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Tucked like a jewel in a tiny valley caught between azure sky and gunmetal mountains is Telluride, once so inaccessible that it was a favorite hideout for desperadoes like Butch Cassidy, who robbed his first bank here in 1889. The savage but beautiful terrain of the San Juan Mountains, with peaks like 14,157-foot Mount Sneffels and rivers like the San Miguel, now attracts mountain people of a different sort—alpinists, snowboarders, freestylers, mountain bikers, and freewheeling four-wheelers—who attack any incline, up or down, and do so with abandon.
Telluride is chic, which thrills some and dismays others. Many townies deplore the over-the-top Telluride Mountain Village development in the heart of the ski area, and some bitterly resent the construction of the glamorous Wyndham Peaks Resort. The ambivalence felt about the influx of wealth and new buildings brings into question whether development is inevitable, whether the pristine can be preserved in this fast-paced world. For better or worse, Telluride is gorgeous. The San Juans loom over town either menacingly or protectively, depending on the lighting.
Telluride at a Glance
Sports and Outdoors
Elsewhere in Telluride and Southwest Colorado
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