Telluride in Two Days: Seven (Plus) Things to Know About the Consummate Mountain Town


credit: Telluride Tourism

Even eyes that are jaded to beauty, gawk at the jaw-dropping vistas of Telluride. This charming town, butted into the end of a narrow valley and surrounded on three sides by 14,000-foot peaks, has character spilling out from every seam.

So you’ve got one weekend to do it right. Two days may not be long enough to intimately get to know every ski run and every quirky, world-class restaurant. But it’s certainly long enough to lose yourself in the ambiance and consider chucking it all to follow your latent ski bum dreams.

1.    Telluride, by the numbers

  • 12 blocks long by eight blocks wide
  • Elevation: 8,725 ft.
  • The town of Mountain Village sits at 9500 ft. and is connected to Telluride by gondola – even in the summer
  • Restaurants and food options: well over 50
  • Bars: more than enough
  • Number of stoplights: Zero. Miles to nearest stoplight: 45
  • Nickname: To Hell You Ride

2.    Telluride Ski Resort, by the numbers

  • Over 2,000 skiable acres, with a peak elevation of 13,150 ft.
  • Vertical drop: 4,425 ft.
  • 127 runs (depending on who you talk to)
  • 41% expert terrain
  • Averages 330 inches of snow per year

3.    Ski: Hike-to

  • Everyone has been buzzing about the terrain at Palmyra Peak. If 200 acres and 2,000 vertical at 13,320 ft. doesn’t entice you, we don’t know what will. Head out early. The ski resort suggests 1-1.5 hour hike times and the Palmyra area closes at 1pm.
  • We’re not going to say exactly where the powder stashes last on Bald Mountain, but if you play nice with a local they may just show you themselves.



4.    Ski: Bumps

  • In Vermont, you have Mad River Glen. In Colorado, you have Telluride. Why are the bumps so dang perfect here? Maybe it’s an unfair proportion of really good skiers. Either way, any of the runs off Chair 9 represent classic, big, long, ego-boosting or ego-taming, Telluride bump runs.

5.    Ski: Cruiser

  • Whether you live to cruise or you just tolerate the groomers as transit lines, the See Forever run, off of the Gold Hill Express chairlift, is a must-ski. Riding up the chair you’ll count no fewer than four 14,000-ft. peaks (14-ers), so please don’t forget to get off.

6.    Apres-ski (and just good bars)

  • Before you shed your boots and grab a beer, search Mountain Village for the Donut Cart. Don’t ask. Just do.
  • Allred’s for pre-happy hour (or the I’m-too-tired-to-ski-all-the-way-down pit stop)
  • The Buck, aka the Last Dollar Saloon, for classic Old West and no frou-frou drinks
  • The New Sheridan because you can’t go to Telluride without at least ordering one drink here
  • Plus, there are plenty of sophisticated and swanky places to enjoy a more civilized cocktail, if that’s your speed

7.    Food

  • Calling a spade a spade, you really can’t go wrong in Telluride for eats. There’s a reason world-class chefs are drawn to this town. If points 1-6 didn’t prove the point, then the views will. The following establishments are simply stated – Telluride institutions of old and new. You’ll see them in every review, because they’re reliable in taste and local flavor… if you get our meaning.
  • Baked In Telluride for bagels
  • Bon Vivant for on-mountain ambiance
  • Honga’s for sushi and mojitos (trust us)
  • New Sheridan Chop House for good ol’ steak
  • 221 South Oak Bistro for contemporary cuisine
  • Brown Dog Pizza for an affordable slice of thin-crust pizza and a PBR with locals

Lucky number seven. The fact is that you don’t need luck in Telluride. You have to work hard to have a bad time here. That would not only be a waste of energy, but it would be a crying shame.

Want to win a weekend away in Telluride for you and a friend? Enter the Ultimate Telluride Giveaway.

Additional Resources:

Town of Telluride

Telluride Ski Resort