If you don’t go hiking in Telluride, did you even visit? There are so many different hiking trails in Telluride varying in difficulty, but they are all beautiful. You can enjoy these trails or use an ATV (where permitted) to take in the breathtaking mountain scenery all year round. You may want to spend your winters skiing at Telluride’s world-class ski resorts. We recommend hiking from spring to fall so you can see the gorgeous array of wildflowers blooming—just don’t forget your allergy medicine.
Many of these trails allow your furry friend to accompany you as long as they’re leashed. Here are five of the best hiking trails in Telluride that you need to do during your stay:
#1 Bear Creek Trail
The Bear Creek Trail is one of the most popular trails in the Uncompahgre National Forest. It boasts stunning views of Telluride and Bear Creek Falls, an 80-feet tall waterfall. This is one of the most family-friendly trails in Telluride. It’s 5 miles long and has an elevation gain of 1,092 feet. The trail starts in downtown Telluride at the end of South Pine Street. From there you make your way into the Bear Creek Preserve, a public space that’s great for picnics!
You’ll continue onto a trail with aspen and pine groves with occasional views of the Town of Telluride. There are multiple waterfalls on the way, but they pale in comparison to Bear Creek Falls. Your kids will love playing in the small water basin, and it’s a great way to cool off before you head back to Telluride or continue onto Bear Creek Canyon on the Wasatch Trail.
#2 Jud Weibe Memorial Trail
The Jud Weibe Memorial Trail is considered a “rite of passage” for the locals in Telluride. The trail is 3.1 miles long and has a 1,300 ft elevation gain. The trail starts and ends in downtown Telluride. On the trail, you’ll see aspen groves and mountain meadows. You’ll even catch a glimpse of Bridal Veil Falls along the way.
This hike is family-friendly but can change elevation fairly quickly so be careful and take it easy. The highest point of the trail is 10,000 ft. There are plenty of benches on the route to catch your breath. You can also take a quarter-mile detour if you want to see the Cornet Creek Falls, another 80-ft tall waterfall. The detour is well worth it just for the sight of the wonderful waterfall.
#3 Ajax Peak
Ajax Peak is one of Colorado’s most notable peaks, and it overlooks Telluride Valley. It’s 5 miles long, but it can be challenging. There’s a 2,785 ft elevation gain, but there are plenty of sights to see if you need to catch your breath and acclimate. You’ll start at the Pandora Mill on the outskirts of the Town of Telluride and go on the gravel road towards Bridal Veil Falls. Locals will recommend stopping for a minute to gawk at this waterfall, which is one of the largest in Colorado.
After you’re done gawking, continue towards the other major waterfall, Ingram Falls, which you’ll find as you continue on Bridal Veil Creek. You’ll have to cross over Ingram Falls to carry on, so you’ll want to be aware of the water levels if you go in the spring when the winter snow is melting.
After you cross Ingram Falls, it’s pretty straightforward to the summit. When you arrive at Ajax Peak, you’ll be able to see panoramic views in all directions. From the peak, you can see the Town of Telluride, Mt. Sneffels, and even the La Sal Mountains in Utah!
#4 Sneffels Highline Loop
The Sneffels Highline Loop is a good option for those seeking a day-long hike. It’s a challenging 13-mile hike with a 3,520 ft elevation gain. It is one of the most challenging hikes in Telluride. Make sure you take plenty of food and water if you’re going to be hiking this trail. You’ll also want to hike this trail after spending a few days in Telluride and acclimating to the Colorado altitude.
Locals will recommend you take this trail counter-clockwise. You’ll want to start at the Jud Weibe trailhead on Aspen Street. This will help you tackle the uphill elevation with fresh legs. If you start early enough in the day, you might avoid an afternoon high-altitude thunderstorm.
You’ll begin on a winding trail through fir forests until you arrive at Pack Basin. Here you’ll witness a beautiful meadow full of wildflowers. After crossing the Basin, you’ll make your way to the summit which will bring you to another serene meadow bountiful with wildflowers like thigh-high daisies, columbine, and delphinium. As you make your way back to Telluride, you’ll head through a lush aspen forest.
#5 Ballard Mountain Trail
This one is the most challenging trail for those courageous hikers! The Ballard Mountain Trail is a steep, unmarked trail that is 7.9 miles long with 3,809 ft of elevation gain. You’ll make your way through the San Juan Mountains and make your way to a 13,000 ft peak. You’ll make your way through lovely alpine forests. If you enjoy a nice, quiet hike you won’t run into many other hikers on this trail.
The path for this trail begins by following a restored mining route. You can enjoy the shade from the thick spruce forest as you hike. After a few hours of making your way on the switchbacks, there will be an open basin. After you cross this basin, the summit is just over the ridgeline! When you reach the peak, you’ll enjoy stunning views in all directions. Enjoy the Town of Telluride with a bird’s eye view and feel on top of the world.
If you’re looking for a luxury rental to relax after a long day of hiking, consider SilverStar Luxury Properties. Contact us today to book your dream vacation and see all Telluride has to offer!