If you’re visiting Telluride, Colorado, you have to see the incredible views from The Gondola. But if you’re not familiar with how it works, it can be confusing to know what’s allowed and how to use it. Here’s a quick guide to help you out.
What You Need to Know About The Gondola
First of all, the gondola is free and open to the public – it was the first and only free transportation in the United States. The enclosed electric-powered ride runs year-round between Telluride and Mountain Village, but
The Gondola closes twice a year.
It closes in the shoulder seasons so if you visit Telluride in October 21 of 2023, it will be closed until November 17 and is a great way to get between the two areas without having to drive. The ride takes about 13 minutes each way and offers stunning views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains – even all the way to Utah!
How to Find the Gondola
You can find it in one of 3 places: in Telluride, in Mountain Village, or near other lodges up by a separate gondola at Market Plaza Station. I was so confused on my first visit to Telluride so I hope this visual helps you. You do not need a ticket to hop on one of the Gondolas.
2 Travel Tips for The Gondola:
1: Let’s say you start all the way down in Tellluride. If you want to go from Telluride up to Mountain Village, you slow down and can hop off only for Allred’s (grab a drink or dine with gorgeous views). That is the only reason you can get off when it slows down. If you stay on, the ride will take you to Mtn Village which is a swanky European small village with really cool restaurants and free people watching!
The Difference Between Telluride and Mountain Village
Telluride is a walkable town at the base of the mountains, and Mountain Village is like a European piazza with family friendly and swanky restaurants with patio seating especially for Fall trips in early October.
2: Let’s say you just came from Telluride, and when it slowed down, you stayed on. Now you hop off at Mountain Village. FYI The Gondola has accessible cars; just get in the correct lane.
If you want to ride to other lodges and hotels (which is where we stayed), walk 50 feet from Mountain Village gondola stop to hop on this one. And that’s as far as you can go.
To get from Market Plaza Station down to Mountain Village, you can walk to the Market Plaza or park behind it, which looks like a grocery store parking lot (455 Mountain Village Blvd). If this is your choice, it only takes you to Mountain Village Station and walk 50 steps to the Telluride one.
Gondola Weekday Hours of Operation
The wind-powered electric Gondola runs from 6:30 am – midnight during the weekdays. It runs until 2 am on Friday and Saturday nights.
Safety Travel Tip:
It is not well lit at night so have your phone flashlight ready. And use the buddy system so your mom won’t worry.
Now, let’s talk about what’s allowed on and in The Gondola:
Bikes Are Allowed on the Gondola but…
Looks like bikes are only allowed
1: during certain times during peak season
2: on bike-accessible gondolas
I saw a biker at noon hitching a ride, so I would call to find out if the website is up to date. (970) 728-8000
Dogs are absolutely welcome on The Gondola
as long as they’re on a leash and well-behaved. I saw many waiting for their turn.
Dogs are only allowed in dog-accessible ones with the paw prints painted by the doors. The probably reason is if it needs to be rescued. Watch how MARRS practice evacuating humans and furry gondola passengers.
If The Gondola is shut down for more than 30 minutes, you can call a shuttle bus ride.
Overall, The Gondola is a great way to get around Telluride and Mountain Village. Whether you’re with your dog or your bike, you can enjoy the ride and the incredible views.
Do not miss my travel essentials I packed in a carry-on suitcase for Telluride in October this Fall. I did forget to pack a comb so that is a success. For your trip, copy my space-saving toiletry packing tips if you get to visit Colorado soon.
And grab the Travel Hacks freebie if you need it.