FATMAP by Strava

6 Gondola-Accessed Trail Rides in Telluride

Use Telluride's free gondola to access a slew of incredible mountain bike rides.

Mountain Biking Easy, Difficult, Severe

Magic Meadow -> Town
Photo: Greg Heil


The Telluride Gondola is an incredible asset to the communities of Telluride and Mountain Village, providing free transportation between the two towns year-round. Despite being installed in 1996, it's still the only gondola in the USA to provide free transportation of this type. It carries 2.8 million riders per year, including passengers of all types, from commuters to skiers.

Mountain bikers can also use the gondola for a free lift to the top of the mountain ridge. After disembarking from the top of the gondola, riders can access an incredible network of two-way cross-country trails from the top of the lift, along with a downhill mountain bike park. (However, most downhill riders use a different chairlift to access the downhill trails.)

The trail and enduro rides off the top of the gondola cover the entire range of technical difficulty and distance. The Village Trail is an easy, flowy descent back to Mountain Village, but you can also choose to access the local high-alpine epic, the Wasatch Trail, off the other side of the ridge. The Prospect Trail provides a slightly longer, more rugged ride that descends to the same point as the Village Trail.

But arguably the best rides from the top of the gondola include the Magic Meadow and Sunshine trails. These magical stretches of singletrack offer spectacular views, expansive aspen groves, and ripping singletrack descending! This guidebook provides two different variants of the Magic Meadow ride, two different variants of the Wasatch Trail, along with the classic Village and Prospect trails. You'll also find a route that links Prospect to Kave for a raucous rip down to Telluride.

Note: In order to access the cross country trails off the top of the Telluride Gondola during bike park hours (9am-5pm), you'll need to purchase a cross country season pass (which costs $75), a bike park day ticket (which costs $62), or a bike park season pass (which costs $395). (All prices are current as of the 2023 season.) The bike park day ticket and season pass also include the downhill trails, whereas the cross country pass does not.

Alternatively, you can either begin your ride before 9am or after 5pm to avoid this fee on the cross country trails. You can also access the cross country trails for free when the bike park is closed, such as during the week in the fall. Yes, the rules are confusing—and they may change in the future. Be sure to check at the ticket office for the latest information.

Routes included

Related guidebooks