This article was created in partnership with Colorado Tourism Office
Telluride, a peak-surrounded authentic former mining town in Colorado, USA is found at the foot of the well-known Telluride Ski Resort. Ranked #1 Ski Resort in North America by Condé Nast readers, this resort’s deep powder, lack of lift lines and incredible views of the San Juan peaks makes it incomparable.
While Telluride is best known for its epic skiing and snowboarding in winter, many Australians don’t realise that this quaint mountain town also claims the title of ‘Festival Capital of Colorado’ with a film festival rivalling that of Sundance in Utah. “Sundance has swag, Cannes has yachts…Telluride has class” – John Horn, Los Angeles Times.
In the summertime, there is an unparalleled line-up of music festivals, including The 46th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival on June 20-23, the Telluride Americana Music Festival on July 17-20 and the Blues & Brews Festival on September 13-15. The scenic Telluride box canyon setting is more exclusive and intimate but easily matches larger venues such as the famous Red Rocks amphitheatre, and tickets are highly coveted.
Those looking to explore Telluride’s rich western history will find it entwined with that of the famous Butch Cassidy and should also head into the mountains on a Jeep tour with Telluride Outside. This thrill ride passes through ghost towns like Tomboy, boasting tennis courts, shops and bars once filled with mining prospectors living at that altitude for weeks at a time.
Telluride offers a huge range of outdoor activities in a spectacular scenic setting and is home to Bridal Veil Falls, the highest in Colorado. When the snow has melted in the spring, Telluride Ski Resort transforms into the ultimate biking destination with trails that wind through lush meadows and old mining roads. One of the best ways to view the fall foliage of yellow and gold aspen groves is to go hiking on one of Telluride’s scenic trails; Oak Creek Overlook has panoramic views of Lower Cascade Falls and Bear Creek Trail takes hikers across meadows, culminating in a set of waterfalls and unparalleled views of the town.
The jagged peaks and huge wall faces of the San Juan Mountains provide the perfect rock climbing setting. Beginners can try rock climbing for free at the man-made Adventure Rock at Mountain Village Center. Those wanting to venture into the water can try stand-up paddle boarding or fly fishing at Alta Lakes, or go whitewater rafting on the San Miguel River with experienced guides from Telluride Outfitters.
While Telluride is well-known for its active outdoor activities, it has a fantastic cultural side too. Those seeking a taste of local culture can take part in dynamic pottery, book-binding or dance classes at Ah Haa School for the Arts, or satisfy your appetite with a meal and drink while listening to live music at one of the friendly restaurants, saloons or bars on Main Street.
So why limit yourself to winter; Telluride’s magic awaits Aussie visitors all year ‘round.