22 May 2019
Known for its world-class skiing, Telluride is also home to incredible hiking trails. Those who visit Telluride in the spring and summer are sure to enjoy the expansive trails—you could hike a different trail each weekend and still not reach all of the stunning landscapes when summer ends. Telluride’s trails are a hiker’s dream—full of crazy climbs, wondrous waterfalls, and high alpine lakes. From multi-day adventures to family-friendly trips, there are endless reasons why hikers should vacation in Telluride! Check out some of our favorite Telluride hiking trails—from easiest to strenuous—that showcase all the beauty that the town has to offer.
Our Favorite Hiking Trails in Telluride
Bear Creek Falls
One of Telluride’s most popular trails, Bear Creek Falls is a well-marked wooded trail that ends with a glorious set of waterfalls and a gorgeous view overlooking the town.
Distance: 2.5 miles one way to the waterfalls
Elevation Gain: 1,050 feet
This serene hike is a little more secluded than Bear Creek Falls. The trail follows along the San Miguel River and gives you perfect views of Wilson Peak.
Distance: 2.5-mile loop
Elevation Gain: 508 feet
Bridal Veil Falls
You don’t want to miss this enchanting hike—visitors love that it doesn’t take long to get to Bridal Veil Falls, which is “Colorado’s tallest free-falling waterfall at 365 feet.” People come from all around the world to experience the treasures this area has to offer.
Distance: 1.8 miles one way to the top of the waterfalls
Elevation Gain: 1,650 feet
A wonderful alpine lake waits for you at the end of this exhilarating hike—it’s situated above the tree line at 12,400 feet. You’ll also get to admire the gorgeous wildflowers, abandoned mining cabins, and so much more!
Distance: 5.25 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: About 2,000 feet
Ice Lake is probably one of the most beautiful hikes in Telluride; it’s full of waterfalls, wildflowers, and of course the gorgeous lake. Once you reach your destination, admire the spellbinding mountains reaching high above spectral blues in the water.
Distance: 7 miles out and back
Elevation Gain: 2,562 feet
This scenic hike takes you to the Lewis Mine, a gorgeous preserved 5-story structure, which you’ll find far beyond the Bridal Veil Basin. You can also visit Lewis Lake, which is 12,700 feet above sea level; as you reach peak incline, you’ll see all the beauty Telluride has to offer.
Distance: 8 miles roundtrip to Lewis Mine; 8.8 miles roundtrip to Lewis Lake
Elevation Gain: 2,038 feet to Lewis Mine; 2,300 feet to Lewis Lake
Sneffels Highline Trail
This hike is perfect for experienced hikers. Explore fir forests, pastures of wildflowers, and alpine basins. You’ll reach the summit that separates Pack and Mill alpine basins, and as you take in the views, ruminate in the glory that nature has provided you. However, the trek down will take you across many rocky switchbacks so take the proper safety precautions.
Distance: 13-mile loop
Elevation Gain: 3,250 feet
Not as popular as Sneffels, Ballard Mountain has maintained a pristine, natural environment, which lends to how strenuous of a hike it is. The weather changes quickly this high up, so make sure you wear layers. It will all be worth it though, as the perks of this difficult hike is the stunning view of the town.
Distance: 6.4-miles round trip
Elevation Gain: About 5,123 feet
After you’ve finished up your hike, grab a bite at one of the awesome mountain restaurants, or relax at your luxurious Telluride house rental. Enjoy all that spring and summer have to offer in Telluride!