Upcoming mushroom festivals at Flagstaff and Telluride

Arizona fungus fans will want to jot down a couple of dates that have been set for nearby mushroom festivals this summer.

The 35th annual Telluride mushroom festival in southwestern Colorado will take place on Thursday, Aug. 13 through Sunday, Aug. 16. This event is like nothing else on the mushroom calendar.

I went to the 2014 Shroomfest in Telluride and had a wonderful time. Great people, lots of learning, and some terrific forays. The picture below was taken on a foray at Trout Lake with Gary Lincoff, author of the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, who is signing his book for me.

Gary Lincoff at Trout Lake

The conference is not cheap. Even the basic 4-day pass that is now on sale costs $275 at the early-bird price, soon to be even higher, and Telluride is an expensive part of the world for hotels and rentals and meals. You can count on coughing up even more if you want to take part in pre-festival Wednesday workshops on mushroom cookery, cultivation, and mycoremediation.

There is plenty of camping, however, and a limited number of volunteer opportunities for those who want to get a free or discounted pass. If you’re truly kooky for mushrooms, there really is no substitute for a trip to Telluride.


Another noteworthy local festival will take place in Flagstaff the following weekend, Friday Aug. 21 and Saturday Aug. 22.  This is the annual Mushroom Festival  at the Flagstaff Arboretum, on Woody Mountain Road southwest of town. Friday evening there will be wild-mushroom dishes catered by a local restaurant, with an evening educational program, while Saturday there will be a guided foray on the San Francisco Peaks.

Cost is $42 for Arboretum members and $50 for everyone else. Tickets will go on sale to members on July 13, and to the general public on July 20. There is a limited number of seats, and if you do not buy your ticket early you will be disappointed, as I was last year when I left it until the last minute.

Also, keep in mind that this event may conflict with the main annual Arizona Mushroom Club foray, which invariably takes place in late August. It would be possible to take part in the evening program on the Friday and still make the Saturday AMC foray, but you wouldn’t be able to do both forays unless you only go out with the Club on their Sunday foray.

As the summer and fall festival schedule fills up further, we’ll continue to post the particulars to our event calendar.  Push the button at the bottom right of the calendar if you want to automatically update your Mac, Google, or Outlook calendar with events posted on this site.


About Christopher May

Chris is a radiologist in private practice in Scottsdale. He is married to Barbara May, with two grown children, Megan and Nick.
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