Situated at the end of a magical box canyon, located high in the San Juan Mountain, offers a plethora of Telluride hiking opportunities. Surrounded by millions of acres of national forest, BLM, and preserved wilderness area it is no surprise that hiking is the most popular summer activity in Telluride. You will see hikers from newly walking toddlers to seasoned veterans enjoying the vast network of trails surrounding Telluride.
Hikers will find a diverse collection of hiking trails, from scenic routes to less-traveled roads, as well as differing terrain for easy to difficult hikes. Telluride is also home to the largest collection of fourteeners, mountains exceeding 14,000 feet in elevation, and Colorado’s longest free-falling waterfall at Bridal Veil Falls.
A popular hike begins at the Bear Creek Falls trailhead. This hike winds above Town Park and leads hikers two-miles up into the surrounding high country. Early in the hike you experience serenity as you pass through meadows filled with aspen trees and wildflowers. At the top of the hike you are rewarded with the magnificent and powerful Bear Creek Waterfall. This is a great place for a picnic or just enjoying Mother Nature before beginning the trip back to the Town of Telluride.
Another popular hike is the Jud Wiebe. Just up Aspen Street is the trailhead for this 2.7-mile loop. The Jud Wiebe trail loops above Telluride with panoramic views of Bridal Veil Falls and Ingram Falls, the historic town of Telluride, and the Telluride Ski Resort. This loop continues down Tomboy Road and finishes at Oak Street, one block from where it begins.
For the more adventurous, the Sneffell’s Highline Trail starts by following the beginning of the Jud Wiebe route. It then continues into higher elevations through the amazing high country that Telluride is famous for. You will hike through aspen groves, wonderful wildflower filled meadows, and several season streams. It is not uncommon to see herds of deer and elk, coyotes, soaring eagles, and the elusive red tail fox.
A wonderful resource on Telluride’s 90 area hikes is the Telluride Hiking Guide which is written by a Telluride resident and expert hiker.
An important aspect of hiking is preparedness. Come prepared for a day of hiking in Telluride with plenty of water, sunscreen, light and dry layers, first aid supplies, trail maps, and of course a camera to capture the spectacular mountain views! Experience hikers would advise hiking earlier in the day as it’s common for afternoon storms to roll in over the mountains and weather can be unpredictable the higher up you go.