With enough mountain switchbacks, scenic trails, high altitude 14ers and leisurely meandering river walks, there’s a reason why hiking is Telluride’s most popular summer activity. With more than 90 hikes (as well as maps) provided by the Telluride Hiking Guide, there are only so many you can cram into your vacation.
Here, we’ll take the locals’ opinions from the Telluride Hiking Guide as well as The Telluride Mountain Club and others to provide you with a sampler of easy, moderate and strenuous hikes for everyone — from families with dogs to weekend mountaineers.
The Keystone Gorge Loop Trail is considered a good 2.6-mile round-trip hike through a gorge with beautiful views of the San Miguel River and Wilson Peak and boulders that kids love to climb. But note: This is a “no dogs” trail. The Telluride Trail is another easy walking trail (2.4 miles) that is a ski run in the winter months. After admiring the stunning views of the box canyon at the top, you can grab lunch at the Mountain Village then rest your legs and take the gondola down.
Crystal Lake, at the top of 11,789-foot Ophir Pass, is a favorite of both hikers and bikers for its easy access. It’s really a short 0.6 mile hike, but gets a moderate rating because you’ll have to scramble up some loose scree. The wildflowers and the amazing views of the chilly turquoise lake will be your reward when you sit down for a picnic. Hope Lake Trail is another a 4.7 mile, lightly trafficked, out-and-back trail with the first two miles or so on the path being fairly easy. Bring a walking stick for a few creek crossings here and there, as well as your camera for lots of scenic views along the way.
Ajax Peak, a 10.6-mile, dog-friendly hiking trail, can initially be walked up (take Forest Road #648 or drive part of the way with a 4WD vehicle) until you get to Bridal Veil Falls. From there, steep stone steps bring you to Black Bear Pass and upward. Expect a 5-hour trip, but when you reach the apex, you’re literally on the top of the world with panoramic views of the town, multiple basins and lakes. Ice Lake, described as “One of Colorado’s Most Gorgeous Hikes,” is a seven-mile round trip and approximately five hours, starting at Clear Lake Road. Once up the switchback, you’ll cross waterfalls, encounter stunning meadows and fields dotted with indigo delphinium, columbine, and paintbrush, and continue upward until you reach this turquoise alpine lake with mountain views.
Are you an outdoor enthusiast and want to explore some more? At SilverStar Telluride Luxury Properties, we know all of the insider’s tips on fun things to do while you’re here. For more exciting ways to enjoy all that Telluride has to offer on your summer vacation, call us at 970-728-3001 or fill out our online form.