Telluride is an quaint Victorian mining town nestled in a beautiful box canyon in the San Juan mountains of south west Colorado. Sitting on the picturesque San Miguel River at 8,750 feet elevation, Telluride is surrounded by dramatic 13 and 14 thousand foot peaks, a world class ski resort and stunning waterfalls cascading down from loft heights (Bridal Veil Falls, Ingram Falls). Many people say Telluride is the most beautiful town in North America!
Telluride has a colorful history as it was once one of the most prosperous mining towns in the US in the late 1800's. Gold was first discovered in the area in 1858, and the first gold mining claim was made in the mountains above Telluride in 1875 and early settlement of what is now Telluride followed. The town itself was founded in 1878 as "Columbia," but due to confusion with a California town of the same name, was renamed Telluride in 1887, for the gold telluride minerals found in other parts of Colorado. These telluride minerals were never located near Telluride, causing the town to be named for a mineral which never was mined there. However, the area's mines for some years provided zinc, lead, copper, silver, and other gold ores.
In 1889, Butch Cassidy is believed to have committed his first criminal act by robbing the San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride. He got away with $24,000 and subsequently became famous for his bank robberies as part of "the wild bunch".
In 1891, the Rio Grande Southern Railroad arrived in Telluride, serving the mines in Telluride and Pandora until 1952. Also in 1891, the Ames Hydroelectric Power Plant was built, resulting in the first successful generation of industrial grade AC power in the US.
Times began to change in 1972, when the first ski lift was installed in Telluride. Mining began to recede as the primary industry. As the mining families moved out of Telluride, the "hippies" began to move in. 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, kayaking and skiing. Today, Telluride positions itself as an upscale ski resort and mountain town with a liberal philosophy and super friendly locals. The town has retained its charm due to limited and cautious development.
For such a small town, Telluride attracts an amazing array of festivals and special events.
- Music Festivals:
Telluride Bluegrass Festival - June
The RIDE Festival - July
Telluride Blues & Brews Festival - September
Telluride Jazz Festival - August
- Film Festivals
Telluride MountainFilm - May
The Telluride Film Festival - September
- Food & Wine Festivals
- Outdoor/Sports/Adventure Festivals
Telluride Yoga Festival - July
Telluride WOW - September
- Special Interest