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:
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.
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!