At 8,750 feet, Telluride is not only the highest town we’ve visited, it’s one of the most enchanting. Imagine the perfect location for a little Victorian mountain town … and this is even better. Nestled deep in a box canyon, surrounded by massive peaks on three sides, the road to Telluride dies at the end of town – surely a coronary brought on by the prospect of scaling the crags. At the head of the canyon, Ingram Falls plunges over the cliff into the San Miguel River, which rushes cold and clear, right through downtown. We’ve seen some stunningly beautiful places in our travels, and Telluride took my breath away.
Just out of sight from downtown is Telluride’s more famous waterfall, Bridal Veil, and that was our mission as soon as our paws hit the ground. Picking up the River Trail to the Idarado Trail, we took our time strolling the mile and a half, letting the dogs sniff around and unwind from the drive. Colorado in the early spring is really something to behold, with the snow clinging to the mountain tops, and the aspens flaunting their new neon green foliage at the stoic evergreens.
The paved Idarado will take you to the old Pandora Mine and from there you can hike the Jeep road to the top of the falls. Not feeling quite that ambitious? Park your car just past the mine and make your way up from there.
If you notice a loud whistling, especially around the old mine buildings, you’re being welcomed by the local marmot community. These furry little critters look a bit like groundhogs, but the warning alarm they sound to alert their fellow mates is quite distinctive. In fact, there’s plenty of wildlife around – we caught this toddler coyote keeping an eye on us!
Back in town, you’ll definitely want to check out the shops and galleries on Colorado Street. Our weaknesses quickly became apparent when we wandered past Alpen Schatz and caught a glimpse of the leather collars and leashes, imported from Europe. Oh my, I’ve never held a leash so soft! Unfortunately, they were a little too fine for our ruff and tumble dogs – we’ll be sticking with something I can throw in the washing machine.
If your feet need a break, get the lay of the land by hopping aboard the Galloping Goose, Telluride’s free downtown shuttle. Leashed dogs are welcome to join you!
Once the shopping was squared away, we were ready to climb aboard the pet friendly gondola for a ride over the mountain to the neighboring ski resort of Mountain Village. Fair warning: if heights aren’t your thing, you’ll want to cover your eyes for this part of the post.
The gondola operates during winter, summer, and on special occasions. It’s free to ride, and the pet friendly cars have a sticker in the front window. We piled into car #37, and you can see from the picture that birds, dogs and cats are all welcome to take a ride – so long as they’re on a leash or in a carrier. The boys needed a little encouragement to hop into the moving car, but once the doors closed they settled in and enjoyed the views.
Arriving by gondola at Mountain Village really sets the stage for this high-end ski resort. Things were pretty quiet in June, though I’m sure it’s a completely different story when the snow is flying and the slopes are open. We enjoyed strolling around and eyed several eateries that could have tempted us with a late lunch or early dinner … but Buster and Ty were nearing their limit, so we caught the gondola back to Telluride and the car.
It was a fantastic day in Telluride, and we would have be happy to spend more time exploring the trails, playing a round of disc golf in Mountain Villiage, and lingering at a coffee shop, seeping in the glorious scenery. There is a nice selection of pet friendly hotels in Telluride, but this is one of those places I can imagine spending a month or two – maybe renting one of those adorable little houses – and really getting to know the area. It seems I’ve been infected, and the only cure may be deep immersion.