Near Telluride, but worlds away, a 24-mile stretch of U.S. Hwy 550 takes visitors back to the days when the West was still wild and the road conditions were not for the faint of heart. Connecting the old mining towns of Silverton and Ouray in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, the Million Dollar Highway traverses the Uncompahgre Gorge to the summit of Red Mountain Pass, where a series of hairpin turns – with no guardrails – flank stomach-churning vertical drops.
For me, it was a once in a lifetime experience. I cannot imagine any reason which would induce me to do that drive again. It is amazing to me even today that to have flown jet fighter type aircraft that I am morbidly afraid of heights.
From Telluride you can hike up to spectacular Bridal Veil Falls. A moderately strenuous trail leads 1.2 miles up to the base of the falls. From there, you can hike another 0.6 miles to the top of the falls if you wish. The trail does extend beyond the top of the falls for those who wish to journey farther. At the top of the falls sits the old generator house.
Well, you must take the bike trip, which is unbelievable, it is 18 miles long for beginner to moderate experience, they drive you to Trout Lake where you are surrounded by Lizard Pass, you will stroll around the lake picking wild mushrooms and eating wild rasberries all the while following the old Galloping Goose Railroad. Next take the Gondola in the fall around 5:30-8:00 if you have a bike I would recommend riding it down the paths, there are 3 probably more resident bears eating at that time. You must also fish the San Miguel River, which we caught a huge Brook Trout, this river is only Fly or spinner and you can only catch and release, which is the best way anyway. So Rent a Jeep and drive to up to Bridal Veil Falls, which if you walk is about 2 hours and 20 minutes one way, it almost killed me. From there you take a 2 mile walk into the back country and there will be 2 lakes that you may also fish in or just relax in nature's beauty. There are several reasons to rent a Jeep there, yes you can rent them by the day for like 130 dollars. There are old mines that you can back country jeep to.
Because of its important contributions to early mining, Telluride was designated as a National Historic Landmark District. The town's Victorian and mining character is protected.
The houses are absolutely lovely to see. I've put some other pictures in my travelogues.
This scenic and historic byway is one of six All-American roads recognised for outstanding scenic, geologic and historic sites.
We made a trip to Ouray (1 1/2 hours) and Silverton (2,5 hours). A long ride, but so incredible breathtaking.
To be honest I wasn't impressed with the town . I kept hereing that people referred to it as a" little Switzerland ". I honestly didn't see it. It was the only real dissapointment in the trip . However we did go jeeping up to Yankee basin from Ouray .This was alot of fun .There are several jeeping tours if you don't want to jeep there yourself . That the way we decided to do it . I'm glad because we got alittle history of the old mining towns and the mountain itself and met some nice people on the way . There are some old abandoned mining towns we stop at on the way to see the wildflowers at Yankee Basin . The tour company was called little switzerland of america (i believe) .I would go there just for the jeep tour .It is not far from Telluride and the drive around Ridgeway is beautiful .I know there is also jeeping in silverton and Telluride .What shouldn't be missed is the drive between Ouray and Silverton . The scenery can't be beat . It's called the million dollar highway .
We stayed up on the mountain . There is a free Gondola that takes you to the town below . A few nice shops and food on the mountain. There are some nice hiking trails up there that you access from the gondola.
2,5 miles one way to the falls. 1040- foot elevation gain.
Spectacular views, lots of little mountain falls...
Make sure to take some food and enough water with you. Contrary to similar places in Europe, there is no booth at the falls. Great!
In the summer you can take Imogene Pass up and over the mountains to Ouray. The pass requires a 4 wheel drive but it takes you by the old mine and through falling apart ghost towns. Ouray is home of one of the biggest hot spring pools. There is a small fee to get in but it is well worth it.
Roudy is the local cowboy and he has been taking tourist on horseback rides for years. His ranch is up near Mountain Village and has incredible views of Mt. Wilson and Wilson Peak. The horse do the work while you gape at the incredible scenery.
Skiable acres: 1,050
Longest run: 2.85 miles
Coonskin Base: 8,725 feet (2,660 meters)
Station Telluride Base:8,760 feet (2,670 meters)
Station Mountain Village: 9,540 feet (2,908 meters)
Top of Lift 9: 11,890 feet (3,625 meters)
Gold Hill Summit: 12,247 feet (3,735 meters)
Terrain:21% beginner;47% intermediate; 32% advanced
Average Annual Snowfall:311 inches
Vertical Drop: 3,522 feet (1,074 meters)
3,165 feet lift-served (965 meters)
Total Lifts/Trails: 12 lifts; 66 trails;
1 three-stage gondola (2 lifts); 4 high-speed quads;
2 triples, 2 doubles; 1 surface poma; 1 Magic Carpet for beginners
Lift Capacity: 14,946 skiers per hour
Surge Air Garden Terrain Park
Over 40 hits, 12-foot competition halfpipe.
Nordic Trails:30-km Nordic network
Ski Access and Schedule
To access the ski area from Telluride, use Lift 7 on
the south end of Mahoney Drive or use Lift 8 or the gondola,
both found on the south end of Oak Street.
Beginner terrain is best accessed from Mountain Village
at Lifts 1, 4, 10 and the gondola.
Open November 21, 2000 through April 15, 2001,
8:45 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily!
Can go to Ouray , Black Canyon or even south to Mesa Verde (that would be a long day). Just enjoying the scenery is part of what makes this vacation a great time !!!!
Cute victorian town . I spent a full afternoon shopping . High -end shopping. Clothes, jewerly etc. Need some cash to shop here but worth it !!!
This is a beautiful waterfall, that hovers above the town park where the Telluride Bluegrass Festival is held each year. It's truely one of the most magnificant settings for a concert venue ever.