Short Drives to Make from Telluride: Where to Go and What to Bring

Wilson Peak

Vacationers traveling to Telluride, Colorado can expect a trip filled with some of the most stunning sights in the country. From the San Miguel River to the San Juan Mountains and Colorado Rockies, there is a vast and beautiful terrain to roam. During the cooler months, this region is perfect for exploring by car. Remember to always check the weather and current road conditions before you get in the car and head on a drive. Here are four incredible drives to take within a short distance away from Telluride, and what to bring for a memorable experience.  

Where to go:  

Lizard Head Pass: Unlike the Ophir Pass, Lizard Head Pass is paved and suitable for all types of vehicles. This gorgeous road is surrounded by evergreens, with unbelievable views of mountain tops visible over the treeline. Climb up to a 10,245-foot summit along the San Juan Skyway before heading back into town. This stretch of road runs to the small former mining town of Rico. Along the way, there are plenty of great side trips to explore. 

Norwood, Colorado: About 33 miles northwest of Telluride, the town of Norwood is a charming place to visit. The scenic route from Telluride only takes about 45 minutes, and part of the journey falls along the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway. Once you arrive, there is plenty to do – from hiking, biking and fishing to dining and shopping. 

Illium Road: Located five miles west of Telluride off of Highway 145, the Illium Road follows the San Miguel River for six miles before ending at the historic Ames power plant. Cargoers will appreciate stunning views of the river and mountains over a 1,250-foot elevation gain. Excellent rock and ice climbing is also available in the Ames area. 

What to bring:

Picnic: To fully appreciate the incredible natural sights on your drive, plan to pack a picnic in the car. When you get to a scenic pull-off, this is the perfect time to enjoy both a snack and the beautiful sights.

Hiking shoes: After your picnic, you may want to get out and explore the surroundings. Many of these roads and passes have excellent hiking, walking and climbing nearby. Bring hiking shoes to change into as you experience the breathtaking nature before heading back to Telluride.

Layered clothing: The temperatures can change quickly in the San Juan Mountains depending on the elevation and time of day. In order to enjoy every part of your trip, be sure to pack lots of layered clothing. Start with a comfortable base layer, then add on from there.

Where to stay:

Telluride is an inviting city full of charm, culture, and picturesque beauty. You will want to stay in a rental that is centrally located and captures the spirit of the area. SilverStar’s properties are all designed to include all the comforts of home along with luxurious amenities, proximity to activities, beautiful views, and unique decor. Whether you are coming for a romantic couple’s getaway or large family reunion, SilverStar has options tailored just for you. To plan your next vacation, contact their team today at (970) 728-3001.