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5 Great Hikes From the Town of Telluride

20 May 2015
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Summer in Telluride

There really is no place in Colorado that offers such varied, limitless, stunningly beautiful, uncrowded hiking opportunities as the mountains surrounding Telluride. Whether you are a hiking newbie or an experienced 14er warrior, there are endless choices for all levels of hikers in and around Telluride. The following hikes are our top picks of 5 hikes that can be accessed right from Telluride town.

It’s important that you are well equipped for your hike, even if it’s an easy hike. Because of Telluride’s altitude, you might be surprised at your lack of energy, even if you are usually a fit, healthy person. Make sure you take plenty of water, some nutritional snacks (bananas and Larabar are great options for an energy packed pick me up). Sunscreen and a wet weather jacket are also recommended. The weather changes quickly in the mountains so it’s a good idea to prepare for all conditions! Oh, and don’t forget your camera, because it’s likely you will be snap happy on your adventure!

  1. Telluride Valley Floor - a great place to find your ‘altitude legs’. The Telluride Valley Floor can be accessed by heading to the river from anywhere in town, and following the river trail to the east. You can walk for 3 miles along this flat path that meanders alongside the San Miguel river towards Lawson Hill. If you think you can manage the 6 mile round trip from Telluride to Lawson Hill and back, make a lunch stop in Lawson Hill at Aemono Fine Foods or Cindybread Bakery. If a refreshing ale sounds like a good idea, stop in at the award winning and super friendly Telluride Brewing Company for a pint. It’s important to note that dogs are not allowed on the last 2 miles of the hike, so keep an eye out for the sign if you are walking with your furry friends!
  2. Bear Creek - accessed from the south end of Pine Street in Telluride, the breathtakingly beautiful Bear Creek Trail is always a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike. This 2.5 mile trail winds up into the Bear Creek basin with a very steady incline of 1050 feet, making it a reasonably moderate hike for intermediates. Flanked by 13,000 foot peaks that rise up dramatically on either side of this tight valley, the crowning jewel of this trail is Bear Creek Falls which cascades down the mountain at the top of the trail. For the more adventurous hikers, the Bear Creek Trail connects to the Wasatch and Bridal Veil Basin Trails which are for more advanced hikers. Dogs are allowed on this trail which makes it a popular choice during the summer months.
  3. Jud Wiebe - there’s one hike that gets the most traffic in Telluride, and that is the Jud Wiebe trail that loops above town on the north side. Not only does this classic hike offer some of the best vistas of the Telluride valley, but it basks in sunshine year round, making it a popular choice, even during the snowy winter months. To access the Jud Wiebe Trail, walk to the top of Aspen Street or Oak Street. This trail makes a full loop, so you will end up back in town at the top of whatever street you didn’t start at! Expect to take 2 hours to complete this 3 mile loop if you have never done it before. Dogs are fine to take with you. Pack a snack and take a rest on the love bench overlooking the ski area at the very top.
  1. Clay’s Way - this one’s a little more obscure, and most people, even locals might give you a strange look when you mention this hike. Clay’s Way, sometimes called Owl Creek, is quite similar to the Jub Weibe but has less traffic, and offers even more beauty than the Jub Weibe. Like the Weibe, this trail is a full loop that is accessed from the top of Aspen Street. You can either walk up Tomboy Road a few miles, until you reach the switch backs. On the second switch back, there is a trail leading into the woods. You follow the trail until it connects with the Jud Weibe. This loop is also about 3 miles from start to finish.
  2. Bridal Veil Falls - Bridal Veil Falls is one of the most iconic Telluride attractions, and for good reason. At 365 feet, Bridal Veil Falls is the highest free falling waterfall in Colorado. On top of the falls sits the Bridal Veil power plant (which looks more like a classic Victorian home, which it has been), which was the second hydroelectric plant to generate AC power in the world. From Telluride town to the top of the falls is 4.2 miles (about 2 hours from town). If you’re not up for that much, it’s just as lovely to walk to the bottom of the falls, and sit in the refreshing spray as the cascading falls hit the pond and rocks down below. You can also drive to the east end of town and walk from the parking lots, which save you about 2 miles of walking.

These hikes are just a small fraction of the many beautiful hikes around Telluride. We hope you will come and enjoy some adventure in Colorado this summer! To book your lodging, call Telluride Rentals on 800-970-7541 or visit our website to browse the selection of luxury accommodations we offer.