Getaway Guide: One-Tank Trip To Telluride

August 4, 2012 6:00 AM


As summer winds to a close, before you send the kids back to school, and before the snow starts to fall, you have one last chance to get in a quick weekend getaway. There are so many beautiful and fun places to visit right here in Colorado, so no need to book plane tickets or hire a travel agent. Try a day trip to Telluride; just one tank of gas (depending on the car, of course) should get you there, and there are even awesome stops along the way.
telluridegondola Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip To Telluride


Getting There

Take I-70 west from Denver to Grand Junction. Head south on Route 50 to Montrose and then continue south on Route 550. Once you hit State Highway 62, turn right and then it is just another 23 miles to Highway 145 south. Exit on to West Colorado Avenue and follow the signs into Telluride. The entire drive should take approximately six hours or so.

Related: Fun For The Road – Car Games For Your Next Road Trip

glenwoodcaverns Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip To Telluride

(credit: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park/Facebook)

What to Do

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
(970) 945-4229

Price: $9 per rider

About three hours into the drive, make a stop in Glenwood Springs; you’ll want to get out and stretch your legs anyway. I-70 will take you right through this quaint city, and it is the perfect time of year to enjoy the Giant Swing at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. This swing will launch you out over the Glenwood Canyon, up to 50 miles per hour, and around 1,300 feet over the Colorado River.

Related: New Technology Could Help Save Glenwood Caverns

Telluride Horseback Adventures
(970) 728-9611

Contact for pricing

No visit to the mountains would be complete without a good old-fashioned horseback riding adventure. Telluride Horseback Adventures is the perfect introduction for kids or for those who are new to riding horses, but it’s also perfect for those who have more experience. “Ride with Roudy” as he takes you on one- or two-hour horseback rides, or you can personalize your own private ride. If you aren’t into riding horses, then check out the Belgian-Drawn Carriage rides. Whatever you and your family prefers, Roudy is sure to come up with a fantastic horseback adventure for everyone.

Take a Gondola Ride

Price: free

One of the very unique gems in Telluride is the free gondola ride that takes passengers from Telluride to Mountain Village. This 13-minute gondola ride is a wonderful way to take in all the beauty that is Telluride. The gondola is the first and only free public transportation system of its kind in the entire United States, so don’t miss out on this unique opportunity.

Bridal Veil Falls

Telluride is also home to the tallest free-falling falls in Colorado. Reaching 365 feet, the Bridal Veil Falls are an amazing sight to see. It is a four-mile hike up to the top of the falls, though many people are able to make the drive in a good four-wheel drive vehicle. However you decide to enjoy the falls, do not miss this spectacular scenic stop in Telluride.

Related: Top Ski Resorts For Experts in Colorado

allredsrestaurant Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip To Telluride



One of the best things about Telluride is that there are absolutely no chain restaurants or stores anywhere in the city. That means any place you choose to dine is sure to be a unique and special experience. There is also a large variety of restaurants to choose from. Grab a slice of pizza at Brown Dog Pizza or try some of the special pastries at Cindybread Artisan Bakery. For something more upscale, check out 9545 Restaurant and Bar for American cuisine with a Rocky Mountain twist, or Allred’s for upscale dining at the top of the gondola ride.

Top of the Gondola
Mountain Village, CO 81435
(970) 728-7474

Allreds is gourmet dining with amazing views. The restaurant is located at the top of the Telluride Gondola, and it is an experience in dining that takes gourmet dining and makes it accessible to all. With fantastic steaks, amazing cocktails and plenty of chops, ribs and other mountain fare, this restaurant promises a memorable experience. Plus, from Wednesday through Sunday, you can enjoy the music of Concert Pianist Bob Israel in the bar from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. To get to Allreds, simply take the free Gondola ride to the Station Saint Sophia, and you can’t miss the restaurant.

stsophianaturecenter Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip To Telluride


More To Do and See

St. Sophia Nature Center
565 Mountain Village Blvd.
Telluride, CO 81435
(970) 728-6900

Price: free

Telluride has lots to do for the whole family. After you’ve enjoyed the ride down the free gondola, make a stop at the St. Sophia Nature Center. It is a great place to learn all about the city of Telluride and the nature that surrounds it, and the kids can enjoy plenty of free nature crafts and activities. Environmental programs held year round promise free fun for the whole family. If you aren’t bringing the kids with you, be sure to stop in anyway, as the St. Sophia Nature Center will have plenty of information and maps for the different hiking and biking trails located all over Telluride.

RELATED: Telluride: An ‘Over-The-Top’ Place

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at