Visiting Telluride, Colorado in the Fall

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telluride: the most colorado place on earth. okay fine, that’s actually their tourism slogan at the moment. i did not come up with it – BUT i can totally agree with it and thought that very thing to myself. visiting telluride, colorado in the fall is a must!

Visiting Telluride, Colorado in the Fall!

even though i grew up in colorado, i hadn’t been to telluride before! this could be due to the fact that it’s about a 6.5 hour drive from denver and i’m not a lover of road trips.

my husband keynoted an event there and a portion of this event had to do with a party in the mountains/cave so obviously i had to go along. we left atlas with our amazing parents and set off to enjoy a mountain weekend together, the two of us.

turns out – you can fly there from denver international airport!

here’s an important tip: fly to montrose, colorado and then take the very scenic 1.5 hour drive to telluride.

that’s what we did and it was well worth it.

flying at a low enough altitude during the fall in colorado was an experience i didn’t know i needed but i’m glad i got!

our plane was small but not like the ‘great lakes’ plane that flew to the telluride airport! i was told it had no heat, no bathroom and you could see the pilot.

every single person i talked to at the event who flew directly into the telluride airport described it as the worst flight they had ever been on.

direct quotes:

“i’m not afraid of flying – i fly all the time! even though i’m not the praying time, i started praying because i was sure we were going to crash!”

“that was the most terrifying flight i have ever experienced.”

“give me the long drive from denver compared to that flight.”

plus, when you fly to the montrose airport, you get to drive along ralph lauren’s now 30,000 acre ranch…

okay, now that you know how to get to telluride without enduring unnecessary panic – go here and go here in the fall. it was truly one of the prettiest places i’ve ever seen!

we actually stayed in mountain village, which sits at 9,500ft elevation (denver sits at 5,280ft – hence mile high city). the view from our hotel was insanely gorgeous.

they also had a glorious pool that we planned on indulging in the following day. unfortunately, a wedding party threw bottles of beer and the whole pool had to be drained (including the 2 story slide). hard eye-roll at them.

do you have any idea the restraint it took for me to not push him in? although, that would mean he would owe me one and that seemed less fun.

one of my favorite things about this area is the free gondola between the higher mountain village and the town of telluride!

this is literally how kids get to school. how cool is that?!

it was originally built to cut down on air pollution between people driving the 20 minutes between mountain village and the town of telluride. on the gondola you go over the 10,500-foot coonskin ridge and it’s absolutely breathtaking.  it takes 13 minutes to get between the two places and it’s pet friendly! we met a sweet golden named harley!

we wandered around the town of telluride until altitude sickness hit us (to be fair, we were in LA the day before). i mean – this is an untouched photo – that is really how it looks!

we asked around for recommendations of good restaurants and everyone said something different. to me, this means you can’t go wrong! check out the official dining guide and know you can’t go wrong! i will say, speaking from experience that the bread alone at Cosmo restaurant is worth going. i ate two loafs, by myself. 

it was so nice to spend one on one time with my husband. adding a child to the mix has been every emotion, sometimes in one day! we are continuously realizing how important it is to take the time (aka make the time) to reconnect together.

should you venture here, know that altitude sickness is reaaaal. you need to be guzzling water like dumbledore drinking the poison in half-blood prince or you will feel like him too. that’s the biggest preventative factor in altitude sickness. our hotel actually sold canisters of 95% oxygen, which we both laughed at when we saw them the first time.

then on our way back, we were not laughing but panting and gladly shelled out the $20. the oxygen helped big time and i kept it in my purse for my husband during his keynote. #wifepoints

hit that oxygen up if you have it available. it gives almost instant relief of the headache, nausea and general fatigue. if you haven’t been to very high elevations before, breathing basically feels like you are trying to take deep breaths through a straw. be prepared and drink that water!

also alcohol definitely worsens the effects of altitude sickness so i would abstain until you are acclimated. i find that when i’m this high (not like that high, though there are plenty of dispensaries there too), i feel like my drinks are twice as strong so be careful!

this is what it said in the hotel’s gym. i would change it to 2/3 more difficult…

if you do visit in the fall, remember that colorado is all about layers! you might experience snow in the morning and by the afternoon be sweating in the sunshine! the sun is more intense at higher elevations so bring plenty of sunscreen and your sunnies. telluride is a pretty casual place but like ‘mountain casual’ in case you run into oprah in town or something.

back to the epic party we experienced…we signed something that said we aren’t supposed to talk specifics so i must adhere to that (unless we go out for drinks or something). but know this – it was epic!

if you saw my instagram story about this night, then you know ravery requested to have his face painted ‘like ke$ha, please” and it made me laugh so hard.

i told my lady, “i feel sparkly – go for it!” she then said that everyone else was requesting subtle things. i’m like…if you’re going to get your face painted – GO BIG. i’m still finding rogue rhinestones and glitter everywhere.

obviously visiting telluride, colorado should be added to your bucket list (especially in the fall)!

spending these two nights away with my husband helped to increase our intimacy, have more uninterrupted and meaningful conversations while also sleeping in! does anyone else get that ‘travel high’ when you get back from a trip together? i crave it and i’ve missed it. remember to take time away just the two of you because the other areas of your life will benefit immensely!

where are you favorite places to visit in the fall?


  1. Elyse @ Just Murrayed

    October 4, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Colorado is on my bucket list so I’ll have to add it to the places I need to see and do when we finally get to go to there!

    • chelsea

      October 7, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      yes yes yessss! so glad colorado is on your bucket list (please make it a point to come visit denver so we can hang out)! you are going to love it!

  2. Audrey

    October 4, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Wow. This trips sounds amazing. From the views to the cute little mountain town to the epic party… What an awesome experience!! We’ve been on a tiny tiny plane (no bathroom, you can see the pilot, luggage weighed and packed in the wings) on a trip to Nantucket. Fortunately it was before I developed flight anxiety and it was SO cool.
    I’ve only been to CO once but it sounds SO beautiful, especially in fall & winter!

    • chelsea

      October 7, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      ohhhh my goodness you’ve been on a plane like that?!?! i am so glad it was before you developed flight anxiety. i am having anxiety just thinking about you being on there! ahhhhh! come back and play in CO – it’s pretty great 🙂

  3. chelsea jacobs

    October 4, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I’m headed to Colorado for the first time next week! I’m so excited!!

    • chelsea

      October 6, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      you are seriously coming at the perfect time (unless you get on monday when it’s supposed to snow)! the fall leaves are like WHOA! let me know if you need any recommendations!

  4. Penny McWright

    October 4, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing your trip with us. You made it sound like a really fun place to visit.

    • chelsea

      October 6, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      thank you for reading – it was a really fun place!

  5. Courtney {Alkeks Abroad}

    October 6, 2017 at 7:10 am

    Um now I just want to know about this party! Also, I want to take a gondola to school!! What a stunning place.

    • chelsea

      October 6, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      well i guess we will have to go have drinks (and our daughters can look through each other’s purses because that is what atlas is obsessed with currently). riiiight! gondola to school?! what!

  6. Laura

    October 8, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Oh wow, this looks absolutely amazing!! All I know about Telluride is the county song but you’ve convinced me to put it on my bucket list!