North America » 19 Amazing Things To Do In Telluride in Winter

19 Amazing Things To Do In Telluride in Winter

From skiing at a top-rated resort, to food tours and spa days, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Telluride in winter.

Are you starting to think about a snowy getaway in Colorado? Well, let me tell you about Telluride in winter! It’s a place with top-class skiing, awesome winter hikes, great breweries and distilleries, and a wide range of winter activities.

Telluride in the snow
Telluride is spectacular in the winter months, covered in a blanket of snow

Telluride is located inside a scenic canyon in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, surrounded by beautiful forests and cliffs. It was once a popular mining region, and you’ll see some artefacts linknig to its history in the area.

Telluride mountains
You can expect views like this of the mountains around Telluride

While many visit in the cooler seasons to hit the slopes, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Telluride in winter besides ski! For starters, you can catch the free gondola from the town up to Mountain Village, go on a snowshoeing adventure or visit the hot springs.

So, without further ado, these are the best things to do in Telluride in winter!

Overlooking Telluride
Looking down to the valley floor where Telluride is located

Weather in Telluride in winter 

If you’re heading to Telluride in winter, you’re going to need to wrap up warm! Across the season, temperatures can be anywhere between 3°C to -18°C (38°F-0°F).

On average, you can expect 50 inches of snow during the winter months, spanning 10 days each month. So, if you’re looking for fresh powder, you’ll love spending winter in Telluride!

visiting Telluride in winter
Visiting Telluride in winter is a great idea

19 Amazing Things To Do In Telluride in Winter

1. Hit the slopes

Top of the list of Telluride winter activities has to be skiing. With more than 2,000 acres of amazing ski resorts in the Telluride region, any snow enthusiast is going to be spoiled for choice.

Riding the ski lift in Telluride
Riding the ski lift in Telluride

If you don’t have your own gear or don’t fancy lugging it on holiday, there are plenty of rental stores around the town. Along with Aspen, Telluride is one of the best places in Colorado for skiing.

2. Soar above the ground on a gondola

Do you want to get a bird’s eye view of the amazing ski resorts? Fly high above the gorgeous tree line on a free, 13-minute gondola ride that goes from Telluride itself up to Mountain Village. 

Telluride Gondola
Riding the gondola is one of the top things to do in Telluride

The winter season for the gondola runs between November and April. Each cabin travels at 11 mph, and reaches up to 10,500 feet. The views are unbelievable so this is an activity not to be missed!

3. Treat yourself to a warming tasting at Telluride Distilling Company

Honestly, what’s better than warming up with a delicious glass of bourbon after you’ve spent all day in the cold? Well, at Telluride Distilling Company, you can do just that.

Telluride Distilling Company
Definitely visit the Telluride Distilling Company on your trip

Start by learning all about the distilling process, then end up in the amazing tasting room for a dram or three! There’s a fun menu of cocktails, plus a food menu featuring wild game.

4. Ice skate at the Mountain Village

There’s no better way to welcome winter in Telluride than taking a spin on an ice rink! At Mountain Village, you can ice skate to your heart’s content.

There are even free skate hours if you’re on a budget. It’s a perfect winter activity in Telluride if you’re travelling as a family too!

5. Enjoy Apres Ski at Gorrono Ranch

There are so many things to do in Telluride besides skiing, including indulging in the must-do post-ski activity – apres ski! In Telluride, the place to be is Gorrono Ranch, halfway up the mountain.

Grab a drink, warm up in front of the fire in the wooden lodge, and then head back down the mountain to Telluride town to sleep off your hangover!

Gorrono Ranch
Gorrono Ranch is a great place for a drink by the slopes

6. Meet Ursa Ravus – Telluride’s Bear Statue

Telluride has a curious mascot that everyone has to meet! Ursa Ravus is a 15-foot bear statue that’s made entirely of copper pennies.

Ursa Ravus bear statue in Telluride
Ursa Ravus is a bear statue in Telluride

In fact, her fur is made of 187,000 pennies – she has to be seen to be believed! You’ll find her located on East Colorado Avenue. I’d definitely urge you to stop by for a selfie with this Telluride icon.

7. Check out the ghost town of Alta by snowmobile

On the outskirts of town, there’s a historic mining town called Alta that’s long been abandoned. The best way to experience the eerie history of the area is on a snowmobile tour.

Hop on board your transport and speed through the fresh powder, surrounded by old wooden boarding houses and buildings. It’s spooky at times, but makes for a very memorable experience.

8. Check out the scenery on a hike of Bear Creek Trail

While some of Telluride’s trails are closed in the wintertime due to the snow, there are still some gorgeous routes to choose from.

Bear Creek Trail
Bear Creek Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in the region

One of the most popular winter hiking trails is Bear Creek Trail. Snake around conifer woods, and charming creeks, and enjoy the snowy winter wonderland that’s all around you!

9. Enjoy a historic brew at Stronghouse

If whisky isn’t your thing but you love a tasty ale, head over to the Stronghouse Brew Pub. Not only is this an amazing brewery, but it’s also located in a building that dates back to 1892! So, you can enjoy local beers surrounded by beautiful town history.

Stronghouse Brew Pub
Stronghouse Brew Pub has won plenty of awards

It’s an award winner too, picking up USA Today’s award for the Best Brewpub in the United States. It’s definitely worth a trip to see what all the hype is about.

10. Learn how to ice climb

Looking for a Telluride winter activity that’s a little more extreme? Maybe it’s time to try your hand at ice climbing.

Ice climbing at The Junkyards in Alberta, Canada
This was me ice climbing for the first time in Canada

This super fun and intense winter sport is really popular in Colorado due to all the stunning mountainous routes and frozen waterfalls. There are plenty of qualified instructors running tours around the Telluride area! I haven’t tried it here, but I did have a go in Banff, Canada. It was a great challenge, and a fun way to burn off a few ounces of cheese!

11. Jump on the Dunton Hot Springs Tour

What could be better than relaxing in a hot spring when it’s absolutely freezing outside? One of the best hot springs in the area is the Dunton Hot Springs. Here, you can enjoy spa services and mineral-rich waters that will solve all your aches and pains after a long day on the slopes.

Dunton Hot Springs
A trip to Dunton Hot Springs is one of the top things to do in Telluride in winter

12. Go Nordic Skiing at the Mountain Village

Want to try a different form of skiing? Nordic Skiing is really similar to cross-country skiing, and is a great way to explore the Telluride’s backcountry.

Nordic skiing is a popular thing to do in Telluride
Nordic skiing is a popular winter activity in Telluride

I’d recommend checking out the Telluride Nordic Association to grab some maps of the local trails. You’ll see lots of enthusiastic locals out on the trails too, so it’s a lovely way to connect with the community.

13. Try snowshoeing at Hope Lake Trail

If you want to see a truly stunning lake, surrounded by snow and beautiful forests, strap on your snowshoes and head out onto the Hope Lake Trail.

Snowshoeing is a fun winter activity in Telluride
Snowshoeing is a fun winter activity in Telluride

You can rent snowshoes in town and pick up some trail maps. Be sure to bring your camera because the views are absolutely spectacular. 

14. Enjoy fly fishing at the San Miguel River

Heading to Telluride towards the end of winter? Hire some fly fishing gear from town and set up for the day along the San Miguel River.

You can go fly fishing on the San Miguel River
You can go fly fishing on the San Miguel River

The fly fishing season in Telluride starts in February. It’s a more sedate way to spend the day if you’ve worn yourself out on the ski slopes!

15. Try out fat biking on the Valley Floor

Now, you might not be aware of fat biking, but essentially, it’s a super thick-tyred bike that means you can still cycle when the snow is insane.

Fat biking in Colorado
If you like adventure, try fat biking in Colorado

It’s a pretty intense winter exercise, so you might want to stick to the lower areas, rather than heading up to tackle the mountainous trails.

16. Take a food tour of Downtown Telluride

Telluride is home to plenty of amazing boutique restaurants, cafes, and bars. For the ultimate culinary adventure, how about booking a Telluride food tour.

Downtown Telluride has lots of charm
Downtown Telluride has lots of charm and is a great place for food and drink

This three hour casual stroll around Telluride will take you to some of the town’s most unique eateries. At each stop, you’ll get the chance to taste some signature dishes while learning about food and history. It’s a great idea to do a tour like this on one of your first days as you’ll get tips on where to eat for the rest of your trip!

17. Hike the Jud Wiebe trail

If you’re looking for a moderate winter hike that’s a loop trail, check out the Jud Wiebe trail. Whatever the season, this is a popular trail that goes up the side of the mountain and gives great views of the town below. It’s also perfect for snowshoes if the powder has been falling!

18.Give heli-skiing a go

Ready for a once-in-a-lifetime ski experience in Telluride? Heli-skiing is the ultimate adrenaline-fuelled way to get higher up on the slopes, get off-piste, and get the first runs on the fresh powder. If you’re an experienced skier, this winter activity has to be on your bucket list!

Heli skiing in Telluride in winter
Adventure lovers might enjoy heli-skiing in Telluride in winter

19. Relax at the spa at Lumière with Inspirato

Let’s be honest, winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, and hiking, can really take it out of you. Recover and treat yourself at the amazing spa at the Lumière hotel.

Lumiere Hotel has a relaxing spa
Lumiere Hotel has a relaxing spa

This high-end accommodation is also home to a great spa. Book a treatment and soothe your aching joints! It’s the perfect way to round off your snowy mountain adventure!

I hope this guide helps you plan your winter trip to Telluride. It’s one of the most magical places to visit in Colorado – you’re guaranteed to have a memorable trip!

If you’re looking for more inspiration, don’t miss these handy travel guides:

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19 things to do in Telluride in winter

With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the content creator behind one of the UK's top travel blogs Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Named Travel Influencer of the Year in 2022, Chloe regularly works with a number of tourism boards, producing inspirational travel content across multiple platforms. Find out more about Chloe here.

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