Are you looking for an outdoor paradise in the heart of the Colorado mountains? If so, you have to check out Telluride. This place looks straight out of a postcard. From dramatic mountain views to world-class skiing, nowhere else compares to Telluride. In fact, some people call this magical town one of the most beautiful places in the world. If you’re planning a trip to the area, traveling in your campervan can provide an adventure of a lifetime.
Keep reading to learn more about Telluride, including where to stop along the way, the outdoor activities to experience, and what makes this destination perfect for traveling in your campervan!
Telluride is the Ideal Mountain Town Vancamp Destination!
About Telluride, Colorado
Astonishing beauty, magical mountains, epic skiing—these are just a few reasons why Telluride is an exceptional place. This remarkable town is nestled at the end of a deep canyon in the middle of breathtaking peaks. If you’re looking for a large city with miles and miles of streets, Telluride isn’t the place for you. It’s a quaint ski town with plenty of charm. In fact, Telluride is only twelve blocks long and eight blocks wide. Located in the San Juan Mountains, this remote town has adventures for any outdoor lover. And best of all, it’s the perfect place to vancamp!
Where to Stop Along the Way
The magic doesn’t only begin when you get to Telluride—it also happens on the drive over! Below you’ll find some sweet attractions to check out along the way:
If you’re heading up towards Telluride, make a stop in Durango, Colorado. This area is also surrounded by huge peaks, providing tons of outdoor adventure. Purgatory Ski Resort is an awesome resort with plenty of trails, and the Ice Lakes Trail is a fantastic hike with phenomenal scenery. Another area to check out is Sedona, Arizona, which is about 6.5 hours to the southwest of Telluride. Here you’ll find several amazing hiking trails with miraculous views of the surrounding red rock.
When you’re headed west towards Telluride, you could stop by Colorado Springs and even some unique places in Kansas and Missouri. Depending on where you’re driving from, the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas and Missouri are a must-see. Some notable spots to check out include Devil’s Den, Blanchard Springs, and Bull Shoals Lake. If you’re passing through Colorado Springs, consider hiking the Columbine Trail or in the Red Rock Canyon Open Space area.
A southern drive to Telluride also provides beauty and outdoor adventure all over. If you pass through the northern part of Montana, Glacier National Park should be on your list. From challenging hiking trails to pristine lakes, this area is truly one of a kind. Just hours south of Glacier is the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho, which features jagged peaks and remote wilderness. And just a few hours to the east you’ll find Yellowstone National Park, featuring geysers, an abundance of wildlife, and some incredibly unique terrain.
When driving east, you have multiple national parks, ski resorts, and endless land to park your van. In Southern Utah, you have to check out Zion National Park. Packed in the middle of a red rock wonderland, you’ll find hiking trails your eyes won’t believe. Just hours to the south in Arizona you’ll find Grand Canyon National Park. If you’ve never been here before, this place has to be on your bucket list. This insanely massive canyon is a sight you’ll never forget!
Telluride—Outdoor Adventure Tucked in the Mountains
After all of that adventure on the drive over, we bet you can’t wait to explore the wonderful town of Telluride! However, before hitting the trails and shredding down the slopes, you may want to make an itinerary. With so much adventure in the area, there’s tons to explore!
Here are some outdoor activities you should add to the list:
Skiing & Snowboarding
If you’re into skiing or snowboarding, then visiting Telluride is a dream come true. Telluride Ski Resort is located just a short walk from downtown, featuring 2,000 acres of lift-accessible terrain. While the views alone are a good enough reason for paying a visit, the beautiful snow will keep you coming back for more. In fact, some people consider Telluride Ski Resort as the top ski area in the entire country! No matter your ability level, you’ll have tons of fun on this mountain.
Biking is another fantastic activity in Telluride, even in the winter months. When snow is on the ground, many people love riding those bikes with fat tires. Whether you’re looking for a challenging ride in the snow or something more peaceful, riding these bikes is very enjoyable. If you’re more into mountain biking, Telluride provides plenty of trails in and around town. And of course you’ll have incredible views everywhere you look. Some notable mountain biking trails in the area include Wasatch Trail Loop, East Fork Bear Creek Trail, and The Gentleman’s Loop.
Taking a Walking Tour
Aside from exploring the great outdoors, the town of Telluride also has plenty to see. That said, we recommend going on a walking tour. As Telluride used to be a mining town, many buildings are preserved to look just how they did years ago. If you’re interested in the local history or simply enjoy unique architecture, this quaint town has it all. To soak in the knowledge and learn everything there is to know, we recommend taking a guided tour. Experts can teach you all about the gold and silver boom, how the canyon was formed, and even about the abandoned ghost towns in the area.
Hiking is one of the most beloved activities in Telluride. Whether you enjoy majestic aspen trees or skyscraping 14,000-foot peaks, this area is calling your name. Also, with mountains and outdoor fun in all directions, you can find trails for all ability levels.
Take a look at some of the leading hikes in the area:
- Bridal Veil Falls
- Jud Wiebe Memorial Trail
- Hope Lake
- Blue Lakes Trail
- Sneffels Highline Trail
These hikes provide excellent views at every turn. Furthermore, many hiking opportunities are found just minutes from several campsites!
Attending a Festival
Summer festivals are another reason why Telluride is a hot travel destination. If you enjoy cold brews, delicious food, entertainment, and miraculous scenery, head on over to one of these festivals. Some notable ones include the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival.
Seeing the Fall Colors
During autumn, fall beauty is painted all over Telluride. Magnificent colors climb up the canyon walls, while hiking trails meander through spectacular hues of red, yellow, and gold. Fall colors are best seen by taking a guided tour along the San Juan Skyway, Tomboy Basin, and Imogene Pass.
Although Telluride is a small town, camping opportunities are found all over. Some even have full RV hookups! The following campgrounds are perfect for setting up camp and exploring the area:
- Alta Lakes Campground
- Telluride Town Park Campground
- Sunshine Campground
- Priest Lake Campground
- Matterhorn Campground
As these campsites are found in the heart of nature, outdoor adventures are just minutes away!
Visiting Telluride in your campervan will always be a great time. However, you should consider the following tips to make the most of your trip:
- Prepare for the altitude (Telluride has an elevation of nearly 9,000 feet)
- Mid-June to August is the best time to visit for summer activities
- Winter lows can get below zero, so plan accordingly
- Book your trip a few months in advance to save money
- Don’t rent a car and use Telluride’s complimentary shuttle and gondola services
Here are more details about the area’s top attractions:
- Bridal Veil Falls: Located just a few miles southeast of downtown
- Jud Wiebe Memorial Trail: Found just north of Telluride
- Hope Lake: Access point is 20 minutes south of town
- Blue Lakes Trail: Located near Ridgeway, CO
- Sneffels Highline Trail: Found at the north end of Aspen Street in Telluride
- Alta Lakes Campground: Alta Lakes Rd, Telluride, CO 81435
- Telluride Town Park Campground: 500 E Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO
- Sunshine Campground: 7676 CO-145, Telluride, CO 81435
Check out these off-the-beaten-path ideas in Telluride:
- Eating at Alpino Vino
- Soaking in the hot springs at the Historic Wiesbaden
- Driving on Last Dollar Road
- Rafting down the San Miguel River
Adventure to Telluride in a New Campervan!
To embark on a trip you’ll remember forever, now’s the time to pack your campervan and head over to Telluride! If you’re looking for a new or used van to make this trip a reality, Rec Van is here to help. Browse through our inventory today, and give us a call with any questions!