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CNN Travel | Telluride Featured Among 9 Luxurious Fall Escapes

Susan Shain, CNN • Published 3rd October 2017

From CNN Travel:

3. Lumière Hotel, Telluride, Colorado

Leather, wood and warm autumnal colors fill the 11 rooms and 18 “residences” at this boutique hotel. As do hickory floors, Egyptian cotton sheets and views of the San Juan Mountains. The residences, which vary in size from one to five bedrooms, offer chef’s kitchens and ample living space (the three-bedroom residences average 2,600 square feet).
So, bring all your friends — including the furry ones. Not only is the hotel on the slopes of Telluride Ski Resort, and thus mere steps from hiking trails, but it caters to pet owners with dog beds, bowls and treats.
Movie buffs should try to catch the eighth annual Telluride Horror Show ($150 for a three-day pass) from October 13-15. The film festival features a wide selection of hair-raising flicks — at a time when the town is awash in golden Aspens.
Lumière Hotel, 118 Lost Creek Ln, Telluride, CO 81435; +1 970 369 0400
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Huffington Post: Top 5 Reasons To Visit Telluride In The Fall

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Photo credit: Telluride Ski Resort

Telluride, best known for its world class ski resort, has in recent years become more popular as an off-season destination. Large numbers of visitors flock to the box canyon during the spring and fall, when there are fewer people and the town is quieter from closed seasonal businesses. While there is never a bad time to take in the beautiful town of Telluride, here are five reasons fall is the best time to visit.

1. Prices drop considerably.
Telluride is not a budget destination, but visitors can snag deals during the off season. Fewer hotels are open, but those that are drop their nightly rates. Some of the restaurants offer discounts, which can be found in the Telluride Daily Planet newspaper.

2. It’s a great time to watch for wildlife. 
Bears begin hibernating in mid October, making it safer to watch for wildlife. Visitors are almost guaranteed to see elk. Other wildlife includes beavers, moose, porcupines, grouse, deer, hawks, marmots, pikas, mountain lions and more. Just this month a family of lynx were spotted in the region.

3. There’s less traffic, which makes for a more relaxing visit.
Hoards of tourists crowd the narrow streets during the summer and winter months, when up to 10,000 people flood into a town that typically has a population of 2,000. So it’s no surprise that parking can be impossible. The delights of the laid back town can be enjoyed to its fullest with less people and less cars. Find a bench on Main Street and take in the mountain views and old western facades.

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Photo credit: Telluride Ski Resort

4. The fall colors are simply breathtaking. 
Yellow Aspen leaves contrasted by the snow-dusted mountain peaks make for amazing photographs. Hikes, bike rides and drives are particularly breathtaking in the fall. Telluride has increasingly become a popular wedding destination and The Knotcites October as the second most popular month to get married nationwide.

5. Unique festivals and events are must-do activities.
While Telluride’s best-attended festivals like the Telluride Film Festival have come and gone for the year, there are three festivals worth attending: Telluride Photo Festival, Oktoberfest and the Telluride Horror Festival. Other events like the Annual Ski Swap, where visitors can buy discounted gear for the coming ski season, are not to be missed. For Halloween fans, the Haunted House at the Telluride Historical Museum, which housed in the town’s first hospital, makes for screaming fun time.

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Photo credit: Riley Arthur

10 Places To See Colorado’s Fall Color

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In the Fall, Colorado is transformed into a natural arena of shimmering colors, with the state’s signature gold Aspen trees serving as the main act. These 10 trip ideas will point you in the direction of shimmering yellows, oranges and reds this September and October.

1. Trail Ridge Road

The highest continuous paved road in North America winds through Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park in the east to Grand Lake in the west. With more than eight miles above 11,000 feet and a maximum elevation of 12,183 feet, Trail Ridge Road is an amazing vantage point for leaf peepers and is a favored spot for photographers. The Rocky Mountain Conservancy offers guided hikes and tours and volunteer opportunities in the park.

2. Photographer’s Favorite: Kebler Pass

Gunnison is home to Kebler Pass, which boasts the largest aspen grove in North America and is one of renowned photographer John Fielder’s favorite places. Ohio Creek Road is a great starting point, as it passes some unique natural landscapes, including a series of ranch buildings marking the abandoned site of Castleton and the spires of “The Castles” — remnants of volcanic ash and mud that erupted from the West Elk Volcano some 30 million years ago. Note: The pass is unpaved.

3. The San Juan Skyway

San Juan Skyway, a breathtaking 236-mile loop through the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, offers visitors an amazing array of fall colors and includes a 70-mile stretch known simply as the Million Dollar Highway.  The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad offers a special Fall Photo Train that coincides with optimal fall foliage. Another unique way to experience Colorado’s fall colors is with Soaring® Tree Top Adventures, home to 27 zip lines that pass by brilliant aspens.

4. Maroon Bells

The iconic Maroon Bells, two towering 14,000-foot mountains nestled in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, are the most photographed peaks in North America. Located in the 2.3-million-acre White River National Forest, the Maroon Bells tower over numerous hiking trails that offer unbeatable views of golden aspen trees. The area is accessible by car, however buses run daily mid-June through Labor Day and on weekends Labor Day through early October from the Aspen Highlands.

5. Western Slope Colors

Colorado’s Western Slope is home to the Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat top mountain, and Colorado wine country. In addition to the reds, whites and rosés made in Grand Junction and Palisade, fall brings with it glorious colors. Powderhorn Mountain Resort‘s vibrant scrub oaks contrast with golden shimmering aspens along the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway.

6. Buffalo Pass

This dirt road just west of Steamboat Springs, is lined with rows of glowing aspen groves. The pass winds eight miles up toward the Continental Divide and Summit Lake, offering stunning views of the surrounding foliage. As the fall colors become more robust, locals recommend a hike to the pristine Zirkel Wilderness Area’s Three Island Lake Trail, which takes hikers through coniferous forests and high meadows, past glacial lakes and vistas. The 6.1-mile (round trip) trail is moderate in difficulty.

7. La Veta Pass

Peaking at an altitude of more than 9,400 feet, the La Veta Pass on U.S. Route 160 in southern Colorado (west of the town of La Veta) is one of the most scenic drives in the state during the fall season. Gold aspen trees mixed with dark green pines line the pass, while the magnificent Spanish Peaks and Sangre de Cristo Mountains tower over the foliage of the San Luis Valley. The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad (May through October) passes through mountain meadows, canyons and colorful foothills otherwise inaccessible by cars.

8. Free Gondola Ride

The Telluride Free Gondola is one of the most popular ways to view Telluride’s amazing fall colors. The aerial views include the town of Telluride, its box canyon and colorful valleys lined with aspens and evergreens. For yet another way to see Telluride’s foliage, several trailheads are located right in town. Locals suggest the Jud Wiebe Trail, a three-mile loop that winds through large aspen groves and passes by Comet Falls.

9. Dallas Divide

Colorado Hwy. 62 over the Dallas Divide represents an epic fall Colorado drive. Starting near Ridgway, visitors can get an amazing view of Mount Sneffels, one of Colorado’s 58 14ers, and the expansive Sneffels Wilderness Area, which offers several hiking trails for those wishing to venture out further. The route eventually connects with Hwy. 45 and Lizard Head Pass, which offers views of Wilson Peak, the very mountain that inspired the iconic Coors logo. Read about other famous Colorado mountains.

10. Front Range Foliage

Peak to Peak Scenic and Historic Byway is Colorado’s oldest, having been established in 1918. The byway starts in Boulder and offers unmatched views of the Continental Divide and its dramatic fall colors. Though the byway is less than 60 miles in length, there are numerous stop off points along the route, including Rocky Mountain National ParkGolden Gate Canyon State Park, the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, and the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, all of which offer their own unique vantage points for leaf peepers.

– See more at: http://www.colorado.com/articles/10-places-see-colorados-fall-color#sthash.h93naYw3.dpuf

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