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Telluride Hiking on Jud Wiebe Trail

Featured Article

Destination Trip to Telluride

Article by Sandy Bornstein

Photography by The Traveling Bornsteins

Originally published in Arvada Lifestyle

After the snow melts, outdoor enthusiasts travel to Telluride for its summer festivals, hiking and biking trails, rafting down the San Miguel River, tasting innovative foods, and strolling through the historic mining town surrounded by 13,000 to 14,000-foot peaks. Some choose to stay in town while others gravitate to the hotels and condominiums in the Mountain Village. A convenient and free gondola ride separates the two locations.

If you avoid busy driving times and construction delays, Arvada residents can escape the Denver metro area’s summer heat and reach Telluride in about six hours. However, be sure to pack rain gear if your visit coincides with the rainier months of July and August.

Summer Festivals

For decades, festivals have been a part of Telluride’s culture. As the days are getting longer, visitors can watch colorful hot air balloons float gracefully over the valley, listen to bluegrass music, or be inspired by yoga and meditation experts. Wine, architecture, and jazz are the focal points in the summer while film, blues, and cars are the main draws in the fall. 

History Buffs

A printed version of the Historic Walking Tour can be found inside Telluride’s Summer Visitor Guide and can also be downloaded from the Visit Telluride website. The map pinpoints fourteen designated spots that highlight key structures from the 19th century. For the town’s hilly streets, I recommend wearing comfortable shoes and carrying a water bottle.  

The Telluride Historical Museum, a former hospital, introduces visitors to the Native Americans who first inhabited the region, to the people who started the primitive mining camp, and to how the community developed into a year-round destination. This building is on the route of the self-guided walking tour.

Water Activities

From May to October, outfitters offer half-day and full-day rafting trips down several local rivers. Experienced paddle boarders can take advantage of picturesque high alpine lakes while newbies can learn a new skill. Inner tubes can be purchased and rented. Local guides can direct anglers with a Colorado fishing license to the best lakes, ponds, and alpine creeks. The Town Park has a four trout limit at its stocked pond.


From 4X4 off-roading to mountain biking and hiking, the surrounding region has countless paths and roads to explore. Bike rentals are available, and guides can arrange 4-wheel drive tours to secluded spots and ghost towns. Fortunately, a selection of Telluride’s popular hiking trails is conveniently located near Telluride and the Mountain Village. Dozens more trails are within an hour’s drive.

The Jud Wiebe Trail can be accessed at two trailheads. This three-mile moderate loop trail was created with multiple switchbacks to accommodate a 1,300-foot elevation gain.  From the dirt and gravel path, trekkers can periodically witness panoramic views of the town, the rest of the valley, and the adjacent ski mountain. Along the route, there are orange and black butterflies. One can also experience the soothing sound of running water cascading from waterfalls and running streams.

The Bridal Veil Falls Trail is approximately a mile from the town. From the crowded parking lot, hikers can see Colorado’s tallest free-falling waterfall measuring 365 feet. After a summer thunderstorm, slippery and muddy conditions may make the steep journey challenging. 

Crowds also congregate along the Bear Creek Trail. This trail is at the end of South Pine Street. Distant waterfalls feed a fast-flowing river that snakes its way through the canyon floor.

Families and individuals with limited mobility can meander on the Telluride River Trail, a flat four-mile path that runs adjacent to Town Park where pedestrians can stop to view a small waterfall. After enjoying a dinner in town, take the gondola to the San Sophia Terminal where you can observe majestic sunsets.


Foodies will be delighted with the culinary scene in both the town and the Mountain Village. Reservations are definitely suggested.

The Butcher & the Baker and the Telluride Coffee Company are good choices for a quick breakfast, as well as coffee and tea. Chocoholics will love Telluride Truffle. For Mediterranean inspired entrees consider The Village Table. This restaurant offers shareable entrees and an expansive bar menu. 

Memorable meals at top notch restaurants are plentiful. Two suggestions include Eliza Gaven’s award-winning 221 South Oak and Chad Scothorn’s Cosmopolitan Telluride located in the Hotel Columbia. The former introduces customers to creative vegetarian cuisine showcased in Gaven’s cookbook, Hold the Meat, while the latter location offers a contemporary menu showcasing meat, fish, and poultry entrees, as well as wines and craft cocktails.

Before leaving Telluride, relax at the Telluride Distilling Company Tasting Room to sip a popular wintertime drink, the Chairlift Warmer, or a favorite summertime cocktail, the Peach and Strawberry Mule.

  • Bear Creek Trail
  • Drinks at Telluride Distilling Company Tasting Room
  • Sunset near San Sophia Terminal
  • Pan Roasted Mahi Mahi with Carrot Risotto, Snap Peas, and Langoustines
  • Telluride Bridal Veil Falls Trail
  • Telluride Gondola heading into town
  • Telluride Historic Museum
  • Telluride Hiking on Jud Wiebe Trail
  • Wild shrimp paella at The Village Table