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Telluride - Colorado

"Most Beautiful" Telluride

Prominent locals have claimed that Telluride is the "most beautiful place on earth". That may be a little bit extreme but it is likely that Telluride is the most beautiful place in Colorado.

Nestled in a box canyon along the San Miguel River in the midst of the San Juan Mountains, Telluride is a special town where -- summer and winter -- there's a special aura. Part of it comes from its preserved 1875 mining artifacts including historic buildings, a fine old main street and a large town park near the end of the box canyon. Part of it comes from the fact that Telluride is now the center for great skiing, marvelous outdoor adventure in the Uncompahgre National Forest, a thriving and diversified summer arts festival season, and thrills for four wheel drive aficionados.

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What to See & Do

The historic downtown area has a good supply of cafes -- most in historic buildings -- and a stay in the New Sheridan Hotel (opened in 1895) will put you back in the gold rush era.

Telluride skiing offers challenging runs for the expert on the mountain's front side and novice runs on the back (south) side. The ski area has some very long and mogul strewn runs with soft powder most of the time on the front side. It also has, from the summit, the finest scenery of any ski area -- anywhere.

Several "fourteeners tower" in the San Miguel Range and from 14,000 feet at the top of the lifts, you can see the La Sal Mountains in Utah. The ski area is accessible from downtown and from Telluride Mountain Village, a growing hotel and condo development part way up the mountain. For general resort information, phone (970) 728 3041, or write the Telluride Chamber of Commerce, 666 W. Colorado Ave., Telluride CO 81435.

In summer and fall months, Telluride turns into a cultural center with a series of short (weekend or week long) festivals devoted to a full range of arts activity. Festival themes include Jazz, Bluegrass, Chamber Music, Film, and much more. The Jazz Festival is held in July; the respected Telluride Film Festival in early September. Fall brings the Hang Gliding Festival.

Anglers fish in the San Miguel and Dolores rivers, in Trout Lake (12 miles south of town), or in Woods Lake, set in a beautiful remote location reached by driving to Sawpit (10 miles north), then driving south on Forest Road #618 for another 9 miles to the lake. Rainbow and brook trout are found, with the occasional cutthroat.

From the end of the canyon, in town, a short hike will take you to Bridal Veil Falls and Ingram Falls. Walk up the jeep road to the falls and you'll also see the old hydro electric plant hanging from the top of the ridge. For a short scenic drive, take the Alta Lakes Road south of Telluride via Hwy. 145. Forest Rd. # 632 leads four miles to the old mining camp of Alta and lakes with fishing and camping. There are great views of Lizard Head Peak, Mt. Wilson and El Diente Peak.

Where to Stay -- Hotel Guide

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New Sheridan Hotel
231 West Colorado Avenue, (970) 728-4351
This historic landmark, dating back to 1895, has a variety of rooms and a few have private baths. Don't let that deter you from staying in this wonderful place. All rooms have TV, and are comfortable. The ambiance is superb and the food in the dining room (Julian's) is fine ($$ to $$$).

Victorian Inn
401 West Pacific Avenue, (970) 728 6601 or 800- 53-72614
This modern (1976) hotel has rooms with private & shared baths and there are a sauna and hot tub. Continental breakfast is served to guests ($$).

Camping

Town Park Campground
This civic campground is in the center of things, and is very busy when summer festivals are happening. There are no RV hookups.

Nearby towns and attractions,
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Durango, Cortez, Mesa Verde N.P., Silverton, Ouray

 

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