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