Distance: 6.4 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: Approx. 5,123 feet
Time: Approx. 6 hours
Ballard Mountain does not get much foot traffic and thus has maintained its pristine San Juan Mountain environment. This is a very strenuous hike, but the unparalleled, gorgeous views make it all worth it.
Begin your hike on the Bear Creek Preserve 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.