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Telluride Via Ferrata

Artesonraju Expedition
November 14, 2016
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November 15, 2016

The Iron Road – Telluride Via Ferrata

The Telluride Via Ferrata has the potential to be the highlight of your vacation to the majestic San Juan Mountains. Set above the quaint mountain town of Telluride, this unique adventure combines all the best elements of mountain hiking and the classic via ferrata ladder/cable systems.

Via Ferrata – which is Italian for “iron road” – offers the ability for participants to experience the thrill of traveling through the mountains in an exposed setting with the protection of cables and steel/iron rungs. Though quite popular throughout the European Alps, the sport is just starting to gain notice here in America. Originally developed during the first World War to aid the progress of troops through the mountains, Via Ferrata are now widely recognized as inspired tourist attractions on mountain features that would otherwise be inaccessible.

The position and setting of the Telluride Via Ferrata cannot be beat. Breathtaking views of the town of Telluride, the surrounding mountains, and the iconic Bridal Veil Falls, dominate the scenery on this must-do adventure. This trip is accessible to avid hikers with a sense of adventure and is appropriate for all ages and ability levels.

The Local Experts

Founded in 1986, San Juan Mountain Guides is well known as “The Local Experts” for climbing and mountain adventure in the Telluride, Ouray, and Durango areas.

With offices in both Durango and Ouray, we operate a wide variety of programs for participants of all ages and ability levels. We feature guiding and instruction with exclusively AMGA Certified Guides.

2024 Dates

Available Daily Upon Request

Late May through October


4:1 – $209 PP
3:1 – $219 PP
2:1 – $269 PP
1:1 – $419

rexerNo Hidden Fees

  • Guiding and instruction with an AMGA Certified/Trained Guide
  • All Via Ferrata gear (harness, helmet, via ferrata rigs)

Telluride Via Ferrata Itinerary

Day 1

We will meet in Telluride at a location of your choosing – typically in places like the Gondola, Baked in Telluride, your hotel, or elsewhere in downtown Telluride. From there it’s a short drive up to the trailhead where will begin the walk up the road to the entrance of the Via Ferrata. We’ll gear up and do a short explanation of the specific via ferrata lanyards that you will be utilizing during the adventure.

As we progress along the trail, various challenges and route intricacies will present themselves to the group. There are fantastic opportunities for pictures along the way. About mid-way through the route we approach “The Main Event” – an airy and exposed traverse across an impressive face with Bridalveil Falls as a backdrop.

Eventually we will wind our way all the way back to our waiting vehicle and return to the town of Telluride. The round trip adventure from Telluride, to the Via Ferrata, and back to Telluride takes approximately 4 – 5 hours (depending on group dynamics etc.).


Telluride Via Ferrata Equipment List

Via Ferrata LanyardDescriptionGuide's Pick
The SCORPIO EASHOOK via ferrata lanyard is designed for users weighing 40 to 120 kg, in compliance with the EN 958:2017 standard. It is equipped with two EASHOOK carabiners with a wide opening that adapt to all hand sizes. The two retractable arms are equipped with an anti-twist system for more comfort.
Lightweight GlovesDescriptionGuide's Pick
Double-layered leather protects the palm and other high-wear areas. The back is made of abrasion resistant, breathable stretch nylon, ensuring comfort and fit. The low profile neoprene cuff with Velcro closure features a reinforced carabiner hole for attaching the gloves to your harness
HarnessDescriptionGuide's Pick
The CORAX is the versatile harness par excellence: easy to use and comfortable, it is designed for rock climbing, mountaineering or via ferrata. This adjustable harness is available in several colors and in two sizes, to fit all tastes and body shapes.
Climbing HelmetDescriptionGuide's Pick
Durable and very versatile, the BOREO helmet is suitable for climbing, mountaineering, caving, via ferrata, canyoning... Thanks to its hybrid construction, the helmet is both low-profile and head-covering. Protection against lateral, frontal and rear impact is reinforced.
Balaclava or BuffDescriptionGuide's Pick
Simple, effective and infinitely adaptable, Original BUFF® headwear is the product that started the multifunctional headwear revolution. At its core is a moisture-managing microfiber fabric that is wind resistant and able to control odor. We recommend the BUFF for all of our programs as a multi-purpose insulation piece and trendy headgear!

Training & Follow Up Climbs

As always, being in excellent physical shape is an important component of our our programs. A good mixture of cardiovascular fitness, muscular fitness, and especially core strength will help you to maximize the potential rewards that are possible on a great climbing trip.

Before Your Trip

Can you climb a ladder? Are you excited to try new things? This would be awesome for you! The Telluride Via Ferrata is appropriate for all ages and ability levels and is a great group or family outing.

There are no prerequisites for the Telluride Via Ferrata trip.  All you need is a great attitude, sense of adventure, and the gear.  We’ll take care of the rest!

Follow Up Climbs


Telluride, Colorado: Getting Here

Telluride is located in the SW corner of Colorado, approximately 45 minutes southwest of Montrose. In the winter, Telluride is well known for it’s winter sports including resort and backcountry skiing.  In the summer, there is an abundance of rock climbing, mountain hiking, peak climbing, and of course the brand new Telluride Via Ferrata.

plane-icon The best option for flying to the area is to fly into Montrose, CO. Many airline options exist, and most connections originate from Denver, CO, however, many airlines now offer direct flights into Montrose – especially during the summer and winter months.

It is also possible to fly into Grand Junction, Durango, Telluride, or Denver CO. It may be necessary to rent a car and drive to Ouray if you’d like to fly into one of these airports.

suv-icon Below are some approximate driving times if you’d like to drive to Telluride. If you plan on renting a car, please consider the winter weather when selecting your vehicle and at a minimum choose something that offers either front wheel or all-wheel drive.

  • Montrose, CO: 45 minutes
  • Ouray, CO: 45 minutes
  • Durango, CO: 2 hours
  • Denver, CO: 6 hours


hotel-icon-2 Telluride has a number of great hotels, suites, and vacation rentals for you to stay in while you’re in the area. Give our office a call at 800-642-5389 if you have any questions about what would suit you best for this trip!

  • The Victorian Inn
  • The Camels Garden
  • The Hotel Telluride

Program Policies

Registration & Cancellation

Advance Registration is required for this program.  You have the option to either call our office and register via phone or utilize our secure Online Reservation System.  All participants must read and sign an Assumption of Risks/Liability Waiver and agree to our Reservations and Cancellations Policies.


  • Guiding and instruction with an AMGA Certified/Trained Guide
  • All Via Ferrata gear (harness, helmet, via ferrata rigs)
  • Round-trip transportation from Telluride



  • Transportation to Telluride, CO
  • Hotel costs before, during, or after the program
  • Guide gratuity
  • Lunch food or snacks
  • Personal hiking/climbing clothing
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance (recommended)
  • Costs associated with weather delays or other variables beyond the control of San Juan Mountain Guides


Book This Trip!

We Offer Online Registration

  1. Click on Book This Trip
  2. Select your Program dates
  3. Enter your Info and Payment


Or, call 800.642.5389 to register