The gondola ride is a must-do activity for visitors to Telluride. It’s a favorite among kids who have been known to say, “This is better than a ride at Disneyland!” And the best part is that it’s free. The ride takes approximately 13 minutes from Telluride to Mountain Village.
The gondola was originally built to improve air quality in the region by reducing traffic on the road. Since its opening in December 1996, it has transported millions of skiers, snowboarders, hikers, mountain bikers, festival-goers, and commuters up and over the 10,500-foot Coonskin Ridge. The ride on the “G” offers breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains, mesas covered in Aspen trees, and beautiful waterfalls. On clear days, riders can see all the way to the La Sal Range in Utah. It is also the first and only free public transportation of its kind in the United States.
At the top of the gondola, visitors can explore the Nature Center, which is open daily from 9 am-4 pm from early June to September. The gondola also provides easy access to Mountain Village, where visitors can enjoy lunch, bouldering, and a playground near Poacher’s Pub.