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7 Things to Do in Telluride in October for Stunning Fall Colors

things to do in Telluride in October

Telluride is seriously one of the most gorgeous towns on earth. Deep in the San Juans pressed up against the towering Dallas Divide, Telluride is filled with truly endless trails, views, and adventures. What makes Telluride so special even among mountain towns is how condensed everything is.  The town is squished in the middle dozens of sharp mountains including many famous 14ers (14,000 foot mountains). On top of that, when the fall colors of October arrive, the beauty only multiplies as aspen scatter across the mountainsides and valleys. Because of this, October is probably the most magical time to visit Telluride. Check these awesome things to do in October deep in the San Juans…

Hike the Famous Via Ferrata

Love exposure, amazing views, and climbing rocks? Then you’ll love this. This epic adventure takes along the sheer cliffside near Bridalveil falls, the apex of Telluride valley. While some parts are on ladders on overhanging cliffs, many parts are just a walk along a flat ledge. This may seem scary, but there’s nothing to fear. Via Ferratas are done using gear to protect you from falling. Click here for more info on how to hike the via Ferrata (coming soon) or check out guided trips. 

Via Ferrata, things to do in Telluride in October

Telluride’s scenic and iconic Via Ferrata overlooking the orange and yellow valley of October


Photograph the Dallas Divide

The Dallas Diivde is a bit out of town but it’s totally worth seeing.  Actually, if you are heading into Telluride from the north, it’ll be right on your way.  Dallas Divide overlook lies 10 miles south of Ridgeway on the left.  The Dallas Divide is an iconic overlook at all times of year, but the fall foliage of October makes it truly breathtaking.

Dallas Divide, things to do in Telluride in October

Beautiful Dallas Divide in all it’s fall glory

Grab some coffee at Ghost Town Coffee 

Ghost Town Coffee isn’t a fall spectacle, but it is a great place to stop for a drink in between your October adventures.  I love this coffee shop’s ambiance tucked into a patio on Main Street.  In addition to the decor and atmosphere,  the coffee is absolutely delicious.

Ghost town coffee, things to do in Telluride in October

While not necessarily a fall spectacle, Ghost Coffee has great ambiance at all times of year Photo credit:


Ride the Free Gondola to Epic Views

The gondola is one of Telluride’s best features and the best part is, this time of year it’s FREE. The views while going up the gondola are truly amazing. As you go up, you can see the entire town of Telluride tucked between the huge mountains. October makes for even more amazing views as Aspen groves fill the mountainside and contrast against the white color of the mountains.  Be sure to take in the views at the top before heading back down.

Telluride Gondola, things to do in Telluride in October

The free Telluride Gondola

Downhill Mountain Bike the Village Trail

After riding the gondola up, I highly recommend riding the scenic and iconic mountain biking trail, the Village Trail. This trail is best for beginner/intermediate riders and is filled with some of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen.  As you descend, you’ll be greeted with picture perfect views of mountains being framed by orange and yellow aspens.

Telluride Village Trail, things to do in Telluride in October

Downhilling the Telluride Village Trail with views of mountains and falls colors


Get Dinner at High Pie Pizza & Tap Room

Once again, not a fall necessity, but an amazing way to end a day being surrounded by fall colors.  Just the smell as walk past High Pie Pizza will make you want to stop by for a slice.

High pie pizza, things to do in Telluride October

A great to way to end a day of adventure in Telluride, High Pie Pizza

Drive a Mountain Pass

Telluride’s scenic road may be pretty at all times of the year, it’s especially true in October when fall is in full bloom.  Telluride is known for it’s many scenic dirt mountain roads that usually require 4wd.  Fall is definitely one of the most amazing times to explore these.  I highly recommend exploring scenic Imogene Pass, a dirt road connecting Telluride and Ouray, Ophir Pass, a dirt road accessed just south of Telluride, or Black Bear Pass, which also heads east form Telluride.  These 3 passes all require 4WD and some off roading experience.  If you don’t have a 4WD vehicle, there are plenty of 4×4 rental companies in town.  If you are not comfortable driving yourself, you can also take an off roading tour like this one.  Not an adrenaline junkie? Drive south of Telluride on the 145 all the way to Lizard Head Pass.  This road is paved and has just as beautiful of views.

Drive a pass, things to do in Telluride in October

Everything in Telluride is better in fall, even the drives. Here we are driving the scenic highway south of Telluride toward Lizard Head Pass

Hope this helped you plan a trip to Telluride in October!  IF you have any questions fell free to let us know in the comments section below!

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