- Telluride was the first city in the world to have electric streetlights. Once called the “City of Lights,” the world’s first alternating current (AC) power plant was built here. Today, the nearest stoplight is 45 miles away.
- At the east end of Telluride, Bridal Veil Falls (a frequently used name for waterfalls that resemble a bride’s veil) is Colorado’s tallest free-falling waterfall at 365 feet. In winter the frozen shape of the falls forms an imposing challenge to intrepid ice climbers. The falls were opened briefly in the 1990s to ice climbers, but the area is private property so climbing has been legally prohibited since. Referred to as a “mega classic” and “the most difficult waterfall ice climb in North America,” some climbers have trespassed to take a crack at the imposing and dangerous climb.
- Promptly at midnight on January 1, 1916, the operators of Telluride’s numerous saloons, gambling houses and dance halls performed, albeit reluctantly, an unusual task: they halted liquor sales. Long accustomed to marching to the beat of a different drummer, Telluride chose to deal with the new era on its own terms though. Prohibition laws were observed but enforcement was selective, at best. Telluride survived the nearly 18 years of prohibition with a simple maxim: If the moment calls for a bit of the “mountain dew,” don’t get caught!
- Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank in Telluride on June 24, 1889, walking away with over $24,000. Rumor has is that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid planned another one of their famed bank robberies on the same stools at the New Sheridan Bar where après ski folk now sip their hot toddies. Crossing the threshhold of the oldest bar in Telluride, you’ll feel like you stepped right into the Old West and every so often, a certain Telluride cowboy helps preserve some of that ole Wild Wild West attitude by riding his horse right into the bar for a sip of water.
- There are no chain restaurants or shops in Telluride. And that’s a good thing!
- Telluride Helitrax is Colorado’s only helicopter ski company and has been in operation since 1982. The guides at Helitrax offer skiers and snowboarders safe and personalized backcountry experiences. Helitrax flies in the beautiful San Juan Mountains at the highest elevations of any helicopter ski operation in North America, ensuring panoramic scenery and powder turns. And they offer a variety of heli-ski options: Choose from day trips, multi-day outings and custom tours.
- The chimney looking-rock in the San Miguel mountain range is called Lizard Head. For at least the last 100 years, the sight of Lizard Head Peak has enthralled all who traveled across Lizard Head Pass between the towns of Dolores and Telluride. This protruding 13,113-foot pinnacle of rock was featured in the logo of Otto Mears’s Rio Grande Northwestern Railroad. In 1912, an erroneous newspaper story claimed that the landmark had actually collapsed, much to the shock of its readers. Today, the stunning spire still captures the imaginations of motorists heading north on Colorado Highway 145. Those who wish to get a much closer look at Lizard Head can follow a roundabout route to its base for a worm’s-eye view.
- At 9,078 feet above sea level, the Telluride Regional Airport is the highest commercial airport in North America.
- The Free Box, a Telluride tradition, is all about give and take. It began sometime in the mid-70s when Telluride was simply a small mountain town with a definite hippie and New Age influence to it. People in Telluride who had some items they no longer needed might drop them off in the Free Box. Somehow this tradition has endured in these much more upscale, high-class, resort days.
- The historic Sheridan Opera House was built by Telluride miners in 1913. The acoustics and architecture alone warrant the Sheridan as a top spot on your Telluride must-see-list.
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