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:
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.
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.
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!