Saturday, January 30, 2016

Gondola Ride from Telluride to Mountain Village




In my last blog post I showed you some of the beautiful town of Telluride, located in the San Juan Mountain region of SW Colorado. My daughter and family, and my husband and I rented a house in nearby Ridgway during the Thanksgiving week in November, and on a visit we made to Telluride we decided to take the free gondola ride up to Mountain Village. It was hard not including a lot of photos in this blog post, so grab a cup of something warm and a wool blanket and come along with us on a thrilling gondola ride!  (All photos and photo collages in this post will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on)


The gondola, the first and only free public transportation of its kind in the United States, officially opened December 20, 1996, and serves as both a lift for skiers and snowboarders and as public transportation for locals and visitors.  It was originally built to help improve air quality while expanding the ski area.


As we ascended on the gondola the historic town of Telluride began to get smaller....


...and smaller.


Running daily, between 7 AM and Midnight, summer and winter, the 13 minute gondola ride eliminates a 20 minutes, eight mile car ride between towns.  The views are spectacular to see as you slowly glide up the mountain.


The town of Telluride is at 8,750 foot elevation. The gondola climbs 1,790 vertical feet before reaching Station St. Sophia, at 10,540 feet.


Telluride looks very far away!


As one gains elevation, the Saint Sophia Ridge comes into view above the town. Mears Peak, Dallas Peak, Gilpin Peak, Mt Emma and Chicago Peaks, all at 13,000 feet and above come into view.


 Higher ....


...and higher, we climb.



Passing through Station St. Sophia...


Station St. Sophia is the mid point of the gondola ride and one can exit here to the slopes, hiking trails or Allred's Restaurant.


We continued on the gondola ride towards Mountain Village.


We enjoyed all the glorious 360 degree views!


Around 50 percent of the gondolas are pet accessible, and there are even some that have wheelchair accessible cabins. The gondolas have ski and snowboard racks in winter, and mountain bike racks during the summer.


Approximately 2.25 million people ride the gondolas annually, and an estimated 35 million have  been safely transported since its opening day!



Descending down towards the first stop in the Mountain Village area.


Mountain Village is nestled in the heart of the majestic San Juan Mountain Range and consists of hotels, resorts, lodges, condos and homes, shops and restaurants.


The ski slopes vary from easy double greens to the treacherous double black diamonds located at the top of Coonskin Ridge, Gold Hill and Palmyra Peak.


Click on the photo above to see all the ski slopes, snowboard runs, trails and mountain restaurants in the area.


Majestic mountains were all around us!


The gondola continued on to more stops within Mountain Village.  Our granddaughter was enthralled by the views below.


Our trip was taken in November and by now these slopes would be well covered with deep snow!


We stopped at another area of Mountain Village called "The Beach," and walked around to see this beautiful location which contains many beautiful plazas and one of the best hotels in Telluride-- the Four Diamond Hotel Madeline. The bronze statue in the photo collage above is titled "Wind Spirit" by sculptress Judy Nordquist.  It embodies the Telluride Mountain Ute tribe. The Utes were native Colorado Indians that lived for centuries in the high Rocky Mountains.


After spending some time in Mountain Village we returned to the gondola ride, but this time going back towards historic Telluride.


Towards the end of the 13 minute ride we saw the town appear below. The gondola is open 275 days a year, and closed for maintenance in spring and fall. 


We all definitely enjoyed our trip on the gondola and all the wonderful views we saw along the way. It is a memorable way to visit Mountain Village and see the ski slopes and attractions in the area.


The moon was rising over our view of the Cimmaron Range when we returned to Ridgway. The next day we were going to visit the town of Ouray and take a drive up the Million Dollar Highway into the area known as the "Switzerland of America." Join me on my next post where you will see those spectacular views!

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58 comments:

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

My goodness, what a glorious ride! It's a wonderful way to see the gorgeous scenery! I have a fear of heights that might keep me off of this gondola, but going with you was a breeze! The moon rising in your last photo is wonderful! Thank you, Pat for this great adventure. ♥

Linda W. said...

I love riding gondolas in ski areas! Just returned from Steamboat and enjoyed riding their gondola too. Telluride is on my ski area bucket list - one of these days I'm gonna get there. Lovely photos and story.

Nellie said...

I have cut back drastically on my time with Blogger!! I'm so relieved to see this post from you as I've been unaware of the outcome of your eye surgery. This was an amazing time you've shared with us here!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm enthralled too! How magnificent! It looks like a fairy land down below. I got to ride the gondola in Vail a few times and know how amazing the views are. Hugs!

Kris said...

Wow...how beautiful! I had a boyfriend who used to go there to ski a lot! I would love to go one day! Your grand daughter is getting so big!!! Such a pretty little girl!
xo Kris

The Gathering Place said...

Beautiful scenery! How fun to rent a place to stay during the holidays. I'd love to do that.

Susan Anderson said...

What amazing views! I must admit that I envy you the ride…

=)
Sue

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, lovely views from the gondola. Telluride is a lovely town! I do not ski but I would love to visit there someday. I love the bronze statue. Beautiful photos of you and your family, your granddaughter is adorable. Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

Breathtaking said...

Hello Pat!:) I'm going to start by saying that the last shot of the moon rising is stunning.:) Lovely mountain views also and snow landscapes. Have a good weekend!:)

Betsy Adams said...

Wow---for a mountain lover and snow lover like me, I'd love love love to visit there... Question? I assume that there are also roads going up to those towns/villages. BUT--bet they would be treacherous in Winter.... I'd love to ride the gondola.

Amazing how absolutely gorgeous Colorado is ... You all have so so so many places to visit without even leaving your state.... AWESOME.

Hugs,
Betsy

Barb said...

That Cimmaron Range looks like a "Cinnamon Range!" Love the moon shot. I'm glad JUlia loved her first Gondola ride. Our Grands have been riding the one at Breck since they were very little. We took Sam in his stroller when he was an infant. I think Telluride is getting the storm we're getting. We have a foot of snow on the ground and more in the forecast. Our Grands are skiing, and Bob is plowing!

happywonderer.com said...

More beautiful photos from your great state. Love the idea of a gondola ride rather than an open ski chair...

podso said...

Good photos of the gondola experience. The views are amazing! So nice you are able to enjoy times with your family.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh Pat. What a great ride. You're making me want to go back and ski in Telluride. It's been too long since my last visit. How wonderful that you and your family are sharing these adventures.

Michelle said...

Such perfect views from your gondola!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Spectacular views from your gondola Pat. What a great place to spend a holiday with your family and adorable grandchildren. Life is good.
Sam

Sarah said...

Beautiful images, Pat. We been to Telluride in the summer. It is an interesting destination being in a box canyon. We much enjoyed our time there, did some hiking, enjoyed the restaurants, and visited with friends who have second homes there. Thanks for sharing.

Jeannie Marie said...

What an exciting post! I would love to ride in this gondola! The progressive photos really made one feel like they were actually riding!

Daniela said...

So you call it GONDOLA, we call it FUNIVIA ... anyway we may call it, it's always so exciting to spend some time on it amongst the rocks !
And I'm always amazed by the rising of the moon over the canyons .... what a majestic show !!!

May your week be blessed with joy and wonder, darling Pat
sending love to you with all my heart

Dany

riitta k said...

Isn't that just great! Beautiful, beautiful snow covered mountains, ah! And the houses looked so tiny, tiny. Wonderful ride!

NC Sue said...

Marvelous photos! What a glorious climb!
Thank you for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/02/abstractions.html

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

What memories you're making for the little ones! That final shot is super gorgeous. Thanks for playing today.

Have a Beautiful Blue Monday!

Mersad said...

I absolutely love mountain towns like these. The full moon shot is marvelous.

Thanks so much for including your post in this weeks "Through my Lens"

Mersad
Mersad Donko Photography

Lea said...

Fantastic! Beautiful photos!
Hope you are having a great day!
Lea

LV said...

One of my favorite places and definitely worth whatever you spend to go.

Dana of The Stone Rabbit said...

WOW!! That all looks sooooo beautiful!!! I am such a chicken when it comes to heights that I know I'd never get on one of those, so I will enjoy your "views" !!

So glad you are doing so awesome with your post op....and that you are able to get out and walk more!! If you ever want any advice on the run/walk approach....you know who to come to! haha I'm no expert, but I learned to run a 5K distance using Couch to 5K....and I only use the 3/1 approach to longer distances.

Have a great week!

L, Dana

Donna said...

Not sure I could ride in the gondola even for those stunning views...adore the moon rising...bliss!

Donna@GardensEyeView
and LivingFromHappiness

carol l mckenna said...

What a ride! What photos ! And What a cutie your granddaughter is!

Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

Lorrie said...

What a wonderful ride, Pat! Such majestic views! I love the feeling of being up above the earth, gliding along. And to have the experience for free is even more wonderful. Gorgeous!

Nora said...

the photos up really high are amazing views.

Martha Z said...

Lovely images. Thanks for visiting my blog and your comments about my grandson. He is special and he is loved.

Ruth Rieckehoff said...

I would have taken that gondola ride too. The views are to good to miss the ride.

Jeanne said...

Hello Pat, Thank you so much for your sweet comment about our great granddaughter. Our grandchidren are all grown with five of them in college right now. The youngest will be in college next year. We are thrilled to have a new baby to adore and love.

Your Gondola ride is amazing. As always you captured the beautiful mountains as well as some darling family shots. I am so glad you are feeling better and able to get out and enjoy time with your darling family.

Happy Blue Monday,
Hugs, Jeanne

Annesphamily said...

Telluride has always been one of my favorite towns in my home state. Your photos are quite lovely Pat. Glad you are doing so well after your eye surgery. Have a great week.

Fun60 said...

The views from the gondola really are spectacular. What a wonderful way to travel and it's free!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...


Such beautiful views and I was smiling back at that happy little girl of yours at the end...adorable :)

ladyfi said...

What fabulous shots and that last photo is stunning!

JP A Quiet Corner said...

Well, being on one of those would definitely give me goosebumps! AWESOME photos!!!...:)JP

Cranberry Morning said...

Pat, that is a collection of stunning photos! Just beautiful scenery. It also looks a little scary! :-)

Al said...

What a great ride. I'd love to go skiing there but have never yet had the chance.

Marie C said...

Gorgeous views! Such amazing shots of it all.

edenhills said...

What stunning views!

Villrose said...

Thank you for the ride! Love the views...

Molly said...

Beautiful mountains and scenery

Mollyxxx

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I'm so happy I was able to take this ride with you Pat, right from the chair at my computer. I don't like heights so your camera angles were perfect for me.

Rambling Woods said...

Hello Pat.. Wow what am amazing ride.. the scenery is breathtaking and it is nice that pets and people with wheelchairs can also use it.. Thank you for linking into Nature Notes....I hope to see you again...Michelle

La Petite Gallery said...

Awesome photo. I took a ride on a lift near Palm Springs, got so sick. The wind was blowing the cart into the side of the mountian. Last ride I will ever take. Except for Funicular in Capri. Hope your eye is better. yvonne

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Wow! I'd love to see these magnificent scenes in person. But, I'm scared to death of heights and don't know if I'd be brave enough to ride a gondola. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful photos with those of us who may never get to see all of this!

Pamela Gordon said...

That was a breathtaking ride Pat! I'd be terrified I think as I don't like heights, but I would have to do it so I could take pictures. I didn't realize Telluride is in a valley surrounded by mountains. One can get a great perspective from the gondola for sure. Thanks for the beautiful tour!

The French Hutch said...

I've never been here, I would love to after seeing all of these pics. Just beautiful, thanks for the tour.
Happy February……..

Willow said...

Pat, What an absolutely incredible post about an incredible place!
Thanks for posting and sharing with us.

diane b said...

What an exciting trip. The views are stunning. It reminds me of Switzerland. It is great to think the ride is free. Well done Colorado

Parsimonious Perfection said...

Beautiful...the Colorado mountains are SO gorgeous! That is a long gondola....my tummy is flip flopping at the mere thought (I'm afraid of heights), but I know it must be an experience one wouldn't want to miss. I'll have to put a bug in the hubby's ear, maybe the next time we visit CO, we can try it out. Thank you for sharing!

Cathy Keller said...

Again you have shared with us some wonderful photos!! Thank you! Wishing you a grand weekend!

Pondside said...

What a thrill that must have been!....and free, as well. I don't think any of our gondolas are free here. I couldn't help but smile at your granddaughter's smile. She will grow up a real westerner - a mountain girl.

Ida said...

I don't ski but boy riding that Gondola would be on my list if I were to visit. You captured some gorgeous photos of the area. Great post.

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Amazing Colorado Mountains place to go to dear Pat and the ride is fabulous, I love this kind of trip experience. Thank you for sharing it with us.
I did this kind of snow trip in Argentina on a funicular and there it looked like this too, or like the Swiss Alps. Gorgeous!
Enjoy your weekend.
FABBY

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Breathtaking! I love that your granddaughter appreciates nature's majesty already at her age!