Everyone’s Favorite Mountain Town

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who didn’t like Telluride, Colorado.  If I had to recommend one Colorado mountain town to visit, it would definitely be Telluride.  There’s a little something for everyone to enjoy and how could anyone resist a place where there’s usually a herd of elk in a meadow on the edge of town welcoming visitors to the area?Telluride, Colorado

Telluride, ColoradoWe’ve had the pleasure of visiting this charming mountain town a few times over the past three years and each visit was truly a joy.  First off, Telluride is beautiful.  It sits in a canyon surrounded by steep forested mountains and cliffs with the stunning 365 foot Bridal Veil Falls seen at the far end of the canyon.

Telluride was founded in 1878 as a mining settlement.  By the 1970’s, the extensive mining in the area was replaced by ski tourism.  By the mid 1990’s, Colorado’s best kept secret was discovered by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, and Oliver Stone.

Although Telluride is well-known for outstanding ski slopes, the summer months have actually become more popular with tourists as the town hosts a variety of festivals (including film festivals) and endurance events all summer long.  The outdoor recreation is fantastic and even offers extreme hiking: Via Ferrata.

Via Ferrata

Via Ferrate in Telluride. Photo courtesy of Wiki

Telluride, CO

Newer home styles seem to blend in well with the surroundings.

The architecture is a beautiful
blend of old and new that always
captivates my attention.

There’s a hiking trail that allows one to wander from town all the way out toward Bridal Veil Falls.

The houses passed along the way are unique and delightful.

Telluride, CO

love these 1800’s restored homes


Tidbit:  The famous bank robber, Butch Cassidy, committed his first recorded major crime in Telluride by robbing the San Miguel Valley Bank in 1889 and exiting the bank with over $24,000.Telluride, Colorado

This charming Rocky Mountain town located in southwestern Colorado is most definitely worth a visit and goes to the top of my list;  Top 5 Colorado mountain towns.  The town boasts a population of less than 3,000 and sits at an elevation of 8,750 feet.

Bridal Veil Falls

At the base of Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls in the far distance

We’ve enjoyed hikes to Bridal Veil Falls, shopped the Friday morning Farmer’s Market, and loved the free Gondola rides; a bonus not to be missed. Previously we’ve taken a back country 4×4 road to get to Telluride.  You can read about that excursion here.  We’ve eaten at several tasty restaurants, met fellow blog followers for a brew, and generally savored the vibe and beauty that is quintessential Telluride.  I can’t wait to return!Telluride, Colorado

Camping:  Whenever we’ve visited Telluride, we’ve camped at Ridgway State Park, about an hours drive away.  The park offers sites accommodating tents and large RV’s alike.  Ridgway State Park is one of our favorite campgrounds.  I did a post on the area a while ago and you can find it here.

Tee PeeMuch closer to Telluride is a delightful National Forest Campground;  Sunshine Campground.  We would love to stay here due to its stunning views and near proximity to Telluride.  It’s super close to Mountain Village where one can park and catch the free gondola taking you up and over the mountain into Telluride.  Unfortunately, we might only fit into a couple of sites and the turning radius to navigate into and around this campground is tighter than our comfort level allows.

Further down the road is the Matterhorn Campground, also a National Forest Campground and this place can accommodate just about anyone.

For those traveling with tents, vans, or small RV’s, the perfect place to camp to really immerse oneself into the Telluride lifestyle is the Telluride Town Park Campground.  Nestled in a grove of pine trees along a creek, it’s within walking distance to festival venues, restaurants, and shops.  Obviously where there are trees, there are low branches and tight turning radius’.  Thus, not an option for us.  Once again, small RV’s have the advantage.  Note; during festivals this campground is jam-packed making it difficult for even a Honda Civic to navigate.

And when it comes to other types of lodging, Telluride has it all.  Click here for more info and enjoy your own Rocky Mountain getaway. I promise, you won’t be disappointed 🙂

Telluride Trails: Hiking Passes, Loops, and Summits of Southwest Colorado (The Pruett Series)
Sony WX350 18 MP Digital Camera (Black)


52 thoughts on “Everyone’s Favorite Mountain Town

  1. What a beautiful area to visit! I read your post the last time you were there, now this one and I still haven’t gotten there yet!! Maybe next year we shall be headed that way!! Thanks for the info and beautiful pictures!

    • You welcome! July and August are my favorite months to visit enjoying the mountain wildflowers that dot the landscape. Colorado’s western slope is beautiful and a must visit 🙂

  2. Telluride looks very charming. It reminds me of Banff, have you ever been there? Seems they have a lot of the same features, being small rocky mountain towns surrounded by the stunning beauty of the rockies with endless adventures.

    • I’ve only been as far as Calgary, but seeing all the photos of the Canadian Rockies, it appears there is a similar beauty. The Rocky Mountains are stunning whether in America or Canada. We’re hoping to make it up to Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper one of these summers…. soon I hope 🙂

  3. Telluride is one of the intriguing places to visit listed on the book my mom gave me. With your personal experience it is all the more reason to visit it. Again this is just perfect timing as we will b spending more time on the west next year. Thank you for all your round up Ingrid.

    • You and Steve would love the area. Just be sure not to listen to Randy while exploring this part of Colorado or you may find yourself on some old mining road…. not the kind of adventure you want 😉

  4. For years I’ve been wanting to go to the Telluride Mushroom Festival in mid-August. Looks like there are many other reasons to spend some time in that beautiful town! Thanks for the great tips on places to stay, Ingrid. Seems as though we won’t be able to fit into the town or Forest Service campground with our 27′ Fox, though. (Being able to fit anyplace is the only thing I miss about our 21′ Bigfoot!)

    • That is the one downside to having larger living accommodations. However, Matterhorn and Ridgway are both lovely places to camp. I would think you’d enjoy that festival along with the Friday morning farmer’s market. Telluride is definitely a place you two should visit.

  5. We live just 4 miles south of the Colorado border and have done the Enchanted Circle (Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Ridgeway, and back down the back side to Cortez) both as a day trip and as a weekend getaway.One of our favorite restaurants is the Argentine Grill in Rico, just south of Telluride. The owner wanted to get away from the Telluride rat race (!) so he opened this charming little place down the road. Reservations required. Also check out Olio in Mancos.
    Thank you so much for the campground referrals. Once we get on the road we’ll be taking a lot more time to get around the loop!

    • That sounds like a beautiful drive. We’ve done parts during different years and are never disappointed. Although, hubby has vowed to never drive the Million Dollar Hwy again. Last time we went to Silverton from Ouray, I drove my little Tacoma laughing all the way as hubby said he didn’t see a point in returning to Silverton. (Ah, another fave). Life on the road, does allow one to take it slow 🙂

  6. Ouray along with Telluride are at the top of our list too Ingrid! And yes, a July visit offers beautiful hikes, rides, and weather! I think it’s just a little piece of heaven! Nice posts, I have enjoyed your pictures and commentary.

    The hummingbird in the last post is a beauty!

    • Thank you Gay and with Pearl I think you’d be in heaven with some of those 4×4 roads. One day I want to rent a razor and do Black Bear Pass. Hubby thinks I’m crazy but he’s game 😉

  7. Thanks for this post on Telluride Ingrid! I’ve managed to book a couple weeks at Ridgeway in August and look forward to spending some time in that little gem. We’re using Golden as a base to enjoy what the area has to offer, but Its fun to drive away and move further afield. I’ll use your recent blogs as good references! Hope we’ll get to see you while we’re all still in one state!

    • August is a lovely time of year to visit that area. I have lots of ideas I can share with you either over lunch or via email. I’ll be in touch 🙂

  8. I am enjoying these last few posts tremendously. It has been years since I have been to Telluride and the visit was short. There will be a return visit coming. Need to figure it all in…
    Thanks for doing these posts and the photos are magnificent!

    • Thank you Nancy. From Phx, Telluride isn’t all that difficult to drive to and the scenery along the way is pretty top notch. I’d like to spend more time in this part of Colorado next summer, especially during July and August when the wildflowers are in bloom 🙂

  9. The via Ferrata looks scary but the views you get must be awesome ! Have you ever done it ?
    This town looks awesome, I’ll check it out when I’ll visit Colorado… one day 🙂

  10. With Crested Butte, this is the other CO hill I would liked to have skied. I’m thinking we need to spend some time in the Rockies next summer.

    • I love Colorado’s western slope. You already hit some beauties when you visited Durango and Silverton. You’d enjoy Telluride with plenty of tasty restaurants, a great Friday morning Farmer’s Market, and a very scenic Gondola ride…. no hiking necessary, just some low-key strolling 🙂

  11. I really enjoyed this lovely overview of Telluride, Ingrid — and your beautiful photos show it off well. I love that first one with the flowers in the middle of the road.

  12. I love this post and your top favorite Colorado town. I saw Telluride for the first time last fall and loved my first view of it from the roadway above. There are so many beautiful Victorean homes and buildings there. I will have to come back to see the wildflowers, and I would love to see a few shops.

    We bought our ranch house yesterday, just 5 miles from where we live now. We close on the new house August 13th. We plan to get a few handyman jobs on our current home before we put it up for sale. Busy, busy! We may be sticking around while I go to PT anyway. One of these days we will get back out! Happy Travels Ingrid, and I love your photos.

    • Thanks Holly and congratulations on finding a new place. You’ll definitely be quite busy over the next few months. I’m excited for you. Hope you’ll share some photos of the new place.
      I’m hoping to spend more time next summer on Colorado’s western slope. Those wildflowers are calling 🙂

    • Colorado’s western slope offers up some amazing scenery and when the wildflowers are blooming…. aaahhhh! You won’t be disappointed 🙂

  13. Ingrid, I’d say this is a perfect travel blog post (not that I usually rank these things). I’m just struck by it being just the right length, with just the right amount of appealing pictures, and is so informative about the location that I (your “typical” reader) feel both tantalized and prepared to head for Telluride ASAP.

    • Awe, thank you Lenore, what a lovely comment. You’ve been hitting some amazing places yourself. Colorado does offer up some stunning sights and almost all the mountain towns are dog friendly. Thus, Honey can accompany you on all your excursions 🙂

    • With your nifty truck camper, you’d love camping in the town park; allowing you to walk everywhere. Make sure you visit after July 5th to be sure the snows have melted in the high country and the wildflowers have started blooming.

  14. We too loved this town. For camping I can also recommend Cayton National Forest campground, just a tad further down from the 2 you mentioned. That’s where we stayed and we loved it. Great round up of the area!


    • Gosh Nina…. thank you for taking the time to comment. I’ve heard nice things about Cayton NF and will check it out next summer since we’re hoping to spend more time exploring Colorado’s western slope. Safe travels to you and warm wishes!

  15. Wonderful post! I am anxious to visit this neat town. Looks like a beautiful place and I love that you can take the gondola over to town for free. Thanks for all the needed info:)

    • Thanks Pam. Between all the 4×4 back country roads and scenic hiking trails, you two would be in your element. Hmmm, I could even see a fun Jessica visit to this part of Colorado and when the wildflowers are blooming – sheer joy!

    • I’m sure it hasn’t changed much except for its popularity. Telluride takes pride in maintaining its historic buildings and western vibe 🙂

  16. Your recent posts are pouring fuel on my desire to get to Colorado for a couple of months. We just have t been able to figure out a good schedule to do so, since it obviously is a summer trip. Perhaps we need to go for a whole year on the road, so we’ve got time for a bit of exploration to the mountain and west coast states. You are giving me a much needed nudge toward doing so….

    • Oh, I’m not sure full-time is necessary as much as good planning. I think you’d enjoy a two-month Colorado excursion from mid July to mid Sept. I can think of the perfect loop through the state 🙂

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