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Telluride Information

TellurideThe county seat of San Miguel County, Telluride is located in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. Although small in population - there were approximately 2,300 permanent residents as of 2012 - the town is big in terms of historical importance and tourism. Begun as a mining community in 1875, Telluride enjoyed a boom period as a result of gold strikes in the nearby hills. Today, the historic mines are a major tourist attraction, as is the popular Telluride Ski Resort. The town has recently enjoyed a pop culture statues and has been the temporary residence of such notable figures as Tom Cruise, Susan Saint James, and Ralph Lauren. The Telluride Historic District covers much of the downtown area and is the most visited portion of the community.

A History Of Mining
Visitors to Telluride are drawn to the multitude of mining ruins, a reminder of the old days in this area of Colorado. The Nellie, Pandora, Sheridan, and Tomboy mines are the most notable of the historical sites, all of which were in operation for decades. In fact, mining was the only major industry in the town until the early 1970s, when closure of some of the facilities was followed by the opening of ski areas. Today, winter sports are dominant and form the basis of the town's economy.

Mining operations in the area led to many land disputes, and Telluride had its share of violent uprisings that were often difficult for the local authorities to control. Like most of the small mining communities in the Rocky Mountains, Telluride boasted a famous red light district. The town was one of the hotspots for the so-called Colorado Mining Wars. Tourists visiting Telluride are presented with numerous opportunities to take in live shows that depict the days of lawlessness in the region, and the highlight of any trip to this community is a visit to the historic mining sites.

A Premier Resort Town
Telluride is not just about winter skiing. The town is popular with tourists during the summer months as well. There are many wonderful vistas and high observation points on the hills surrounding the community, all of which are a magnetic draw for photographers and painters. The resort is open all year and offers visitors the chance to experience mountain biking, river rafting, and trail hiking. The Telluride Film Festival has grown in popularity over the past decade, and the town has organized an unusual but entertaining schedule of smaller festivals throughout the year. These include the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Blues and Brews Festival, Mushroom Festival, and the particularly interesting Nothing Festival. Telluride continues to be a favorite destination for the rich and famous, with a steady stream of actors, filmmakers, music artists and sports stars making their way to this small resort community.

Visitor Information
Telluride is accessible by Colorado State Highway 145, connecting the town with nearby Cortez and Naturita. State Highway 62 intersects Highway 145 and offers the most direct route to Denver.

Telluride has a small regional airport that offers limited service to other destinations. Most visitors traveling to Telluride by air use Montrose Airport instead. Travelers coming to Telluride by car are advised to check with officials for traffic advisories concerning highway conditions in the San Juan Mountains, especially in winter.

Because of its high elevation of 8,750 ft. above sea level, Telluride experiences rather crisp winters, with heavy snowfall at times. Summers are generally mild, with occasional thundershowers and blustery winds.