The History of Telluride

Telluride Valley

Telluride is a hidden gem in the mountains of Colorado. This small town has a rich history dating back to the late 1800s when it was founded as a mining town. Today, Telluride is known for its world-class skiing and outdoor recreation, but its history is just as fascinating as its present. Here’s a look at the history of this unique mountain town.  

Mining Town of Telluride

Originally a Mining Town 

The town of Telluride, nestled in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, was founded in 1878 as a mining camp. Those original miners were looking for their fortunes in the gold and silver veins deep inside the mountains and established Telluride as a base camp so they could explore the nearby mineral-rich gulches. The miners had little luck finding major deposits, but what they did find would be enough to carve out a home that remains strong to this day. After first founding the small settlement, Telluride turned its attention to recreational activities such as skiing, mountain biking, and hiking amid its majestic peaks while maintaining its historical mining roots. Visitors to Telluride today can explore these mining roots on a variety of tours that provide an immersive experience of this wild mountain town’s storied past.  


Tellurium to Telluride

In the 19th century, a treasure trove of tellurium was uncovered by miners in what is now known as the town of Telluride. The element was so plentiful that it inspired the community to honor its discovery by naming their home after it. Tellurium, a silvery-white metalloid usually found mixed with other ores and minerals, became a valuable commodity in the area. Its rarity and utility made it an attractive asset for local industry and provided economic stability to the region. The story of Telluride is just one example of how mineral discoveries can transform a community into something extra special.   

Wild West in Telluride, Colorado

The Wild West

In the late 1800s, Telluride, Colorado was considered a wilder frontier town and provided a haven for outlaws and criminals from across the region. It quickly gained notoriety as a town where people could come to break laws without fear of retribution, allowing it to attract some of the more notorious members of society at the time. Did you know that the legendary outlaw Butch Cassidy made off with a total of $24,580 from the San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride in his first bank robbery?   

The lawlessness of Telluride caused great concern for those who stayed in nearby towns but was a source of excitement for some who came for the thrilling exploits made possible by operating outside the boundaries of conventional legality. As such, its legacy as an area with a taste for the crime remains to this day.   

Telluride, Colorado snowy mountain

Peace After War Times 

After the war, Telluride, Colorado quickly blossomed into one of the most sought-after ski destinations in the United States. Nestled in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, Telluride is home to some of the best skiing conditions in North America. Its expansive terrain and world-class ski lodges are unrivaled and its annual snowfall makes it an attractive option for seasoned skiers and casual visitors alike. Many of its original mining families have remained in Telluride over the years, ensuring a unique blend of history and modern recreation that is not found anywhere else in the US. If you’re looking for the perfect snow escape, look no further than Telluride!  

Telluride valley mountain spring

Telluride Today 

Today, Telluride is one of the most beautiful and desirable places to visit in the country. Situated in the southwest corner of Colorado, it boasts a picturesque landscape of rolling hills, winding rivers, and towering mountains that offer plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities to explore. Whether you want to hike a mountain peak or ski down a fresh layer of untouched powder, Telluride can provide the adventure you seek. It’s also known as an excellent destination for fishing, mountain biking, camping, backpacking, white-water rafting, paragliding, and horseback riding. With such diverse appeal and stunning natural beauty all around, it’s no wonder Telluride continues to be a popular destination for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike. 

Book with SilverStar

If you’re looking for a luxury vacation rental for your stay in Telluride, consider SilverStar Properties. We have plenty of beautiful homes to choose from to suit any of your needs. We offer condos, townhomes, and mountain lodges with 5-star accommodations. Our high-end amenities and superb customer service will make your stay in Telluride even more memorable. Contact us to learn more about our luxury cabin rentals in Telluride, CO, or call us at (970) 728-3001 for any questions about your next stay today!