Ballard Mountain does not get much foot traffic and thus has maintained its pristine San Juan Mountain environment. This is a very strenuous hike reaching the 12,804 ft peak, but the unparalleled, gorgeous views make it all worth it. Make sure to bring layers, plenty of water and snacks. The weather can change quickly and it's best to be well-prepared. Upon return grab a beer on the outdoor patio at Oak and revel in your journey!
Distance: 6.4 miles round trip
Difficulty: Most Difficult
Elevation Gain: Approx. 5,123 feet
Time: Approx. 6 hours
Begin your hike on the Bear Creek Falls Trail at the end of S. Pine Street in the town of Telluride. After approximately 0.8 miles, you will come to a clearing and an unmarked trail on your left. Cross Bear Creek over the footbridge and follow the steep switchbacks that begin to climb the lower flank of Ballard Mountain.