Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Telluride, Colorado

Legend has it that the name Telluride derives from "to hell you ride!" - which is what people said when someone was heading to the small, sinful town of Columbia, Colorado - as it was known in the 1880's.( The name was changed because the US Postal Service kept getting it confused with Columbia, California.) Others think it was from the mineral tellurium that is found in the area. But wherever the name came from, Telluride, Colorado is a unique place.




Telluride isn't easy to get to. This small town sits in a box canyon in the rugged San Juan mountains - and the passes through those mountains are only accessable by all terrain vehicles. We made the eight hour trek from Denver by regular road - and it was summer so we didn't worry about snow or ice. And it is a trek with twisty, curvy roads and mountain passes.




What used to be a mining town in Victorian times, is now a ski town that celebrities like to frequent. Tom Cruise and Oprah supposedly have homes here. Jerry Seinfeld, too. But from all appearances, Telluride is a small, quiet town with a beautiful spot in the mountains. With plenty to do. Such as:


1. Hiking
We hiked to Bear Creek Falls which is accessed directly in town from the end of South Pine Street. A four and a half mile hike which gains 1000 feet in elevation (Telluride sits at 8750 feet and Bear Creek Falls is at 9700 feet), your reward at the end is seeing Bear Creek Falls. I'm pretty sure my family was trying to do me in on this one - the elevation gain was killer. But the scenery was definitely breathtaking and they had much patience with me as I needed to stop every few minutes. There are many other hikes such as Bridal Veil Falls and Blue Lake. In fact, hiking ranks as  the most popular thing to do in Telluride in the summer. You can even hire a guide for hiking - contact www.telluride.com for more info.













2. Eating - and drinking
We ate at Smugglers Brew Pub which has an upscale brewpub menu. There is outside seating with beautiful view of the mountains - which seem so close that you could touch them. We also whiled away a little time at the rooftop bar at the New Sheridan Hotel, which I found delightful. A perfect sunny afternoon and a rooftop bar. What more could one want? And we stopped at the very popular Telluride Brewing Company on our way out of town. Luckily we beat the lines but be prepared as this is a very popular spot.









3. Skiing
Telluride is known for it's excellent skiing and fantastic powder. As we were here in summer, skiing wasn't an option so we rode the 15 minute gondola - which is free - from Telluride to Mountain Village, another ski resort. Mountain Village is a smaller version of Vail. It has European looks and vibes. And of course, in summer you can ride the gondola up with your bike to ride the miles of trails. The earlier hike did me in so the gondola ride was a nice rest with fantastic views.









4. Float or Raft the San Miguel River
The water looked inviting - but I was guessing it was pretty cold. You can grab a tube and float or hire out with a rafting company to white water raft the San Miguel. 




5. Visit some mountain overlooks
Any way you drive outside of town, there are beautiful views. When leaving town we stopped to see Sunshine Mountain, Black Box and Lizard Peak. 















6. Visit a festival
Telluride is known as a festival town - they have everything from the Telluride Mountain Film Festival, the Brews and Blues Festival and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival to a mushroom and a fire festival. We were there during the Many Hand Fiberarts Festival.




For such a small town in such an out of the way spot, Telluride has really become quite the destination. Home to hippies, artists, celebrities, skiers, outdoorsman and families, it's a favorite of many. My son says it's his favorite place in Colorado. He goes there every time he can. Like I said before, it's not easy to get to. But it sure is worth it!



This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner!









18 comments:

  1. Love the thought of floating on the San Miguel and attending a Blues Festival there.

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    1. That would be very cool, wouldn't it? Thanks for visiting, Jan!

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  2. I've been wanting to head out to Colorado, Telluride looks perfect!

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    1. It's pretty close to perfect - unless you want to move there - the housing prices are pretty astronomical - at least, from what I am used to lol!

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  3. I have wanted to visit here for decades. It's too bad I don't ski anymore, but summer time looks like a lot of fun too.

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    1. Summer time is very beautiful! Thanks for stopping by The Unpaved Road!

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  4. David and I stayed at Telluride, Mountain Village for four nights a few years ago. Like you we went in summer. We had our mountain bikes with us but we found the trails a bit too steep and rough - maybe if we had been forty years younger. I loved the atmosphere of Telluride. It felt like a village. I'm pretty sure Telluride was the site of the first bank robbery by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - I remember seeing a plaque in the lower town commemorating it.

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    1. I loved the feel there also! And you're right - it is where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid robbed their first bank. I forgot all about it. Thanks for visiting, Lyn!

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  5. There is no doubt that I want to visit this town one day (and other famous towns in its vicinity). Now, those mountain passes! I guess I will have to suffer those.

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    1. Some very curvy roads - but worth it I think! Such a beautiful and unique part of the country. Thanks for visiting, Ruth!

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  6. We have Telluride on our list to ski. It looks gorgeous out of snow time too.

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    1. My son wants to ski there also - one of the places in Colorado he hasn't skied but it's such a long distance from Denver. And gorgeous in summer, too!

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  7. Such interesting theories about how Telluride got its name! Colorado is such a great state to visit year-round. It's definitely not just a ski resort destination. As you pointed out, summertime activities include hiking, biking, and rafting. Plus, Colorado has some great places for beer and food! #WeekendWanderlust

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    1. My son loves living in Colorado - so much to do all year round. And such beauty! Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. I've never been to Telluride but I have a friend who used to ski there. He was a local and it always drew him back.

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    1. It seems like a place to draw you back - good way to put it Rhonda. Thanks for visiting!

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  9. I really like the Victorian buildings with the mountains towering in the background. I've never been to Telluride as my husband's family always head to Vail, but from your photos, I can definitely see what the draw is. What a gorgeous place.

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    1. I like Vail, too. And if you're comparing Vail is so European feeling and Telluride seems more mountain town. Thanks for visiting!

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