One of the most iconic scenes in Telluride is the numerous waterfalls that run snowmelt from the high peaks to the valley floor of the Box Canyon. These beautiful falls accentuate the natural sights that makes Telluride so unique and make outings around the area such a memorable visual experience. From very short, quick hikes to full-day excursions, there’s a waterfall for every level of motivation while in Telluride. Take a look at the three waterfalls you can access right from your residence in the Town of Telluride:
Bear Creek Falls
The greenest hike around with endless options to extend your hike and truly incredible views around Bear Creek on your way up to Bear Creek Falls. You’ll be hiking along Bear Creek Preserve which is one of the most popular areas for hiking and biking throughout the summer months. The valley hike is well marked through the woods and wildflowers before culminating at the mouth of the valley with a stunning set of waterfalls and magnificent view of the Town of Telluride. A great place to plan a lunch, take beautiful photos, and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Getting There : From the Town of Telluride, you can access the Bear Creek Falls Trail from the end of Pine Street. You can hike or bike on the trail on your way up to Bear Creek Falls and consider continuing your hike along the Wasatch Trail or up into Bridal Veil Basin.
Cornet Creek Falls
The shortest of the waterfall hikes in the area, Cornet Creek Falls flows a mere quarter-mile hike from the Town of Telluride. Walking right out your front door in town, you can hike to Cornet Creek Falls and back to town in time for a beverage or a snack in less than an hour. The short hike leads up to the stunning, 80-foot Cornet Falls which flows most powerfully in June and July. From the falls, you have a great view of Telluride Ski Resort, town, and the surrounding peaks. Be sure to wear sturdy, comfortable shoes as the hike requires some scrambling on loose soil and rock. Once you arrive at the falls, you can sit and relax or wander around and check out the different views of the falls and even check them out from behind.
Getting There : Start in the Town of Telluride at the top of North Aspen Street. When you reach the Cornet Creek Bridge, continue straight and follow the Cornet Creek Trail up to the falls.
Bridal Veil Falls
The most iconic of the waterfall hikes in Telluride takes you up to Bridal Veil Falls, the most stunning and powerful of the falls in the area which rests at the mouth of the Box Canyon. These famous falls distribute water from high alpine runoff and the lakes above in the Bridal Veil Basin. A hike or drive you cannot miss, the trip is about 3.6 miles round trip taking you up the wide switchbacks visible from town to the tallest free falling falls in the state of Colorado. Whether on two feet or a couple of wheels, hikers, bikers, and 4-wheel drivers share the switchbacks up to the top of the falls where you can see a historic, privately owned power plant.
Getting There : From the Town of Telluride, head east to the end of the Box Canyon along Colorado Avenue. Continue past the Pandora Mill site on your left and follow along the County Road. Either park at the Valley View Area Parking and continue on foot or on your bike. If you have 4-wheel drive and high clearance, make your way up the dirt road, following the switchbacks until you reach the falls.
Waterfalls are one of many stunning, memorable visual aesthetics here in Telluride and hiking is one of many ways to get outside, see the sights, and experience Telluride throughout the summer. Take a look at other hikes around Telluride or plan an outing on water, bike, or 4 wheels with the Telluride Adventure Center. Haven’t planned your visit to Telluride yet? No problem. We have a handful of incredible lodging options and plenty of activities to plan around during your visit. Book today before summer comes to a close!
Photo Credit: Brett Schreckengost