The Ultimate Guide to Telluride Hiking
Head For ~ The Hills
When someone mentions beautiful Telluride, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the mountain’s brilliantly unique skiing trails. But did you know that in the warmer months, hiking in Telluride is almost as popular? It’s true. Once the snow melts, a whole new world opens up for wilderness lovers of all hiking levels. And you won’t find truer terrain in which to explore all of Mother Nature’s hidden gems, no matter your age, size or fitness level. Just head for these hills. If hiking's not what you're looking for, take a look at our list of things to do in Telluride, and you're guaranteed to find something that suits you.
Take It Easy
A Quick Jaunt ~ Fit For The Whole Family
Cornet Creek Falls
A Short Jaunt ~ But Long On Presentation
We hesitate to even call this a proper hike, as it is only .5 miles, roundtrip. But this short jaunt is definitely long on presentation. Not only will you enjoy gorgeous summer views of the Telluride Ski Resort, after about 10 minute walk you’ll be greeted with a most misty finish: the spectacular, 80-foot Cornet Falls waterfall. Please note: the hike does requires some scrambling on loose soil and rock for optimal viewing, so do wear sturdy shoes.
Come see the tallest free-falling falls in all of Colorado! The waterfall towers at 365 feet high, and entices visitors from all over the world to hike, bike, or four-wheel drive to visit them. Just 3.6 miles round trip to the top of the falls, the elevation gain is only 1,650 feet, and thus, suitable for all ages and abilities.
San Miguel River Trail
A Daily Run ~ With A View
Follow the San Miguel River through the town of Telluride itself, while enjoying great canyon views and even learn about Telluride’s vast mining heritage on posted signs along your path. Easily accessed and just 170 feet in elevation gain, be on the lookout for passing joggers who are out on their daily run with a view.
More Dedication ~ More Elevation
Take It ~ Up A Notch
Now we’re really taking it up a notch. A 2,000-foot elevation gain to be exact. And is it ever beautiful along the way up. You’ll be passing scenic wildflowers the whole way until you surpass the treeline at 12,400 feet! Be sure to be on the lookout for abandoned mini-cabins and antique equipment along your 5.25 miles roundtrip.
While the trail itself is moderate with a 1,500-foot elevation gain, it is very high in altitude (nearly 14,000 feet) so please take note. Another trail for those seeking wildflowers in all their native glory, it’s about a two-hour trek to the pristine, alpine lake, so do plan accordingly.
Jud Wiebe Trail
A Moderate Trail ~ Right Outside Telluride Proper
Another moderate trail that can be accessed right from Telluride proper, this is a 3-mile loop that takes you lush aspen forests, sprawling fields and meadows, and wide-open sightlines of Telluride the entire way.
Maximum Effort ~ Maxiumum Views
Pass Historic ~ Mining Structures
That sound you hear is the Liberty Bell basin and mine calling your name. Along the way, you’ll pass historic mining structures as you ascend the 2,500-foot elevation gain. And while this trail is certainly steeped in history, we must warn you it is literally steep as well. Be careful as you make the, at times, strenuous journey and always try to keep your eyes on what’s ahead (which will include immaculate views of wildflowers and wildlife).
Easily accessible with a beginning in Telluride, that’s about the only thing that easy on this 6.4-mile hike. But you’ll quickly realize that the gorgeous views you’ll enjoy are worth every droplet of sweat you surrender to this trail. Become completely immersed in the Colorado wilderness, as you experience maximum bliss because of the minimal amount of foot-traffic throughout this San Juan Mountain environment.
14 Miles ~ Round Trip
This long, difficult hike is about 14 miles, round trip. Pack accordingly, because this one should take you the entire day. But is it ever worth it. Forming what is essentially a complete a loop around majestic Wasatch Mountain, you’ll experience breathtaking views of waterfalls, wildflowers, and whatever else lies below.
Important Tips for Hiking Telluride
For The ~ Best Time
Your level of preparedness is key. Whether you’re just taking a leisurely stroll or going backpacking on a multi-day excursion along Telluride’s 14’ers, plan ahead. Due to Telluride hiking trails’ elevation levels, you’ll always want to pack sunscreen and plenty of water. You’ll definitely should have a map and a few snacks. Bug spray never hurts. If it does, a prepacked first-aid kit can always help ease the pain. But once you’ve gathered all the necessary supplies, you now know the ideal Telluride’s hiking trail waiting for you. Plan your trip using this interactive trail map.
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