Hiking Telluride: Top 10 Trails and Waterfalls for All Skill Levels
Situated in southwest Colorado, Telluride welcomes visitors year-round to experience its outdoor recreation activities. Among the most popular is hiking Telluride, which has dozens of trails suited for all skill levels. Some trails even welcome guests all year, offering different adventures and seasonal terrain, so no two hikes seem alike. Read more about hiking Telluride and pick a favorite spot.
Hiking Telluride: Enjoy the Outdoors on These 10 Trails
Alta Lakes sits on the backside of the Telluride ski resort. This route caters to drivers and hikers, and Alta Lakes Road measures 6 miles and begins off Highway 145. The road has rugged terrain, so high clearance vehicles are recommended. Once parked, hike around the lake and admire the Alta Lakes Ghost Town. Hikers should note that the ghost town houses privately owned historic structures and hiking is not permitted on private properties.
Info: 6 miles (area); great day-trip and camping option.
Bear Creek Falls
One of the most popular hiking and biking trails in Telluride, Bear Creek Falls measures 2.5 miles one way and ends with waterfalls and views of Telluride. The trail begins on South Pine Street and winds into the Bear Creek Reserve. Once hikers arrive, they’re treated to Bear Creek Falls and access to Wasatch Trail and Bridal Veil Basin.
Info: 1 hour (one way); easy to moderate hike.
See historical mining equipment, old tram towers as well as wildflowers, waterfalls, and an alpine lake. This 4-hour hike begins near Bridal Veil Falls and reaches an elevation gain of 2,000 feet. Hikers should drive to the trailhead and plan to hike to Blue Lake.
Info: 5.25 miles (round-trip); moderate to difficult.
Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls, home to the tallest free falling waterfalls in Colorado, this trail welcomes hikers, bikers and four-wheelers. Visitors are welcome to hike the 4 miles or ride and park, and hike to the waterfall. At the top, see a historic power plant and colorful eroded canyon walls. To begin, drive to the Valley View Area Parking spot and continue on foot or bike.
Info: 1 hour (one way); easy to moderate.
Cornet Creek Falls
Cornet Creek Falls starts at North Aspen Street, near the Jud Weibe Trail. This short hike takes visitors to Cornet Creek Falls, where they see aspen groves and a creek leading to an 80-foot waterfall. While admiring the view, don’t forget to take photos of the Telluride ski resort. The hikes takes less than an hour, perfect for people who need a quick retreat.
Info: .25 miles (one way); easy to moderate.
Located above Trout Lake, this favorite Telluride hiking spot features thousands of wildflowers in the summer, stunning views and picturesque alpine lake. Located off Highway 145 South, visitors drive to the trailhead and hike from there. Due to rocky terrain, four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended. Hope Lake ranks as a popular summer hike, so arrive in the morning for parking.
Info: 3.3 miles (one way); moderate.
Jud Wiebe Trail
Another top trail is Jud Wiebe Trail, a short hike with 1,300 elevation gain. The 3-mile loop starts at North Aspen Street or North Oak Street, and features aspen trees, open meadows and panoramic views of Telluride. The trail is open year-round, but hikers need showshoes in the winter.
Info: 2 hours (total); moderate to difficult based on elevation change.
Looking for a challenge? Head to the Liberty Bell trail, a strenuous hike that offers views of historic mining structures, wildlife and wildflowers. To access the trail, begin at Tomboy Road off North Oak Street. Liberty Bell trail reaches an elevation gain of 2,500 feet and takes about three hours, perfect for expert hikers.
Info: 2.3 miles (roundtrip); difficult.
Located in the Lizard Head Wilderness Area, Navajo Lake ranks as among the most popular destinations for hiking in Telluride. This scenic hike features an alpine lake nestled among three mountain peaks: Wilson, Mount Wilson and El Diente. Access the trail via a sign for Klipacker Trail, located off Route 535 (Dunton Road) passed Mountain Village. While enjoying the view, expect to see other hikers, campers and climbers.
Info: 8.8 miles (roundtrip); moderate to difficult.
San Miguel River Trail
Nature lovers and their dogs will enjoy San Miguel River Trail, which has access points from several side streets in Telluride. The trail follows the San Miguel River through the length of the city. Perfect for a long walk with loved ones and home to swimming holes, the whole family can enjoy the great outdoors on this route.
Info: 4.25 miles (one way); easy, with only 170-foot elevation gain.
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Or learn where to fill up after hiking at these Telluride restaurants.