Telluride is a breathtaking destination that celebrates the culture and natural beauty of Southwest Colorado, from majestic ski slopes to national monuments to scenic byways. Join locals at annual festivals of film, art, music, food, and wine, including the Bluegrass Festival. Enjoy summer performances, races, rallies, and air shows. Enjoy skiing, hiking, biking, and golf in the scenic San Juan Mountains. Discover majestic waterfalls, historic mines, beautiful national parks, scenic byways, and fascinating museums. Designated a National Historic Landmark District, Telluride Mountain Village offers a self-guided walking tour through its Victorian architecture, including the historic brothels of Popcorn Alley and the site of Butch Cassidy's first heist.
Attractions & landmarks
The Pekkarine Building
Lone Tree Cemetery
Butch Cassidy Robbery Site
Old Town Jail
St. Patrick's Catholic Church
Old Waggoner House
Telluride Historical Museum
North Oak House
L.L. Nunn House
Telluride Convention Center
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
San Juan Skyway
Black Canyon National Monument
San Miguel County Courthouse
New Sheridan Hotel & Opera House
Telluride and Mountain Village offer a unique shopping experience laced with alpine charm. Side stepping retail chains, Telluride's merchants offer original and unique goods that you'll only find here. Town shops include art galleries, antiques, bookstores, boutiques, pottery shops and home furnishings, as well as groceries and sporting goods.
Regional National Parks
Arches National Park - Arches National Park preserves over two thousand natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch. You will also see unique geological resources and formations.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - The park's unique and spectacular landscape was formed slowly by the action of water and rock scouring down through hard Proterozoic crystalline rock.
Mesa Verde National Park - Named the world's "#1 Historic Monument Destination," Mesa Verde was inhabited by the Anasazi Indians, a.k.a. "The Ancient Ones," for 1,200 years.
CanyonlandsNational Park - This national park preserves a colorful landscape of sedimentary sandstones eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado River and its tributaries.
Regional National Monuments
Canyon of the Ancients National Monument - This Monument in southwestern Colorado contains more than 6,000 archeological sites.
Hovenweep National Monument - This monument of the Anasazi settlement, abandoned around 1300 A.D., is located just across the Utah border near Cortez, with a campground and picnic area.
Colorado National Monument
Durango - The southwest Colorado's largest town, Durango has a population of approximately 15,000, (45,000 in La Plata County).
Moab, Utah - Moab is neighbor to two national parks: Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.
Ouray - A National Historic District since 1983, this former mining town is full of natural wonders, including the spectacular Box Canyon Falls, natural hot springs pool and vapor caves.
Ridgeway - "Gateway to the San Juan Mountains", Ridgway is a small community along the San Juan Skyway about 38 miles northwest of Telluride.
Silverton - Originally named Baker's Park, Silverton boasts the earliest gold and silver finds in the region.
Montrose - The City of Montrose is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Montrose County, Colorado.
Attractions and Landmarks
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad - Discover a true southwest Colorado experience. These trains once carried $300 million in gold and silver ore between Silverton and Durango.
San Juan Skyway - Traveling through the magnificent San Juan Mountains and making stops at historic towns like Durango and Telluride, Colorado's San Juan Skyway Scenic and Historic Byway is an essential journey for road trippers, with jaw-dropping views.
Established as a gold mining town after gold was first discovered in 1858, the town of Telluride was founded in 1878. The town was named after the chemical element tellurium, which was never actually found in the mountains of Telluride. Telluride began slowly because of its isolated location, until in 1890 when the railroad reached town, which brought in more mines and brought out more ore.
In June 1889, Butch Cassidy before becoming associated with his gang, "The Wild Bunch", robbed the San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride. This was his first major recorded crime. He exited the bank with $24,580, and later became famous as a bank robber.
Mining was Telluride's only industry until 1972, when the first ski lift was installed by Telluride Ski Resort founder Joseph T. Zoline and his Telluride Ski Corporation (Telco). Zoline bought the land for the future resort in 1969 and began to craft the slopes. Along with his mountain manager, Telluride native Bill "Sr." Mahoney, they slowly and thoughtfully put together a plan for sustained development of Telluride and the region. As mining phased out and a new service industry phased in, the local population changed sharply. Mining families fled Telluride to settle in places like Moab, Utah, where uranium mining offered hope of continued employment. Mining families were replaced by what locals referred to as "hippies", young people with a 1960s worldview which frequently clashed with the values of Telluride's old-timers. These newcomers were characterized as being idle trust funders who were drawn to the town for a casual life style and outdoor excitements such as hang gliding, mountain climbing, and kayaking.
As the final ore carts were rolling out of the Pandora mine, tourists began to seriously discover Telluride for its magnificent views, expert skiing, and famous autumn color changes. In 1978 a stake of the ski area was purchased by Ron Allred and his partner Jim Wells to form the Telluride Company. The new owners expanded the infrastructure which Zoline had put into place by adding a gondola connecting the Town of Telluride with the Mountain Village.
During the 1980s, Telluride developed a reputation for being "Colorado's best kept secret", which paradoxically made it one of the more well known resort communities. In 2003, Prospect Bowl, an extension to the ski area opened, providing the resort with many new trails and runs. In 2007-08, the ski area opened some of the most extreme, in-bound, hike-to terrain in the country. Most lifts in the area are high-speed quad chairs capable of holding four passengers. The highest lift on the mountain reaches an altitude of 12,255 feet.