might be a bit too chilly for the casual adventurer.

Find Telluride’s top spots for kayaking and paddleboarding here.

Art Classes at Ah Haa

 

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Explore your creative side at the Ah Haa School of the Arts. More than just an educational facility, this expansive venue also hosts interactive art classes and events. The options are endless with classes on everything from ceramics, jewelry making, and painting to cooking, photography, and so much more. Check out the full class schedule online and pencil in a class!

Decadent Dining

 

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Between hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, you’ll be burning plenty of calories to justify a calorie splurge or two. Telluride is home to some of Colorado’s most decadent dining, with cuisine to appease every taste or budget. From the succulent homemade ice cream at La Cocina De Luz to sky-high succulents at Allred’s, you really can’t go wrong no matter where you go. Narrow down your options with our quick Telluride dining guide.

Stay Fly…Fishing

 

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Whether you’re wondering if you have what it takes to catch your own dinner or you’re a seasoned fishing expert seeking a new adventure, fly fishing is a great outdoor sport for fishermen and women of every level. The San Juan Mountains are home to a variety of freshwater trout species that can easily be found in local streams, lakes, and rivers—including the plentiful San Miguel River. Just remember to stock up on fly fishing gear and to obtain a Colorado fishing license!

See other Telluride fly fishing tips and tricks in this handy guide.

Off-Road Adventures

 

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The rugged San Juan Mountains offer plenty of opportunity for exploration—hiking, biking, horseback tours, and more. True thrill-seekers, however, need a little assistance to really see Telluride’s beauty, which is exactly why offroading is a popular activity for thrill-seekers. As an old mining town, Telluride and surrounding areas offer plenty of wide-open, winding roads that lead to abandoned towns and mountain mines. Pack your supplies, grab your rental, and hit the trails for a one-of-a-kind road trip!

Learn more about Telluride Jeep Rentals in our handy guide.

Tee off at Telluride Golf Club

 

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What could be better than golfing on top of the world? Situated at an impressive 9,400+ feel, Telluride Golf Club is one of the highest golf courses in the world! This 6,574-yard, par-70 course incorporates Telluride’s natural landscape into the stunning course design, with challenging obstacles and unbeatable mountain views. Be sure to stop by the clubhouse for a 19th hold celebration!

Learn more about Telluride Golf Club.

Horseback Riding

 

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Explore the pristine mountain landscape in style with a horseback riding adventure. Offered throughout the year, fall horseback tours offer enjoyable temperatures and fantastic views of fall foliage. A great activity for families and groups, you can’t beat a little horsin’ around while on vacation!

Learn more about horseback riding in Telluride.

Splurge on a Spa Day

 

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Balance your outdoor mountain activities with a relaxing and rejuvenating spa treatment. Telluride is home to an impressive array of day spas that offer everything from facial treatments and nail services to a variety of massages, wellness services, and much more. Pop in for a quick refresher before you hit the town or treat yo’self to a full spa day!

Here are our favorite Telluride spas for a full day of R&R.

It’s hard to imagine Telluride as anything but a bustling ski town, but we promise there’s something magical about fall in the mountains, and we can’t wait to share it with you!

Check out our full Telluride Blog for more vacation inspiration, travel tips, exclusive deals and more!