A visit to Telluride wouldn’t be complete without venturing beyond the town limits to explore the thousands of acres of wild lands and state forests. Spend half a day taking in these sights along the Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic and Historic byway-a 133-mile stretch between Grand Junction and Telluride. About 40 minutes before you hit Grand Junction, check out the remains of the Hanging Flume - an open water chute that used to deliver water to mining facilities along the Dolores River-and keep an eye out for fossils in the canyon walls. Expect a minimum of three hours to complete the drive.
Known for being Colorado’s wine country, Grand Junction makes a good pit stop to refuel before heading back to Telluride, or on to your next destination. Stretch your legs and explore the outdoor art exhibit, “Art on the Corner” located on mainstreet or grab a bite to eat at Rockslide Restaurant and Brewery featuring eight beers on tap, pub fare and all you can eat fish and chips from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. every Thursday.
Spend your last few hours relaxing at the Telluride Town Park. Horseshoes, tennis courts, volleyball and a skate park are available as well as a kids fishing pond. If you plan your trip well in advance, you can catch one of the many summers concerts or festivals at the park. Check the events calendar to see what’s coming up.
Photo by: Ryan Bonneau
On your drive back to Denver, stop and visit the Wagner Custom Ski factory in Placerville, Colo. 15 miles northwest of Telluride on CO-145. Skiers are welcome to come in for a tour anytime to talk gear, custom skis and when the next storm will roll in.