Telluride is a former mining town turned ski village isolated deep in the San Juan Mountains. There is both a historic downtown and a modern ski village located at the base of the slopes. Both are full of wonderful shops, delicious restaurants, and affordable lodging.
The town is filled to the brim with events for almost every season. During the winter, snow-related festivals are almost always available for visitors. Summer and spring are filled with arts and music festivals.
Miners began coming to the area in the mid-nineteenth century looking for gold, silver and other valuables. The town is named after the chemical element Tellurium, which resembles gold but was never actually discovered around town.
The town quickly gained the reputation and catch-phrase, “To Hell You Ride”, in reference to the explosive mining days of Telluride’s past. In June 1889, the infamous Butch Cassidy robbed his first recorded bank, the San Miguel Valley Bank, making off with over $24,000.
Telluride Ski Resort is always expanding and there are new ski thrills around every bend in these mountains.
Festivals – Telluride is host to some of the biggest festivals in Colorado, most notably its film festivals: Telluride Film Festival and Mountain Film Festival.
- Sunshine is seven miles southwest of town; take CO 145 west for 3 miles out of town, then south on CO 145 for five miles.
- Alta Lakes is situated at 11,000 feet, with great views, good fishing and access to a ghost town, Alta. From Telluride, follow directions to Sunshine, then turn left (southeast) onto Forest Rd 632. Go 4.5 miles up a 4×4 road.
- Matterhorn is a paved campground in Uncompahgre National Forest; follow directions to Sunshine, but go four miles further on CO 145.
- Woods Lake is twenty-two miles southwest of town; from town go 13 miles west on CO 145, then turn left (south) on County Rd 57.
- Town Park is located at east end of town; about 40 sites, open to RVs under thirty feet, no reservations accepted, can get crowded during holidays & festivals.
- San Miguel River originates high in the mountains above Telluride, and flows west toward Placerville, running parallel with CO 145.
- Bridal Veil Falls is a four mile, one-way, hike to the top. But the 365-foot free falling, waterfall is worth a visit just to the bottom.
Hotels and Lodging:
Telluride’s a foodie town with a focus on fresh. Locals have a strong passion for eating healthy, and this is reflected at restaurants all over town. Despite its slim year round population, Telluride knows how to cater to its tourists with a myriad of fine dining and faster on-the-go options. The nightlife in Telluride is crazy fun too, with bar after bar to choose from.
Bars and Restaurants:
- Chop House Restaurant – Iconic steakhouse located within the city’s most prominent historic hotel.
May – Mountain Film In Telluride – Film festival held annually since 1979, over Memorial Day Weekend in late May.
Jun – Telluride Balloon Festival – Three early June mornings of hot air balloons launching from Telluride Town Park.
Jun – Telluride Bluegrass Festival – Late June music festival celebrating Bluegrass.
Jun-Jul – Telluride Wine Festival – Four days in late July of wine related events in downtown Telluride.
Jul – Nothing Day Festival – Accidentally created by a local fed up with all the festivals in Telluride. Includes movies and a naked bicycle ride through town.
Jul – The RIDE Festival – Two days of rock ‘n roll concerts in Telluride Town Park in mid July.
Aug – Mushroom Festival (Shroomfest) – Celebrate mushrooms, with various lectures, forays, culinary delights, and of course, the Mushroom Parade.
Sep – Telluride Film Festival – One of the top film fests in the U.S held in early September.
Sep – Telluride Blues & Brews Festival – Music festival celebrating blues, rock, funk, gospel, and soul by world-renowned musicians. On top of that, enjoy a selection of over 50 micro-breweries, held in mid September.
For a larger list of upcoming events check out telluride.com.
Things to do near Telluride
- Cortez (76mi)
- Dolores (64mi)
- Montrose (65mi)
- Mountain Village (7mi)
- Norwood (33mi)
- Ophir (12mi)
- Ouray (49mi)
- Placerville (15mi)
- Rico (27mi)
- Ridgway (39mi)
- Sawpit (12mi)
6 Family Hiking Trails for Summer in Telluride – Located among Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, Telluride is simply a gorgeous place for hiking. There is an abundance of hiking trails in town, with over 30 hikes in the region. Hiking is quite popular throughout…