Telluride Info

Please use the boxes to the right to get started planning your trip to town. As always, feel free to contact us with questions.


One of the best things about coming to Telluride for a workshop is accessibility to the wildness. The town is set in a valley that is absolutely stunning and trails lead up the mountains straight out of town. Before heading out, we encourage you to keep a few things in mind.

  • Altitude. Town sits at almost 9,000 ft and nearby peaks top out at over 14,000. We highly recommend that you hike/bike/climb etc. within your abilities.
  • Buy a 5-year Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card for $12. Without it, you could be liable for thousands of dollars in rescue expenses should the unthinkable happen.
  • Get a map. You can buy a great topographical map at many stores in town.
  • Bring sufficient gear. Water, food, sun protection, layers etc.

Telluride Outside Outfitters: Guided Activities
  • Fly Fishing: Telluride is one of the finest fly-fishing destinations in the country. Telluride Outside fishes three major rivers in the region: The San Miguel, Dolores, and the Uncompahgre, as well as several lakes and creeks. The guides are excellent and really enjoy teaching the sport at all levels. Top-quality rental equipment is available for guests who need it, including Scott and Sage fly rods, Ross reels, and Simms breathable waders. They offer half and full day trips, generally guided on a 1:1 or 2:1 guest to guide ratio.
  • Mountain Biking: Telluride Outside offers half and full daytrips for mountain bikers of any ability. There are tons of trails in the region to explore.
  • Rafting: The San Miguel offers excellent rating just a few minutes from Telluride. Telluride Outside guides half and full day trips on the San Miguel. Half-day trips cover approximately 9 miles of class II-III whitewater in about 2 hours, and full-day trips run through about 20 miles of Norwood Canyon. They raft every morning and afternoon.
  • 4-WD Tours: Telluride Outside has both half and full day 4-WD tours in the magnificent surrounding mountains. Their most popular trip is the Imogene Pass/Tomboy tour which climbs to over 13,100 feet and passes through the famous ghost town of Tomboy. Your knowledgeable guide can tell you all about the Telluride region's colorful mining history. They drive new, beautiful vehicles outfitted with special canopied seating for maximum comfort. The price for a 3.5 hour tour is $80 per adult and $70 per child 12 or younger.
Great Local Hikes
  • The River Trail/Valley Floor- this is Telluride's easiest trail but also a very enjoyable one. The trail stretches from the old Idarado Mine to Society Turn. A great first hike.
  • Bear Creek Trail- The Bear Creek Preserve, a 325 acre mountain canyon, is one of Telluride's treasures. The trailhead is located on the south side of town near the Wilkinson Public Library and is a long-time favorite among visitors and locals. The round-trip hike up to the waterfall and back is 4.5 miles. The terrain is not steep. This is a great hike for families or to get acclimated when you first arrive.
  • Ajax Peak-Ajax is the dominant peak in the Telluride Valley. It's summit tops out at about 12,500 feet and the entire hike is about 5 miles from the power plan at the top of the road. You will need a 4WD vehicle to reach the trailhead if you don't feel like walking. You can also try hitchhiking to the trailhead or back to town once you're finished.
  • Sneffels Highline- This 12 mile loop takes you through gorgeous mountain valleys and over a 12,500ft saddle. The elevation gain is 3,600ft. It is strenuous but very rewarding. The wildflowers are amazing at the right time of year.
Telluride History

By Beth Kelly, Telluride Historical Museum Program Director 2008-2012 and 2013 TSRC Town Talk Host

By the turn of the last century, you could not swing a saloon girl in Telluride without hitting a watering hole. There were thirty-seven drinking establishments. Money and opportunity hung like a carrot on a stick, just out of reach for most. Lust was rampant. Word traveled fast. The San Juans were laden with riches, including gold, silver, zinc, lead, and copper.

In this frenzy, the Nuchu Indians, who for more than 10,000 years spent the milder months of the year in the "shining mountains," were removed from the San Juans in 1881onto reservations by the Brunot Treaty to make way for those prospectors and miners.

With the arrival of the Rio Grande Sounthern Railroad in 1891, the region flourished with a population swelling to nearly 5,000 residents. A testament to the wealth in Telluride was not only that Telluride became the first town in the world to boast long-distance A/C electricity, but the town launched Butch Cassidy's bank robbing career. On June 24, 1889, he led a successful heist of the San Miguel Valley Bank on Main Street in Telluride.

All the prosperity in Telluride prompted a local booster club to coin the slogan, "Telluride, The Town Without a Bellyache," advertising to the world that no one wants for anything in this prosperous mountain town.

Telluride may not have had a bellyache, but it probably had a throbbing head. Throughout the prohibition era, isolation served the town well. You could get a drink just about anywhere, including the County Court House. Still, the pace of life had already begun to slow. Mining just wasn't what it used to be. There were fewer men and more machines doing the work.

Both world wars took their tolls on the population and many young people left Telluride for the promise of work and wealth elsewhere. By the 1960s, the community was as tight as ever with Independence Day celebrations renowned far and wide, yet, the hospital and banks closed. Only 300 residents remained.

The saloons, though, carried on.

A decade later, when the hippies and ski bums bellied up, they ushered in a new era of history, change, and population growth. The last mine closed in 1978, six years after the ski resort was born.

Today, Telluride remains a prosperous town no longer mining for yellow gold, but shining in white gold in the winter. Telluride's natural beauty, lively town, and rich history beckon people from around the world. The newcomers poised to change the economic landscape once more? Scientists.

Telluride on the Cheap
Telluride is a wonderful place to visit anytime. While it may have a reputation as a pricey destination, with a few easy tips, your stay in town can be quite affordable.

Student Scholarships
If you are a graduate student or a post-doc, TSRC offers a few scholarships that may apply to you.

Lodging Tips
  • Rent a large condo and split the cost among many roommates
  • BOOK EARLY. We cannot stress this enough. You are much more likely to get the lodging you want if you register early.
  • The cheapest condos are the bronze, three-bedroom condos at Telluride Lodge and "Around Town Lodging." Indicate if you are willing to sleep two to a room or sleep on the sofa bed. If you know who you are interested in sharing with, contact them first and designate a "head roommate," who must register first. Please note that all roommates must complete their registrations before the lodging choices made by the head roommate can be confirmed.
  • If you would like help finding a roommate/roommates, choose the "TSRC Roommate Connection" option and we will do our best to link you with roommates in low-cost accommodation.

  • Look into flying into nearby towns. Montrose, Durango, or Cortez are options, though you will have to rent a car in Cortez or Durango. Telluride Express offers shuttles from Montrose at a discount for TSRC scientists.
  • If you have more time and can round up some friends, renting a car and driving from Denver, Salt Lake City, or Albuquerque may be the cheapest option. It's about seven hours from these cities to Telluride.

  • Cooking your own food may be your most affordable route while in town. Be sure to get accommodations with a kitchen or kitchenette if you plan on doing some cooking.
  • Ask TSRC staff for restaurant recommendations. We are all long-time locals who know where to get the best bang for your buck.
  • There is a lot of food at TSRC. The breakfasts are included in your registration fee, as are snacks, which are available throughout your meeting.

Nightlife and Entertainment
  • There is a free concert on Wednesday nights in Mountain Village during the summers. Also, if you happen to be in town during a festival, keep an eye on what is going on in Elks Park or along Main Street. There will usually be some good cheap fun.
  • There are plenty of bars and nightspots in town that run the gamut from upscale to divey. Ask TSRC staff, they'll surely point you in the right direction.

Telluride Science Research Center
Post Office Box 2429, Telluride CO 81435
Tel: + 970.708.4426
Back to Top