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drive or fly denver to telluride

Melbourne
Level Contributor
7 posts
22 reviews
drive or fly denver to telluride

I am travelling to telluride in jan 2011 with my wife and 2 kids.

We are flying into Denver and are trying to decide if we should drive from Denver or fly to montrose or grand junction and get shuttle from there.

Colorado Western...
Destination Expert
for Ouray, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Montrose
Level Contributor
699 posts
21 reviews
1. Re: drive or fly denver to telluride

It's a long drive from Denver, and you'll have to drive over a high mountain pass along the way. In January, the roads could be snowy and icy (or it's possible that they'll be perfectly dry -- there's no way of knowing more than a few days in advance). Basically, even with good roads, you'll burn most of a day on each end of your trip by driving.

I'd fly into Montrose and take a shuttle. Let someone else worry about the road conditions, and avoid spending so much time in the car!

Ouray, Colorado
Level Contributor
629 posts
38 reviews
2. Re: drive or fly denver to telluride

I suppose it depends on how hard it is with the kids in the car. Denver to Montrose is 5 hours with good roads. I used to drive it all winter long and rarely had issues. Only Monarch Pass (between Salida and Gunnison) was the obstacle and I don't find that to be too intimidating. Montrose to Telluride is another hour but you get that even if you fly.

Where do you live in regards to DIA? and do you have the fast screening and time your arrival at the gate close to departure time? or do you spend a bunch of time at the airport. I used to travel all the time and with travel time to DIA and in time for my flight, I could burn another 2 hours... I would always drive as the flight on United Express was over 1 hour on a smaller plane. They made me queezy on the high wind days. I like having my vehicle, just in case I wanted to do something else too.

Nottingham
Level Contributor
79 posts
141 reviews
3. Re: drive or fly denver to telluride

Hello. I found your question because it is similar to mine. We are English, on an Air NZ round the world ticket and will be arriving in Los Angeles from Queenstown (via Auckland) in mid-Jan '11. Our destination is Telluride (Mountain Village) and the only way there seems to be via Denver. Did you come to any conclusions as to whether to drive from Denver or get another plane to Montrose? or somewhere else? They say Telluride is hard to get to and they aren't wrong! I don't even ski, just doing it for my other half.

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
11,561 posts
178 reviews
4. Re: drive or fly denver to telluride

Coming from Los Angeles, you have some additional options.

tellurideskiresort.com/Tellski/info/airline-…

United Express has direct flights from Los Angeles to Montrose on Saturdays/Sundays. There are shuttles to Telluride or it is a fairly easy drive, but many people take the shuttle as you are unlikely to need a car once you get to Telluride. This would be my first choice.

Allegiant Air has a few flights between Grand Junction and Los Angeles, if your schedule happens to fit. And there are other non-stops to Grand Junction. It is an easy drive from Grand Junction to Telluride.

http://www.gjairport.com/index.asp

You could drive or fly to Phoenix and fly directly to the Telluride airport from there. This is a high altitude airport and so chances of weather delays or reroutes are more likely, but you also might have a perfectly nice day.

Sometimes people make connections in Las Vegas or Salt Lake City.

If you decide to fly in to Denver, there are plusses and minuses on either side of the "drive or fly" question. There might be delays (weather, timing of connecting flights, etc) at the airport, but there could also be delays on the road due to bad weather, traffic, etc.

P.s. NottsGirlsontour, I think you will have a great time in Telluride even though you don't ski.

Charleston, South...
Destination Expert
for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
Level Contributor
13,306 posts
51 reviews
5. Re: drive or fly denver to telluride

Montrose to Telluride is over an hour, about 1 hour 20 min , if conditions are good. Denver to Telluride is going to be 6 hours or more, depending on weather and how many stops you make. I personally would fly into a closer location. From Montrose you can rent a car, take a shuttle (Telluride Shuttle) or hire a private driver (Mountain Limo, they have large SUV's and carry you and all your gear and will even stop at the grocery store if you wish.)

I don't know of any such shuttle services from Grand Junction.

Boulder
Level Contributor
36 posts
6. Re: drive or fly denver to telluride

I'm surprised that the Telluride airport wasn't mentioned as an option in this discussion. It is less than 10 minutes from town (as contrasted with 1 1/2 hours from Montrose) with regular service from Denver. It costs a little more than Montrose and the weather may make it less reliable in the winter, but it is almost always open. Between Montrose and Telluride (TEX), I prefer to fly take my chances and fly into TEX - the scenery on thsi flight is breathtaking and the landing approach is unlike any other.

Ouray, Colorado
Level Contributor
629 posts
38 reviews
7. Re: drive or fly denver to telluride

Hi Envirogypsy,

You make a good point, but, I was confused with this post... both came in close to the same time... Sorry!

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g33667-i1543-k3896…

Charleston, South...
Destination Expert
for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
Level Contributor
13,306 posts
51 reviews
8. Re: drive or fly denver to telluride

Telluride is a good option, but the cost to fly from Denver to Montrose came up as $275 (using random dates) and $500 to fly to Telluride. So almost double the cost - just depends on someones budget as to whether it is a viable option. Also, in winter as many as 50% of the flights can get diverted to Montrose due to weather. Telluride is the highest commercial airport in North America and the second highest in the world.

Beautiful approach and departure tho! Not suggested for "nervous flyers". My friend is an air travel phobe and even after valium, she just about freaked coming thru the mountains to Telluride.

Edited: 02 September 2010, 23:28
Nottingham
Level Contributor
79 posts
141 reviews
9. Re: drive or fly denver to telluride

Thanks again for the updated advice everyone. The comments about the approach to Telluride have done it for me! I'm a nervous flyer and can't look out of an aeroplane window. I just hope that United slot some additional flights into their winter schedule this year as they seem to have done last year so that we don't have such a long wait at Denver.

10. Re: drive or fly denver to telluride

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