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History of Telluride
Telluride is a wonderland for adrenaline junkies and outdoor enthusiasts of every kind. Come winter, the quintessential Colorado mountain town blossoms into a mecca for the snow obsessed. Surrounded by the highest concentration of 14,000-foot peaks in the state, you could say that Telluride’s prime location in a beautiful valley of the San Juan Mountains was bound to draw in business-minded investors eventually. But its beginnings- like those of many western Colorado towns- were far more humble from the get-go.
The Ute American Indians were the original inhabitants of the lands around Telluride, and for hundreds of years they flourished undisrupted until European explorers saw the potential of the mineral-rich lands. It’s no surprise, then, that the rise of the mining industry in the late 19th century brought in dirt-digging settlers with silver and gold in their eyes by the thousands.
With the collapse of the mining boom some decades later, however, the population of Telluride dropped from a few thousand to a mere few hundred; until, that is, the opening of the town’s first ski resort in the 1970s changed its story forever. To this day, skiers, snowboarders, ice climbers and winter enthusiasts from all over the world come to Telluride to experience the best of the best that the winter season has to offer. Curious about summer? Find the best things to do in Telluride in the summer here.
Skiing and Snowboarding in Telluride
It wouldn’t be right to mention winter in Telluride without mentioning skiing and snowboarding, as it’s the main reason visitors flock to the area when the first powder days hit, and for good reason! With over 2,000 skiable acres and nearly 4,500 feet of vertical, The Telluride Ski Resort is the steepest in Colorado, and offers some of the most challenging, stimulating terrain in the entire state. Beginners need not worry, though, as there are plenty of easier trails to get your bearings, too.
Now if you’re more of the earn-your-turns type that prefers skinning and bootpacking over easy-access ski lifts, rest assure that the backcountry terrain of the San Juan Mountains around Telluride is unrivaled. With hundreds of square miles of untouched powder, even the most gnarly powder hounds will have a hard time getting their fill.
There is adventure to suit all levels of comfort and skill. Just be sure to have the backcountry expertise and avalanche awareness if you decide to venture out of bounds.
Cross-Country and Nordic Skiing in Telluride
If you think Telluride is only for steep, high-alpine downhills, think again. Fans of cross-country skiing will delight in the miles upon miles of groomed trail systems that are all within thirty minutes of the town center. The Telluride Nordic Association plays a huge part in that.
The Association maintains the trails, provides maps, and offers local’s insight for skiers that are looking enter the backcountry. Looking for someone who is on the same level to hit the trails with? Download The Klubb app to find ski buddies in Telluride.
Here are several popular trails of varying lengths that we recommend for getting your cross-country ski workout in:
Fat Tire Biking
It was only a matter of time before the possibilities of biking on snow caught on in Telluride. And personally, we’re stoked on the fat tire bike progression! Check out San Juan Outdoor Adventures for Fat Tire rentals and Fat Tire Adventure Tours.
Fat tire bikes are the perfect way to cruise snow-packed river walks, old railway roads, even specific fat-bike-centric trails like the ones on The Valley Floor, which are great for beginners. If you’re looking for a bit more of a solitary adventure, take a spin on the;
Where to eat in town
There’s no better way to reward yourself after a long day of winter play in Telluride than a hearty meal in a restaurant with character, casual coziness, and a chock-full of friendly faces that turn up that ski-season spirit. A favorite of locals and visitors alike, Brown Dog Pizza’s pies are nothing short of a revelation after an active day outside. Brown Dog’s is so good, in fact, you may become a regular sooner than you think.
For a bit more fanfare, check out the Floradora Saloon. Offering the perfect balance of classic comfort food with a creative, global-inspired flair, all while sticking to their promise of super fresh, local-sourced ingredients.
Where to stay in Telluride
If you’re coming to Telluride for the snow, the last thing you want to worry about is how to hit the slopes quickly. The Madeline Hotel & Residences offers the epitome of five-star resort lavishness with all the bells and whistles you could possibly ask for. Plus, ski-in/ski-out access that truly can’t be beat.
The smaller-scale Inn at Lost Creek offers the same skiing perks and an uncompromised location right in Mountain Village. The Inn at Lost Creek offers a more personalized boutique experience, while still treating your luxury as a priority.