A Telluride Colorado family vacation can be great anytime of year, not just in skiing season. But if your family loves the outdoors, this place is for you. Read on to find out why Telluride is the perfect place for your family vacation, with insider tips and more to all the kid friendly, family activities. Also, be sure to see our post on the Best Telluride Family Resorts here.
If your family loves the great outdoors, whether it is summer, winter, fall, or spring; Telluride is where it’s at. With amazing vistas, and tons of family activities, you’ll find it’s the perfect family vacation.
At an elevation of 8,700 feet, Telluride has a mild climate, with low humidity and moderate temperatures creating an ideal setting for hiking, biking, horseback riding, golf and river sports.
Telluride Family Activities:
- Bear Creek Canyon‘s Junior Ranger program (www.telluride-co.gov) is centered around a free summer hike led by a park ranger that teaches kids ages 4-12 about plants, wildlife and the environment. Participants become certified Junior Rangers upon completion of the program.
- Telluride Academy (www.tellurideacademy.org) provides one- to two-week intensive programs that include eco-education and guided outdoors activities.
- The San Juan Outdoor School (www.sanjuanoutdoorschool.com) provides year-round adventures for kids of all ages (yes, that includes adults). Summer activities include rock climbing, mountaineering and backpacking.
- Telluride Kids’ Camp (www.tellurideskiresort.com) provides instruction for kids ages 4-12 in hiking, biking, fishing, rock climbing and more. The ski resort’s instructors trade in their ski boots for hiking boots to provide these lessons. Day care is available for younger children.
Free Telluride family activities:
This list includes Telluride family summer activities and Telluride family winter activities, courtesy of: telluridelodging.com, healthnewsdigest.com, and Telluride.com.
Telluride Sports Adventure Desk
Looking for some heart pounding summer thrills? Or perhaps just a fun-filled family excursion? Call or stop by the TellurideSportsAdventureDesk. They are your one stop shop for fishing tours, rafting trips, 4×4 tours, rock climbing, guided hikes, kayak lessons, spa services and so much more! They will tailor a trip to meet your specific needs. Located inside Telluride Sports main street location.
Call the adventure desk at 970-728-4477 x 211 to book your activities or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gondola Ride: Catch a ride on the free Gondola that connects the towns of Telluride and Mountain Village. Open during ski season and the summer from 7am to Midnight, this scenic ride is a must do. The short, 11 minute ride will leave you speechless as you’re surrounded by 13,000 foot peaks.
- San Sophia Nature Center – At the top of the gondola, visitors can walk to the center, open daily, to learn about hiking and biking trails, weather expectations and local ecosystems. The center also features native wildlife education, children’s nature activities and crafts, and guided interpretive hikes exploring Telluride’s natural flora and fauna.
- Ice Skating in Mountain Village – Check out the frozen pond by Bootdoctor’s in the core of Mountain Village and at Town Park. In no time you’ll be skating like Oksana Baiul!
- RiverTrail walk – Located in town, the RiverTrail is a popular path for both locals and tourists trying to take the scenic route. Stretching along the San Miguel River, this is a beautiful trail that connects the East and West ends of town.
- Historic Walking Tour – Take this historic walk around town that helps explain how it has grown from a booming mining industry into a world class ski resort. Placards located outside various Victorian style homes give insight to the rich history that helped build this town.
- Telluride’s award winning Wilkinson Public Library – You will spend ALL day once you enter the doors of this library. This is a great way to rent books, magazines, DVD’s, CD’s, and more for your vacation. Also, use the FREE internet to change your flights (Because you’ll never want to leave T-ride).
- Nordic Skiing – Take advantage of this large Nordic course that weaves through the protected land of the Valley Floor. Located on the west end of town, this is a great exercise to get the leg’s burnin’ and the heart pumpin’ in a beautiful valley setting. Make sure you check out the Elk!
- Snowshoe – There are endless spots to snowshoe if you’ve got the gear. A popular spot to snowshoe is Bear Creek Trail located on the east end of town. Check out the beautiful nature and back-country ski terrain.
- Town Loop Bus – Take a ride on the free transportation provided by the Town. This bus will circle around downtown (7am-Midnight) stopping at various spots to access restaurants, Post Office, and numerous lodging facilities. Catch the Galloping Goose!
- Wildlife Viewing – It would be extremely rare to vacation there and not see any wildlife. While you’re driving into town, check out the wild elk herds that feed and rest on the Valley Floor. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the infamous (and surprisingly friendly) porcupine while skiing near Prospect Bowl.
- Sledding – Town Park or Chair #7 are great places to sled after the slopes have closed for the day. Fun for the entire family!
- Guided Mountain Tour – TellurideSkiResort offers a free tour of our beautiful “Unmatched” terrain with the purchase of a lift ticket. Take advantage of this tour if it’s your first time visiting the ski area. Soon you’ll be skiing like a local!
- Free Box – A “Telluride Tradition” located right off Main Street, the name says it all. The Free Box is a place to exchange clothes, small trinkets, books, and many other trash or treasures. Be sure to swing by the Free Box and see what you can find!
- Outdoor Fire Pit in Mountain Village – Located right in the core of Mountain Village, this is a great place to unbuckle the boots, grab a bite to eat, and relax. Enjoy “people watching” as you warm up your fingers and toes.
- Sporting Events – Check out the free sporting events happening all winter long such as the World Cup Snowboard Cross, Freeskiing World Tour, downhill races, regional hockey games and more.
- Colorado’s Largest Waterfall – If you love waterfalls, Bridal Veil Falls is a “must see”. Bridal Veil Falls is Colorado’s highest cascade, with a 365 foot drop The huge free-falling waterfall at the end of the box canyon is called Bridal Veil Falls, and is rich in history (AC current was invented in the house perched on top) and is absolutely breathtaking!
- Town Park; Located on the east edge of town, toward the head of the valley, is Town Park. This is a place to have civilized relaxation and organized sports. Town Park boasts a wide variety of summer and winter sport venues and offers some of the best scenery in North America. When there is no snow on the ground, baseball, basketball, tennis, beach volleyball, soccer and skateboarding are popular activities. There is also enough room to just play Frisbee or catch. In the winter time, Town Park offers Nordic skiing, ice skating, and ice hockey. Going to the Town Park is also a great activity for kids and the whole family – there is a playground, fishing pond and a BBQ station for picnics in the park – as well as plenty of room to run around! Find Out More
- Mountain biking; Mountain bikers of all levels can challenge their abilities during their Telluride vacation on dramatic vertical terrain or take a relaxing tour through the breathtaking scenery of the Uncompahgre National Forest. Old mining roads and single-tracks in the region climb 9,500 feet to historic sites and rugged mountain beauty. The San Juan Hut System (overnight facilities) connects Telluride to Moab, Utah with 206 miles of varied terrain. Phil’s World near Cortez, CO, about an hour from Telluride, also offers great trails for mountain biking. Find Out More
- Day Trips; Find some of our favorite day trips from Telluride below. You can choose to make 2 trips in a day, like Montrose and Ouray – or just one, like a trip to the 4 corners or Mesa Verde. These are all within 3 hours drive distance. Find Out More
- Hiking & Climbing; The San Juan Mountains are a beautiful place to hike during the summer, and is is the ideal place to base your mountain vacation. Wildflowers are at their height beginning early-July. Year-round mountaineering, trekking, and climbing schools provide back-country and technical skills for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. There are trails of every difficulty available from town and an abundance of magnificent options in the region. Find Out More
- Horseback riding is a fun adventure in both the winter and summertime but horseback riding with Telluride’s San Juan Mountain backdrop is truly a memorable experience. Fortunately – the region offers a variety of horseback riding options depending on the experience you’re looking for.Find Out More
- River Activities; Floating The San Miguel is one of the region’s most popular summer activities and you may even like white water rafting. Floating the San Miguel River is an experience that can be tailored for all ages and ability levels. Choose from a selection of half day and full day trips with the experienced and enthusiastic river guides.Find Out More
- Sightseeing; Drivers on Main Street need to be extra cautious of pedestrians who are often so engrossed in the beautiful scenery, that they literally don’t watch where they are going! This box canyon in the heart of the San Juan Mountains is full of not-to-be-missed sights for visitors to explore. One of the top attractions is the gondola that connects the Town of Telluride to Mountain Village. This free scenic 15-minute ride is actually a part of the Mountain Village public transportations system and runs from 7am to midnight during the summer season and ski season. The gondola does operate later during select festivals and special events. Find Out More
Also be sure to check out our post on the best Telluride Family Resorts to help with accommodations.
If you’ve been on a Telluride family vacation –leave us a comment about your adventures, we’d love to hear about them!