Visit Telluride July 18-23, and you may get a skewed view of this charming mountain town. It's the week of the Nothing Festival, the locals' one summer hiatus from organized celebrations. The self-proclaimed Festival Capital of the Rockies, Telluride draws everyone from art and environmental enthusiasts for Mountain Film in late May to fungophiles for the 21st annual Mushroom Festival in August. Especially popular is June's Bluegrass Festival, which attracts 11,000 revelers daily into this town of 2,000 for four days of down-home music and partying.
Often, however, the more packed the town gets, the more the rugged beauty of the San Juan Mountains beckons. Board the free gondola to the ski area's Mountain Village, launching pad for 250 miles of hiking and biking trails. It's also the site of the 9,600-foot-high Telluride Golf Club. Nearby, trout rise in the Gunnison and San Miguel rivers, as well as in five stocked lakes. Climbing guides and horse outfitters help enthusiasts explore the San Juans. It's here, in the heart of the mountains, where you truly understand why locals have so much to celebrate. ¿K.K.