Gondola & Bus Information

Gondola & Bus Seasons and Hours

  • Gondola hours of operation can be found here.
  • Normal hours are 6:30 a.m. to midnight, daily during the winter and summer seasons.
  • Extended hours to 2:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays during the busy season.
  • During off-season months when the gondola is closed, bus service is provided to and from the towns of Mountain Village and Telluride. The bus schedule can be found here.
  • Expect long lines during peak times; your patience is appreciated.
  • Without notice, the gondola may close temporarily due to weather, a power outage, or something else that is beyond our control. When this occurs, a specific operating procedure is followed. Bus service may be provided during a temporary closure.

Gondola Information

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 both our residents and visitors as it offers 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.

While the gondola also transports ticketed skiers and snowboarders to and from the mountain, it is primarily a free public transportation system connecting Mountain Village to Telluride. Most remarkably, it is more convenient and timely than vehicular transportation, while offering incredible vistas and a unique transportation experience.

The gondola consists of 2 parts and 4 stations. The first leg travels between Telluride and Mountain Village, beginning on Oak Street in the Town of Telluride and ending at Gondola Plaza in the Mountain Village core. The mid-point of the first leg is called the San Sophia Station. You can exit here and head to the slopes, hiking trails, or Allred’s Restaurant. Get right back on a t the San Sophia mid-station to continue down to Mountain Village. The second part begins at the Gondola Plaza in Mountain Village and takes you to the Mountain Market grocery store, Mountain Village Post Office and the Mountain Village Town Hall.

The Numbers

  • Approximately 2.25 million rider exits annually and over 50 million rider exits have been counted since opening day.
  • The gondola operates roughly 287 days each year with routine maintenance scheduled during our off-season months.
  • It takes about 12 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 25% of our cabins are pet friendly. We also have wheelchair accessible cabins.
  • A vehicle trip between the two towns is eight miles long whereas the gondola travels three miles between the two towns. This saves our residents and guests money and time!
  • If we relied on rubber transportation, it is estimated to 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.
  • TMVOA purchases renewable energy credits from San Miguel Power Association, which funds the development and operation of regional renewable energy resources.
  • The gondola is funded by a number of financial resources with the majority of funding coming from TMVOA’s Real Estate Transfer Assessment revenues, providing approximately $3.5 million annually for operations and maintenance alone. In addition, TMVOA has funded significant improvements to the gondola, including $6 million in 2007 and 2008 for a complete system upgrade. The Town of Mountain Village owns and operates the gondola.

To view copies of the Gondola Agreements, please visit our Governing Documents page here and click on Gondola & Chondola Agreements.

Where to Park, Accessibility & Pets

If you are commuting by car to visit for the day, the best place to park for access to the Gondola is the Gondola Parking Garage in Mountain Village. Day-time parking is free, and allows you to travel between Mountain Village and Telluride without the hassle of driving into the town of Telluride and trying to find a parking space.

Handicap-accessible cabins are available as well as pet cabins for leashed pets. Gondola attendants are standing by to help you load strollers, wheel-chairs, etc. Gondolas are equipped with ski and snowboard racks in winter and bike racks in summer. During the winter months, blankets are provided at each station for your comfort during your ride.