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5 Most Instagrammable Spots in Telluride

By Lynn Walker

Telluride is a tale of two cities rolled into one. First, there’s Telluride in the summer, and then there’s Telluride in the winter. Each season offers so much to see and do that U.S. News & World Report named Telluride No. 1 in Best Small Towns to Visit in the U.S. It’s a lens-feast for the camera.

The town high up in the Rockies traces its origin to the discovery of gold in 1875. Miners rushed in to stake claims in colorfully named mines such as the Tomboy, Nellie, and Pandora. In its wild and woolly days, the town was home to saloons and dancehall girls — and the first bank to be robbed by outlaw Butch Cassidy! Telluride preserves its distinctive Old West appearance and heritage.

When the gold played out, Telluride might have suffered the same fate as countless other mining towns that faded into oblivion. But its awesome beauty and towering peaks brought a new boom — tourism.

The town became a hippie haven in the 1960s. The first ski lift came to Telluride in 1972, and the tourist boom was on. By the 1980s, the village had become known as “Colorado’s best-kept secret.” It didn’t stay secret long.

In addition to drawing skiers, Telluride hosts festivals in the warm months. With its year-round attractions and wholesome mountain air, the town found itself in the media spotlight. The Conde Nast Traveler gushed, “This former mining village combines epic skiing on uncrowded high-altitude runs with unpretentious old west vibes.”  The Kia motor company named its top-of-the-line SUV after Telluride.

Here are the five Most Instagrammable Spots in Telluride:

1. The Town

Telluride sits in a box canyon and soaring peaks tower all around it. A snapshot down Main Street captures both the majestic mountains and the town’s carefully preserved Old West character. Telluride is a National Historic Landmark District, so nearly every part of the village is camera-worthy. The Telluride Historical Museum provides a glimpse into an uproarious past.

2. The Festivals

In the warm months, festivals abound in Telluride, many of them in Town Park. Every weekend is booked with fairs to suit a variety of tastes: Bluegrass Festival, Jazz Festival, Wine Festival — even a Yoga gathering.  The Telluride Film Festival is making a reputation as an Oscar-predictor.

3. The Trails

Telluride is the hub of numerous trails that wind through the mountainous terrain. The paths take you to natural wonders like the breathtaking Bridal Veil Falls and even through a ghost town that once bristled with miners!

4. The Gondola

Here’s a high-altitude peek at the peaks. The free gondola service shuttles between Telluride and Mountain Village in the ski resort. You’ll be hanging more than 10,000 feet up. Talk about a bird’s-eye view!

5. Farmer’s Market

(Photo: KOTO Radio)

Visit a farmers market like no others. Enjoy the local produce, baked goods and browse the artisan creations,  while the kids take part in bean bag tosses, face painting and more. The market at Heritage Plaza is just a few steps away from the gondola and next to the Summer Concert Series venue.

Telluride is nearly 9,000 feet high in the mountains so cold-weather clothes are a must in the winter. It's also best to bring jackets and sweaters in the summer when overnight lows drop to the lower 40s. However, summertime highs average in the 70s, making it perfect for hiking, exploring, and festival-going! Here's to vacationing at altitude!

 

Lynn Walker has been writing for radio, TV, and newspapers for more than 50 years. He’s passionate about traveling to nature’s most scenic areas and photographing everything in sight.