Mountain Hotel Adjacent to Telluride Ski Area
Legend has it that the name Telluride is a contraction of "to hell you ride," a sendoff called out to prospectors as they headed into the San Juan Mountains in search of silver and gold. It's far more likely that the town was named after nearby deposits of tellurium, an element used in metal alloys—but before the advent of modern highways, the white-knuckle mountain passes leading into Telluride could indeed be hellish. Though it's much easier to access these days, the onetime mining boomtown retains its frontier spirit, particularly in the nationally recognized historic district. Montana Placer Inn stands just one block from downtown and not far from what has become the area's main draw—the ski slopes.
The inn's four guest rooms feature king-size beds, private baths, and gas fireplaces. There are also two spacious one-bedroom condos, each of which comes equipped with a hot tub big enough for six people or two elk on a romantic getaway.
Steps away from Montana Placer Inn, a free gondola connects Telluride to Mountain Village, the location of the Telluride Ski Resort, which stays open for skiing until April 8. The mountain boasts 1,700 skiable acres of groomed trails and terrain parks. Popular runs include the mogul-strewn Plunge for experts, and, for novices, the scenic, 4.5-mile Galloping Goose.
Telluride, Colorado: Historical Boomtown Known for Off-Road Trails and Summer Festivals
Telluride is located in a box canyon within the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. After the discovery of silver, gold, zinc, and lead along the San Miguel River, what started out as a hardscrabble mining camp blossomed into a boomtown. Today, the Telluride Historic District is preserved as a National Historic Landmark. According to local legend, Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch launched their bank-robbing careers at Telluride’s San Miguel National Bank in 1889.
After the ski resorts close mid-spring, Telluride becomes a base camp for hiking and off-roading excursions. Many mining roads throughout Colorado high country double as trails for SUVs. One rugged pathway, the 5-mile Tomboy Road, leads to a once-thriving mining outpost that's now a ghost town inhabited by tumbleweeds and Scooby-Doo villains. Come summertime, Telluride plays host to several annual festivals, including jazz, film, wine, and photo events.
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