Blue Lake to Lewis Mine
This is a nice loop hike at the end of the Telluride valley. The hike travels thru 3 separate basins, requires some off trail navigating and is moderately strenuous but non-technical. Be sure to take a detailed map and keep track of your position. Plan on 8 hours.
Starting from the top of Bridal Veil falls take the Bridal Veil road to Blue Lake. Contour around the right/South side of the lake to reach the far East end. There is an old mine structure and small tailings pile there. Hike straight up the obvious gully above the mine to reach the ridge above at about 13,000′. Gain the ridge at the saddle between points 13,375′ and 13,434′. There is a well established animal trail on the last pitch to gain the ridge.
Descend to the East down into Porphyry Basin towards Highway 550. At about 12,800′ begin contouring to the right/South. You will contour thru a section of large talus and ultimately start finding cairns and an established trail. Staying at the same elevation continue contouring right/South into the next major part of Porphyry Basin. Columbine Lake will become visible to the South on the far side of the Basin.
Stay high and to the right and begin hiking up/West into Porphyry Basin. Gain the ridge that separates Porphyry from Bridal Veil Basin at about 13, 200′. Head up the ridge and to the summit of peak 13,510′ , newly named “Bridal Peak”. Great views of the surrounding mountains featuring Blue Lake, Columbine Lake and Lewis Lake.
Descend back down the ridge you came up, go past a small bump on the ridge and into the saddle at 13,058″. An established trail leads from there down to Lewis Lake. Check out the Lewis Mill and then head back down thru Bridal Veil to end the hike. Enjoy!