13 Fun Things to do in Telluride with Kids In Summer

Telluride is a gorgeous mountain town in Colorado with a great mining history. It’s about an hour from Ouray, making it easy to see both towns in one visit. And, there are plenty of great things to do in Telluride with kids if you are heading on a family vacation.

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We had wanted to visit Telluride for so long. The first time our car broke down on the way there. So we were excited to make it recently in time for the Balloon Festival. Besides the balloons, we found so many great things to do for our Telluride family vacation.

From hiking and biking to visiting the local museum to learn about mining history, there are plenty of things to do in Telluride for families. So take a look and decide how you’d like to spend your time in Telluride.

photo collage of things to do in Telluride with kids
scenic view with yellow green bushes in front, waterfall on a mountain in back

1. Kids Hikes in Telluride

Telluride has a lot of beautiful areas to explore nearby. Here are a few of easy trails to go hiking in Telluride with kids.

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls is the tallest waterfall in Colorado at 365 feet. It’s easy to get to, as well as easy to hike if you take the road.

The main trail to the falls is more difficult and not recommended for families. However, there is an OHV road you can walk up for an easier journey.

The road is slightly longer than the trail, but much more realistic with kids. And the top is quite a treat!

Check out my full guide and pictures of hiking Bridal Veil Falls.

Bear Creek Trail

Want more waterfalls? Bear Creek Trail is another great trail to bring kids on. It’s not terribly difficult, but it is a little longer at 4.5 miles round trip.

There’s plenty of shade at the beginning as you incline. Then you’ll get a little break with climbing, but pick back up toward the end.

You can see Bear Creek Falls at the beginning and end of the trail, but of course the top is much more impressive!

River Trail and Idarado Legacy Trail

The River Trail is more of a family-friendly stroll along the San Miguel River. You can catch the trail many places, including by the gondola.

If you head east on the trail, you’ll eventually end up on the Idarado Legacy Trail. The Idarado Legacy Trail is another easy trail that heads toward the Pandora Mill. It’s filled with interpretive signs so the whole family can learn about mining history in the area.

Cornet Falls

This is one trail we really wanted to do and couldn’t because of the trail conditions at the time (there had been a lot of rain recently). Make sure to stop by the visitor center and ask about different trails for this reason.

Cornet Falls is a real quick 1/2 mile roundtrip hike that takes you to a great waterfall not far from town.

While we couldn’t see it up close, we did get a view of Cornet Falls on our Gondola Ride up to Mountain Village.

Speaking of…

view from the Telluride gondola- town below with waterfall in mountains in back

2. Ride the Gondola to Mountain Village

This is a super fun experience, and even better, it’s free! You can catch the free gondola on San Juan Ave in Telluride.

Then enjoy the beautiful views as Telluride grows smaller and smaller in the distance. You’ll make your way up to Mountain Village, a town of its own, after about 10-15 minutes in the gondola.

There is plenty to do in Mountain Village, like catching the best pizza in the Telluride area, playing a round of disc golf, or going on a story walk.

We’ve done a gondola in a few towns (like Breckenridge) and have such a fun time each time. I highly recommend this free activity in Telluride with kids.

3. Biking in Telluride with Kids

While the town is known to have great mountain biking, there are also a few easier bike trails to take in Telluride with kids.

Telluride Bike Path

Towards the western edge of town you can begin the paved bike path that heads west along highway 145. It goes out about 3 miles before you can turn around and come back. Or, connect to the Galloping Goose Trail for a longer ride.

River Trail

Just as you can hike / walk on River Trail, you can also bring out bikes on it as well! Pick up River Trail wherever you’d like (Town Park is ideal for parking) and then ride the easy, paved trail along the river through Telluride.

This trail is a few miles long but doesn’t have much elevation increase to it, making it perfect for kids to ride.

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4. River Rafting on the San Miguel

One of the best ways to make some big memories in Telluride with kids is to go rafting.

The more adventurous families with older kids can take a half-day rafting trip down the San Miguel River. Paddle through class II and occasional class III rapids among the red cliff walls surrounding the river.

Past rafting families have noted the experience as both safe and thrilling with great guides.

5. Horseback Riding

Take a ride through the beautiful area on horseback! Kids 8+ can ride with Horseback Adventures , which is just a short drive away. The ride last about two hours through the ranch area. Since the area is flatter than some mountain-side rides, experienced riders are welcome to pick up a trot with your horse.

looking down a sidestreet of Telluride with a chocolate and ice cream store

6. Get a Sweet Treat

The owner of Telluride Truffle made some truffles one day, brought them to a party, and everyone wanted to know where they came from. She then decided she would try to sell her truffles, and Telluride Truffle was born.

Stop in to Telluride Truffle for a delicious treat. These high quality truffles are made from Belgian chocolate. Grab a truffle or two, or a box, or a jar of truffle sauce to take home. You can also get a scoop of ice cream here.

7. Swim at the Town Park Pool

For something to keep cool during those hot summer days, head to Telluride’s Town Park and take a dip in the pool. Both a rec pool and a few lap lanes are available.

There is so much to do at Town Park, and the pool is perfect for a hot day. Admission is currently under $10 per person.

Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection

The Madeline

8. Or Stay in Hotel with a Pool

There are a few options in Mountain Village of hotels with great pools.

Mountain Lodge Telluride is located in Mountain Village. It’s a beautiful resort with room, condo, or cabin options. And it has a smaller, but beautiful outdoor pool area.

The Peaks Resort and Spa is a beautiful resort in Mountain Village just steps from the gondola. It has both an indoor and outdoor pool so you can swim all year long.

Both the Fairmont Heritage and the Madeline are located in Mountain Village as well. These are both top notch hotels that have beauty at every glance. And both have great pools with scenic views.

three hot air balloons inflated on the ground

9. Attend a Fun Festival in Telluride

Telluride is not short on festivals. They have many that are great for families to attend.

We loved the hot air balloon festival that takes place in June in Town Park. We actually stayed in Ouray and drove over the morning-of to see this fun display of colors.

The most popular festival in Telluride is the Bluegrass Festival. This comes around each year to Town Park with some musicians taking the stage. The event usually sells out quickly, so if you’d like to attend, purchase tickets as soon as they’re available.

The Jazz Festival happens in August each year and also draws a crowd. Enjoy music in the outdoor stages during the day or indoor theaters at night.

The Telluride Film Festival is held each Labor Day Weekend, drawing a huge crowd.

Each festival is a fun way to spend time in Telluride with kids.

Telluride courthouse, tall historic building

Go on a historic walking tour

10. Telluride Historical Museum

To start, try one of the historical walking tours that are hosted twice a week in the summer. You’ll be educated about Telluride’s history, past events, and key people who played a role in the history.

Inside the museum, learn about the geology of the area and even witness an Anasazi blanket that’s over 1,000 years old!

Then walk through a town exhibit of what Telluride looked like back in the mining days. Kids who are into mining history will love this museum, and those who don’t know much about mining will develop a new interest.

pond with great reflection of trees

11. Go Fishing in Telluride with kids at Town Park

Toward the end of Colorado Avenue is Town Park. Here, there is a pond that children 12 and younger are allowed to fish at.

It’s free to fish and you can keep your catch, or catch and release.

The Kids Pond is such a fun and beautiful little place for kids to come. Sometimes Telluride even holds fishing events for the kids.

You may not swim in the pond. (If you’d like to swim, check out the section about swimming at Town Park’s pool.)

12. Float down the San Miguel

On a nice summer day, what better way to stay cool while having a great time than floating down the San Miguel River on a tube?

Head to the hardware store on the main road in town to purchase a tube, or rent one at Boot Doctors which is located near the gondola station.

Head to Town Park and head east where you’ll find the River Trail along the San Miguel. This is a great spot to get in as the water doesn’t flow as fast and it’s shallow.

Then float your way down the river as far as you’d like. You can get off in many spots that are still within town. If you park at Town Park and then hop in the river, you can get off at the other end of town and then hop on the free shuttle to get back to Town Park.

River flowing through Telluride

13. Play at Town Park in Telluride with kids

I’ve already mentioned a few things to do at Town Park like go fishing in the Trout Pond, walk the River Trail, or go swimming.

But there is SO much more to do at Town Park. It’s one of the most family-friendly places in Telluride.

Besides the things already mentioned, you can also go to the skate park, play at the basketball court, play a round of horseshoes, play tennis, or have a match of sand volleyball.

14. Visit Alta Lakes and Alta Ghost Town for an Afternoon

Alta Lakes is located near the Alta Ghost Town a few miles south of Telluride down highway 145. There are three lakes near each other, all within the Uncompahgre National Forest.

This is an especially good thing to do in Telluride in summer because the road to Alta Lakes isn’t open in the winter (unless you’d like to snowmobile in).

Once you arrive, you’ll have the option of a vault toilet, but not much else. The first lake is very accessible as it’s within steps of your car. The next two lakes you’ll have to hike to.

The Ghost Town is fun to visit as well. You’ll see a bit of history with the gold mining that happened at over 11,000 feet in elevation.

Like many other places on this list, make sure you check with the visitor center before visiting. We really wanted to visit Alta Lakes, but the visitor center said the road was closed due to the muddy conditions. Again, Telluride had seen a lot of rain recently upon our visit.

Bonus: Fun Taste Testing

We decided to try and find the best pizza in Telluride and had a fun time trying all sorts of pizza. We also stopped into a few bakeries for breakfast and treats.

Since we usually pack meals and bring them with us, this was a fun and affordable way to try some of the food in town without burning through our wallet.

Where to Stay in Telluride

We actually stayed over in Ouray and drove over to Telluride for the day. Both towns are excellent and worth a visit, so no matter which town you stay in, be sure to visit the other.

Telluride is typically more expensive while Ouray has hotels that may fit into your budget better.

Check out the fun activities in Ouray for families to see why it’s worth a drive over.

If you’d like to stay in Telluride, here are a few top choices for families.

Mountain Village
Mountain Lodge Telluride

Mountain Lodge Telluride

Located in Mountain Village, the Mountain Lodge is perfect for families. It has multi-bedroom options or even cabins for plenty of space at a more competetive price than the fancy hotels nearby. Enjoy a pool and fitness center, plus connecting gondolas nearby.

Telluride
Camel's Garden Hotel

Camel’s Garden

This TOP Rated hotel in Telluride offers spacious rooms and multi-bedroom condo style units. Enjoy free breakfast each morning and convenience in the heart of Telluride.

Things to do in Telluride with Kids in Summer

Telluride is a beautiful town full of scenery and many fun activities. There are plenty of fun things to do in Telluride in summer with kids so the whole family can enjoy a fun trip.

For the best experience, I recommend seeing Bridal Veil Falls, joining an event at Town Park, and most definitely riding the gondola up to Mountain Village.

But if you have more time, check out more adventures like rafting down the San Miguel and biking through the area.

No matter what you choose, you’ll have a fabulous time in Telluride with kids!

collage of images in Telluride

Related:

Hot Springs in Ouray You’ll Love

21 Awesome Things to do in Ouray with Kids

Visiting Mountain Village from Telluride’s Gondola

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