Telluride is known for its natural beauty, comparable to the soaring peaks of the Alps, the deep canyons and valleys of the Canadian Rockies and the aggressive ridges of the Tetons. With hikes for adventurers of all ages and abilities, Telluride offers a completely natural outdoor playground for your enjoyment. Below you can find some of our favorite hikes in and around Telluride from easiest to most challenging, all beautiful nonetheless.
Cornet Creek Falls
.5 miles roundtrip
Less than 1 hour roundtrip
A quick jaunt up to the spectacular 80 foot high Cornet Falls, the Cornet Creek Trail is a perfect afternoon outing to one of the many waterfalls that flow into the Box Canyon. Residing across town from the ski resort, the hike awards you incredible views of the trails and lifts across the canyon on Telluride Ski Resort. While this hike is short, it does require some scrambling on loose soil and rock so be sure to wear proper footwear. The trail begins at the top of North Aspen Street in the town of Telluride, continue straight where you would usually take a left at the Corner Creek Bridge to access the Jud Wiebe trail. Once at the falls, be sure to wander around and take them in from all angles.
San Miguel River Trail
8.5 miles roundtrip
170 foot elevation gain
The San Miguel River Trail originates at the head of the Box Canyon and flows the length of the Town of Telluride. A perfect path for activities year round, it’s a great spot for a leisurely stroll, a quick jog, or a bike ride. Whether just you and your dog or strolling with the whole family, it’s a perfect way to get out and enjoy the views, make your way as far east as the Pandora Mill and the base of the trail up to Bridal Veil Falls or as far west as the Telluride Valley Floor trail and bike path.
4 miles roundtrip
A hiking only trail beginning at the top of the Telluride/Mountain Village Gondola or offering a loop up and back from Mountain Village, the Ridge trail is a perfect hike through the resort aspen groves and forest land. A local favorite, the trail is well marked and quite peaceful with incredible views of Mountain Village, the Valley, and, ultimately, the Box Canyon at the top of the Gondola. Keep an eye out for a fork in the trail .2 miles from the top when coming down below the radio tower, the route to the right on the way down is steep and often quite rocky.
Bear Creek Falls
5 miles roundtrip
1,050 feet elevation gain
About 2 hours roundtrip
One of the most popular trails in Telluride, you can access the Bear Creek Preserve Trail at the end of South Pine Street in town. Whether hiking or biking along the dirt road to Bear Creek Falls, you’ll enjoy a stunningly wooded trail culminating at a magnificent set of waterfalls and incredible views of the Town of Telluride. This hike is a particular favorite in the fall season as the colors beautifully line the trail. Access the trail at the end of South Pine Street in town where you can hike or bike along the dirt road to Bear Creek Falls.
3 mile loop
1,300 foot elevation gain
The Jud Wiebe Trail is a classic Telluride loop hike through aspen groves and meadows around Cornet Falls. A bit steep in places the trail reveals awesome views of the Town of Telluride and Telluride Ski Resort from the opposite side of the Box Canyon, it’s a perfect town-accessible hike. A well-marked trek, you can begin either at the top of North Aspen Street, cross the bridge on the left and follow the trail all the way around to the top or North Oak Street or do the exact reverse from North Oak up Tomboy Road where you will take your first left to access to loop.
Lewis Mine and Lewis Lake
8.8 miles roundtrip
2,300 foot elevation gain
Nestled above Bridal Veil Basin lies the remains of Lewis Mine en route to Lewis Lake which resides in a glacial basin at 12,700 feet. This hike is a perfect place to experience the core origins of Telluride and its rich mining history. With beautiful waterfalls, lakes, streams, and wildflowers, this hike is epitome of the Telluride spirit. Begin by hiking or driving up to Bridal Veil Falls on the far east end of town of Telluride. Enter the gate at the top of the falls towards Bridal Veil Basin then follow the rocky road on the east side of the creek. After about 1.8 miles, take a right at the fork and continue another 1.5 miles to take a left at the Blue Lake junction. Continue along the trail to the Lewis Mill and Mine, and, if interested, continue beyond the mill to reach the Lewis Lake dam.
13 mile loop
3,520 foot elevation gain
Looking for a challenging full day excursion in the high alpine wilderness of the San Juan Mountains? The Sneffels Highline Trail has it all featuring old mining ruins, stunning fields of wildflowers, aspen groves, and sections of the trail that sweep above treeline to reveal incredible views of the surrounding peaks and vast backcountry. This route begins at the top of North Aspen Street in the Town of Telluride where you will follow the Jud Wiebe Trail for ½ mile before veering right at the sign marking the Mill Creek Trail. Continue up through the Butcher Creek drainage before reaching the alpine meadows and the Mill Creek mining ruins. To complete the loop, follow the Waterline Trail back down into the Town of Telluride.
Wasatch Trail to Bridal Veil Falls
14 miles out-and-back
4,300 foot elevation gain
Wasatch Trail is a beautiful but strenuous hike accessible from the Bear Creek Trail or from the far end at Bridal Veil Falls. This large loop meanders through the beautiful Wasatch Mountain and La Junta Basin. Our favorite during Telluride wildflower season, this is a one-stop-shop for a perfect full-day outing about the area. Starting from the Bear Creek Trail, hike up two miles until reaching the Wasatch Trailhead on your right. Take this trail up a steep section to reach the old Nellie Mine and Nellie Valley. At the fork, you can turn right to reach the Telluride Ski Resort Area featuring Gold Hill, Revelation Bowl, and hikes down See Forever to San Sophia Station to catch the Gondola. Left at the fork will keep you on the East Fork of the Wasatch Loop heading over a saddle and put you out near Wasatch Mountain. Continue east to reach Bridal Veil Falls or hike down La Junta Basin back to Bear Creek Trail. All routes are long and adventurous so be sure to pack enough water, layers, and your favorite trail snacks.