This will be the second summer in a row that we won’t be spending any time in Colorado… sigh! I love Colorado and called it home for over twenty years. Once we sold our Colorado home and moved into the RV full-time, we still continued to spend our summers meandering around the state, that is, up until last year.
The RV has allowed us to explore and see parts of Colorado that we never had the opportunity to experience while living in our sticks and bricks house. And while we aren’t returning to Colorado this summer by choice, that doesn’t mean a part of me isn’t missing it.
We arrived at our summer ‘home’ in Prescott, Arizona on the 1st of May and were quickly reminded how weather in the high country likes to surprise us with one last winter storm before giving way to spring.
Our first full day in Prescott Valley brought inclement weather in the form of rain, thunder, hail and sleet. Al and I chuckled as the loud sound of hail pummeling the roof of the RV made having a conversation impossible. After five minutes, the hail stopped leaving in its wake a thin layer of white covering the landscape which fortunately melted quickly. And also fortunate, the hail was small in size and caused no damage.
This spring storm reminded me of Colorado and made me smile as fond memories flooded my mind. With that said, I thought I’d do a little reminiscing by sharing with you one of my favorite mountain towns in Colorado. Here’s a blog post I wrote a while back….
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. Plus, 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?
We’ve had the pleasure of visiting this charming mountain town a few times over the past few years and each visit was truly a joy. First off, Telluride is beautiful. I mean, drop dead gorgeous. It sits in a canyon surrounded by steep forested mountains and cliffs along with the stunning 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 Ferrate in Telluride. Photo courtesy of Wiki
Newer home styles seem to blend in well with the surroundings.
I love the architecture in Telluride. Each structure is one of a kind. There’s a beautiful blend of old and new which captivates my attention and appeals to my taste. There’s a hiking trail that allows one to wander from town all the way out toward Bridal Veil Falls allowing a visitor to admire the houses along the way …. each unique and attractive.
Trivia: 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.
This charming Rocky Mountain town located in southwestern Colorado is most definitely worth a visit and goes to the top of my favorites list. The town boasts a population of less than 3,000 and sits at an elevation of 8,750 feet.
At the base of Bridal Veil Falls
We’ve enjoyed hikes to Bridal Veil Falls, shopped the Friday morning Farmer’s Market, and taken the free Gondola ride – a bonus not to be missed. We’ve taken a back country 4×4 road to get to Telluride which I call the ‘back way’. We’ve eaten at several tasty restaurants, met fellow bloggers for a brew, and generally savored the vibe and beauty that is quintessential Telluride.
Where to eat in Telluride
We’ve eaten at several restaurants throughout town but our personal favorites are eating at the local farmers market or Smuggler’s Brewery. At Smuggler’s Brew Pub, they serve up a great burger along with some tasty brews. Al always orders a beer called “Debauchery“. With its 10% alcohol content, it’s served in a brandy sniffer in lieu of the normal beer glass. With Debauchery’s high alcohol content combined with Telluride’s near 9,000 foot elevation, one drink is usually hubby’s limit, especially if I’ve planned lots of walking afterwards 😄
Camping near Telluride
Whenever we’ve visited Telluride, we’ve always 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 in western Colorado.
Much closer to Telluride is a delightful National Forest Campground; Sunshine Campground. The campground is super close to Mountain Village where one can park and catch the free gondola taking you up and over the mountain into Telluride.
We would love to stay at the Sunshine Campground due to its stunning views and near proximity to Telluride, but unfortunately, we’d barely fit into a couple of sites and the turning radius to navigate into and around this campground is tighter than our comfort level allows, but this campground is perfect for smaller RV’s.
Further down the road is the Matterhorn Campground, also a National Forest Campground, and this place can accommodate just about anyone, but finding an available site might prove to be difficult. It’s a very popular place.
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.
Lodging in Telluride
And when it comes to other types of lodging, should camping not be your thing, Telluride has it all. Check out this guide for more information on planning your visit to Telluride, one of my favorite Colorado mountain towns, and enjoy your own Rocky Mountain getaway. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!
With so much natural beauty along with an abundance of things to see and do, it’s no wonder Telluride could easily be referred to as ‘everyone’s favorite mountain town‘.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away – Maya Angelou