Thursday, August 18, 2011

Taking a Roadtrip to Telluride Colorado for the Film Festival and Bridal Veil Falls Hike

Telluride, Colorado is in a box canyon on the San Miguel River on the west slope of the Uncompahgre Range of the San Juan Mountains.

In 1875 mining claims started being staked in the area around a supply camp called Columbia. Soon the name of the supply camp was changed to Telluride, named after tellurium, the non-metallic matrix in which gold and silver appeared.

By the 1890s Telluride began to try to gain some respectability to counter its reputation for being a bit on the wild side. The luxurious Sheridan Hotel and next door opera house were built in 1891.

Famous people such as Lillian Gish, Sarah Bernhardt and William Jennings Bryan appeared at the Sheridan Opera House.

In 1889 Butch Cassidy impressed Telluride with the unauthorized withdrawal of around $30,000 from the San Miguel Valley Bank in what is believed to be his first bank robbery.

Telluride did not turn into a ghost town when the mining began to slow down. Instead Telluride's main industry became tourism. Hippies started showing up in Telluride in the late 1960s.

Telluride Ski Resort turned Telluride into a major skiing destination. Other outdoor activities turned Telluride into a year round tourist attraction with mountain biking, hiking and river rafting.

The Telluride Film Festival, held over Labor Day Weekend, has become an internationally significant film festival.

About 2 1/2 miles southeast of Telluride, Bridal Veil Creek drops 365 feet over Bridal Veil Falls. On the edge of the cliff above the falls sits a renovated 1907 building which housed one of the oldest Westinghouse generators in existence. The generator has been restored and is providing hydro power to Telluride.

Hikers and mountain bikers can take a mining road built in the late 1800s to the power station and Bridal Veil Falls. Another dramatic hike up the canyon begins on the edge of town and climbs 1,100 feet to Bear Creek Falls.

In the Telluride Historical Museum you will find exhibits that chronicle the history of Telluride from the early mining days to the present.

Telluride is at an elevation of around 8,750 feet. The Roadtrip to Telluride involves some mountain driving. From the west, Colorado Route 145 is the main way into Telluride. There are two passes into Telluride, both of which require 4 x 4 skills. Imogene Pass is the less treacherous of the two. Black Bear Pass is considered by many to be Colorado's most dangerous pass. Black Bear Pass can be driven in only one direction due to a tricky stair step section.

The map below shows you were Telluride is located in the San Juan Mountains....

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