Play Get Elevated at Madeline
I love skiing the slopes just as much as any local. But I’ll admit it: Summer might be even better than winter for enjoying elevated adventures at Madeline. Not only is playtime on the peaks infinitely more varied in the warmer months—because of the temperate weather, it’s also the best time of year to play above the peaks. As the days get longer, there’s more time than ever to try these adventures. Here are my top five favorite ways to enjoy the “high” life in Telluride. Why don’t you try one (or all five) this summer?
Climb the Via Ferrata route For years, this highly technical route, designed by famed Telluride mountaineer Chuck Kroger, was the town’s best-kept secret. Newly open to the public, now anyone looking for a bucket list challenge can cross the hair-raising two-mile route, suspended only by a harness and carabiners on a sheer rock cliff 500 ft. above the ground.
Hike to Bridal Veil Falls Climb 1,650 ft. for a spectacular tableau from the top of Colorado’s tallest free-falling waterfall. But the tremendous vistas start even earlier: At the base of the falls, there’s a dramatic viewpoint that’s often enveloped in a romantic mist.
Cycle through the new Telluride Bike Park I have watched the planning and now building of this truly Telluride summer adventure destination, opening in mid-July. I am so looking forward to cruising with my husband and two boys on as much of the 17 miles of trails as time allows.
Paraglide off the side of a mountain Get a short running start to take off right from the area by the top of the gondola. A certified paragliding instructor will be with you every step of the way, in a separate but attached harness. Soar through the air for up to twenty minutes, floating high above Telluride for an incredible bird’s-eye view of the entire box canyon, before making your slow descent into Town Park.
Take a jeep tour Hop on a rugged 4×4, zipping past hillsides of wildflowers in bloom in July and August, to explore the relics of Tomboy, an old mining town that saw 1,000 residents in its heyday in the 1880s, before crumbling into a ghost town when the ore ran out in 1927. Then head on to explore the 13,114 ft.-high Imogene Pass, the highest mountain pass in the San Juan Mountains.
Go on a hot air balloon ride Launch from the town of Ridgway (about a 45-minute drive away) for an unforgettable ride, floating high above the Rockies for an incredible view of the sweeping valleys and curving rivers below. A champagne breakfast awaits upon landing.