Gondola Opens At 6:30 a.m.

In an effort to support our local businesses in providing high service levels and assist workers with getting to work earlier, the gondola and chondola (winter only) now open at 6:30 a.m. This includes both sections of the gondola – Market (formerly Town Hall) Plaza to Mountain Village Center and Mountain Village Center to Telluride, and the Chondola. 

Gondola Operations

It may not be the reason why you come here, but once you discover our preferred form of transportation – a gondola – you’ll want to retire those car keys. The gondola, the first and only free public transportation of its kind in the United States, officially opened December 20, 1996, and was originally built to help improve air quality while expanding the ski area.

Since then, it has become a popular attraction for residents and visitors alike, giving them a front row seat with Mother Nature at 10,500 feet and access to a copious amount of biking, hiking and skiing trails as well as shops, restaurants and watering holes. In addition, this machine has turned green … learn about the Green Gondola Project and donate today.

Operating Winter Dates

November 17, 2017 to April 8, 2018

Operating Summer Dates

May 24, 2018 to October 21, 2018

Operating Hours

6:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Saturday

6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday & Saturday (Starts Dec 15)

Station Locations

Market (formerly Town Hall) Plaza in Mountain Village

Mountain Village Center (two stations)

Oak Street Plaza in Telluride


Chondola Operations

In addition to operating the gondola, we also provide a high line speed chairlift referred to as the chondola. The chondola is a condensed version of a gondola cabin supporting four passengers at a time during the ski season months, and providing access between Mountain Village Center and the Meadows neighborhood. The closest parking lot to the bottom of the chondola is the free Meadows Run Parking lot. From this lot, walk down Adams Ranch Road and through Big Billie’s Apartments driveway and pass Big Billie’s Restaurant. The cabins are free to the public whereas skiers and boarders are required to have a lift ticket. Due to the lack of lighting in this area, you may want to carry a flashlight.

Operating Dates

December 7, 2017 to April 8, 2018 (winter only)

Operating Hours

6:30 a.m. to midnight
(Gondola cabin access only)

6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday & Saturday (Starts Dec 15)

Station Location

Chair 1/Meadows Ski Run



Celebrating 20 Years

The most unique transportation system of its kind in North America will be going Platinum this year. The beloved Telluride-Mountain Village Gondola system celebrated its 20th anniversary December 20, 2016.

Please Take Note

  • Without notice the gondola may close temporarily due to weather conditions, a power outage, or something else that is beyond our control. When this occurs, we follow a specific operating procedure, which includes erecting closure signs and running our bus service. This usually transpires when the gondola is down for a prolonged amount of time – usually 30 minutes or more.
  • Gondola hours are extended at various times throughout the year, usually for a special event or holiday. This information is listed as an event as part of our online calendar. Do expect long lines during peak times. As always, we appreciate your patience.
  • During the months when the gondola is closed, we provide free bus service to and from the towns of Mountain Village and Telluride.
  • If you accidentally leave a personal item in a gondola cabin, you will want to dial (970) 729-3435 to speak to a gondola operations supervisor. Our procedure for handling lost items can be accessed via our lost and found web page.
  • We will do our best to accommodate passengers who wish to ride alone. To do so, please inform the gondola operator on duty.

The Numbers

Approximately 2.61 million passengers ride the gondola annually – and safely – and over 40 million riders have been transported since opening day.

The gondola operates roughly 287 days each year with routine maintenance scheduled during our shoulder season months.

It takes about 13 minutes to get from the Town of Telluride to the Town of Mountain Village.

A cabin travels 11 miles per hour at full speed, which means each cabin travels over 52,000 miles per year.

Approximately 50 percent of our cabins are pet accessible. We also have wheelchair accessible cabins.

The trip between the two towns is eight miles long whereas the gondola travels three miles between the two towns.

If we relied on rubber transportation, it would take 18 50-passenger buses to maintain a 900-people per hour capacity. This would translate to more people on the road and more pollutants in the air.

The Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association purchases renewable energy credits from San Miguel Power Association, which funds the development and operation of regional renewable energy resources.

The cost to build the gondola is $16 million, and revenues to support the operational cost, which exceeds $3.5 million annually and requires over 82,000 man-hours, are realized from a number of sources with the majority of funding from the Telluride Mountain Village Owners AssociationSan Miguel County and the Town of Telluride make a monetary contribution, and the Telluride Ski Resort contributes one percent of lift ticket sales.

Title VI Program Policy

The purpose of the Title VI Program is to establish guidelines to effectively monitor and ensure that we are in compliance with all Federal Transportation Administration Title VI requirements and regulations in order to carry out the provisions of the Department of Transportation’s Title VI Regulations at 49 CFR Part 21.

ADA Service Plan

In accordance with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Civil Rights Act of 1964, we do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation or gender. For additional details, review our ADA Service Plan.


  • The Town of Mountain Village offers complimentary para-transit services 365 days per year.
  • Hours of operations are 6:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
  • To schedule your ride, please call (970) 729-3435 24 hours in advance