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Telluride Hiking Guide

Recommended Telluride Hikes and Highlights

The San Juan Mountains are home to some of the most picturesque peaks in Colorado. Enjoy technical mountaineering terrain, day treks, and overnight backpacking trips right from the town of Telluride! There are trails of every difficulty beginning right from town and an abundance of options within a short drive away.

Remember to always arm yourself with plenty of water, snacks, and a good raincoat for day hikes. The weather can be variable in this high alpine climate so be sure to head out prepared.

The following is a list of Telluride.com’s recommended hikes beginning in Telluride and the surrounding region. See individual descriptions of the hikes for more specific details and directions:

Ajax Peak

Ajax Peak overlooks the town of Telluride from the far east side of the box canyon. It is a non-technical peak climb summiting at 12.785 feet and ends in panoramic 360-degree views of Bridal Veil Basin, Imogene Pass, Savage Basin, Silver Lake, and beyond.

Distance: 2.5 mi. one way

Elevation Gain: 2,785 feet

Difficulty: Strenuous

Time: 4-5 hours

Bear Creek Falls

Bear Creek Preserve Trail is one of Telluride’s most popular trails. The beautiful and well-marked wooded trail ends in a magnificent set of waterfalls and an unbeatable view of Telluride.

Distance: 2.5 mi. one way

Elevation Gain: 1,050 feet

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Time: 1 hour one way

Blue Lake

The hike to Blue Lake is a spectacular trip with wildflowers galore! The alpine lake is situated above treeline at 12,400 feet. You are likely to find abandoned mining cabins and equipment along the trail.

Distance: 5.25 mi.

Elevation Gain: Approx. 2,000 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Time: 4 hours round trip

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls are the tallest free-falling falls in Colorado. At 365 feet in height, these falls entice visitors and adventurers from all over the world to hike, bike, four-wheel drive, and explore the surrounding wilderness. A privately owned, historic power plant sits atop the falls.

Distance: 1.8 mi. one way to top of the falls

Elevation Gain: 1,650 feet

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Time: 1 hour one way

Cornet Creek Falls

The Cornet Creek Trail is a short hike with a spectacular finish at the 80 foot Cornet Falls. The hike affords you beautiful views of the Telluride Ski Resort. Note that the hike requires some scrambling on loose soil and rock so wear sturdy shoes. Don’t be afraid to explore the view from different sides of the falls!

Distance: .25 mi.

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Time: Less than 1 hour round trip

Hope Lake

Hope Lake is a beautiful alpine lake nestled above Trout Lake and the neighboring 13,752 foot San Miguel Peak. This is one of our favorite hikes, wildflowers galore! Expect this trail to be fairly busy during the summer months with limited parking space.

Distance: 3.3 miles one way

Elevation Gain: Approx. 1,500 feet

Difficulty: Moderate, but high altitude

Time: Approx. 2 hours one way

Jud Wiebe Trail

The Jud Wiebe Trail is a favorite short hike that can be accessed right from town. You will travel through groves of aspen trees, wide open meadows, and see panoramic views of Telluride all the way from Bridal Veils Falls to the Valley Floor.

Distance: 3 mile loop

Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet

Difficulty: Moderate-Strenuous

Time: Approx. 2 hours

Liberty Bell

The hike to the Liberty Bell Basin and Mine is steep. But the hike into the high alpine country is well worth it as you pass historic mining structures and abundant wildflowers and wildlife.

Distance: 2.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 2,500 feet

Difficulty: Strenuous

Time: Approx. 2-3 hours

Navajo Lake

Navajo Lake is one of the most popular destinations in the Lizard Head Wilderness Area. The alpine lake is nestled in a beautiful basin surrounded by 13,000 foot ridges and three 14,000 foot peaks (Wilson Peak, Mt. Wilson, and El Diente Peak). This is a popular camping spot so make sure to head out early enough to snag a spot!

Distance: 8.8 miles round trip

Elevation Gain: 2,060 feet

Difficulty: Moderate-Strenuous

Time: 6 hours round trip

San Miguel River Trail

The San Miguel River Trail follows the San Miguel River through the length of the town of Telluride. This is the perfect strolling and jogging path with unbeatable views of the box canyon. The trail can be accessed throughout the town of Telluride. Follow the trail east to connect with the Idarado Mining Legacy Trail that includes signs explaining Telluride’s mining heritage. The trail connects on the west end of Telluride with the Valley Floor trail and bike path.

Distance: 4.25 miles one way

Elevation Gain: 170 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Time: Stroll, enjoy!


Telluride,  Colorado  81435
United States