There’s Something about Telluride

Charming mountain towns are practically the norm in Colorado, but, to me, Telluride somehow seems a cut above the rest. Tucked into a narrow valley with glorious mountain views on all sides, Telluride was established in 1878 and is full of historic buildings, attractive houses, hip restaurants and cozy cafes. With local street fairs celebrating anything and everything, weekly farmer’s markets and major international music and film festivals, you’ll find the atmosphere in Telluride hard to beat.

This is southwest Colorado, so it goes without saying that Telluride is an outdoor paradise. In addition to offering world-class skiing in winter, there are oodles of hiking trails—many leading right from town—to keep the outdoor enthusiast occupied all summer long. And for wildlife lovers, there’s even a herd of resident elk and a pond right in the middle of town with an active beaver lodge. How cool is that? Like I said, there’s just something about Telluride.

Every August, my mother and I take an end-of-summer trip when Matt heads back to work. Last year, we visited Colorado and were lucky enough to stay with some old college friends of my mother’s who live near Trout Lake outside of Telluride. We took advantage of our time to explore several of the area’s terrific hiking trails and had a ton of fun. Here are some photographic highlights of our favorites:

Lake Hope
This awesome 8-mile roundtrip hike starts in the forest, passes rock slides, waterfalls and colorful peaks before climbing 1,150 feet to a high alpine lake above tree line. The scenery was spectacular from beginning to end. With so many wonderful hikes in the area to choose from, be sure to put this one at the top of your list.

Click to enlarge photographs and view as a slideshow.

Bear Creek Trail
This delightful trail can be picked up right from the south end of town. Gradually gaining 1000 feet of elevation over the its 2.5 miles, the trail ends at beautiful Bear Creek Falls where you can enjoy amazing views of the valley below. A stunner!

Jud Wiebe Trail
This 3-mile loop trail starts on the northern side of town, passes through attractive Aspen forests and gains over 1100 feet to offer great views of Telluride.

Cornet Creek
This short .25 mile trail was a little more challenging than we bargained for, but the view of the waterfall in the red rock amphitheater made it well worth it.

Cornet Creek, Telluride

A Final Note
I know some people might find it a bit strange that I like to travel with my mother, but she really is amazing. She introduced me to hiking almost twenty years ago on a road trip to the Canadian Rockies and encouraged my love of photography by enrolling the two of us in a photography camp in Maine sponsored by the National Audubon Society. Still skeptical? Well, check this out: she started SCUBA diving when she turned 60 and loved it so much that she practically forced Matt and me to get certified, too. At 74, she still dives every chance she can get. I was super proud of her for tagging along with me on these hikes starting at elevations over 9,000 feet. I almost forgot to mention that she loves to camp, too, and, believe you me, if a porcupine were to visit us in the middle of the night, I could definitely count on her not to play possum on me. Like I said, there’s just something about Telluride my mom!

Along the Lake Hope Trail

17 thoughts on “There’s Something about Telluride

  1. Spectacular place, beautiful photos! Love the closeup of the little critter in Lake Hope gallery, and am wondering about the piled up rocks in Bear Creek Trail. I’m happy to hear you hike with your mom! Moms are great, lol. Kat and I often go out and about together, and we blog together! ~SueBee

    1. Thanks, Sue Bee! I was told that those cairn piles on the Bear Creek hike were recent additions to the trail when I was there. There is a nice spot about halfway up where hikers spontaneously started building cairns, and it caught on like wild fire. There must have been hundreds when I saw them. I wish I had spent a little more time photographing them because there were many cool shots and angles. I love the following the cool relationship that you and Kat have on your blog. Thanks for visiting!

  2. I don’t think it’s strange at all that you like traveling with your mom. She sounds like a very a cool woman who enjoys life (and has proven that age is not a limitation or an excuse). I hope my children think and speak about me like this when I’m older! Colorado isn’t looking so bad either 😉

    1. You definitely seem like a cool mom, too, and, if your children don’t realize it now, I am sure they will when they are older. Like we said at the beginning of these posts, Colorado is the bomb. You need to visit!

  3. These are such beautiful pictures! Thank you for posting this. My mom and I also do yearly trips and I’m trying to convince her to go to Colorado this summer. I will definitely be sending her to this page – hopefully it’ll do the trick!

    1. You are most welcome. Thanks for visiting, and I hope our series on Colorado does the trick. There are so many beautiful places to explore there that I am sure you will find something to your mother’s liking. Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Ellen. We LOVED staying with you at your beautiful house on Trout Lake. You were such gracious hosts, and we can’t thank you enough for sharing your corner of Colorado with us. I hope all is well with you both!

    1. Thank you. The hiking season in southwest Colorado is pretty short due to the high elevations. Both times I have been in this area were in August, and the weather was great. I imagine that July and September would be nice as well, but I can’t speak from experience. When were you hoping to go?

  4. What a team! And what an inspiration you two are! Telluride must be an amazing place to go hiking. It looks beautiful!

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