Many Tellurites will tell you, they came for the winter, stayed for the summer. And with the many hiking, biking trails and climbing areas to devour, who can blame them? To continue our exploration of the area’s hiking trails, we bring you our July hike of the month: Hope Lake.
Hope Lake is a great hike, ending at one of the region’s most beautiful alpine lakes. An added bonus? Views of high-country wildflowers, Trout Lake and of the Lizard Head Wilderness that can be seen along the trail keep your mind off of the climb and into focusing on the beauty of your surroundings.
TIP: It’s rainbow season in Telluride (hey, it sounds better than monsoon season, right?). Make sure you get an early start on this hike to avoid getting stuck above tree line during an afternoon thunder storm. Walk portions of the perimeter to see different views of the lake. Feeling extra frisky, take a swim!
How to get there: From Telluride, travel 3 miles west on State Hwy 145. Turn left at the first highway intersection, continuing south on State Hwy 145 for approx. 8.5 miles. Turn left onto County Road 63A (signed on highway as “Trout Lake”). Proceed on CR 63L for approx. 1.5 miles, then left onto Forest Road #627. Proceed up this rough, rocky road 2.5 miles to the Hope Lake Trailhead. See map below. Look for cars parked at the trailhead. If the trailhead switchback is full, just below the trailhead is an extra pullout for parking.
DISTANCE: 5 miles round-trip.
Trail Etiquette Reminder: Don’t cut switchbacks. This trail sees quite a bit of love throughout the summer. Make sure you stay on the trail and don’t forget to be friendly to your fellow hikers. Learn more about trail etiquette here.
Eider Creek to Deep Creek
Many Tellurites will tell you, they came for the winter, stayed for the summer. And with the many hiking, biking trails and climbing areas to devour, who can blame them?
The San Juans are the youngest mountain range in the Lower 48. As a result the mountains around Telluride are STEEP!!! One must be prepared for a good ol’ fashioned ass whuppin when taking to the trail around here. Of course you could skirt the issue and take a jaunt down the valley floor, or perhaps a walk out to the mine?? Nah…embrace the angle, go up! No trail better represents Telluride’s steepness better than Eider Creek.
DIRECTIONS: Starting at the Mill Creek road (across and just west from the Shell Station 1 mile out of town). Take the Mill Creek road up to the first switchback and take a left next to the gate. Giant aspens, wild grasses and flowers accompany the creek on this south-facing trail. You shouldn’t find too much snow left in June, as this one gets plenty of sun. About a mile and a half up you’ll find a sign and option to go right. This is the Eider Loop and will take you right down to where you started and is a good option to keep it short. However, if your in it for the long haul keep going up! Eventually the Eider Creek Trail connects with the Deep Creek trail. If you make a right, you can hike all the way back to Telluride (by meeting up with the Waterline/Mill Creek Trail). If you take a left, you can hike Deep Creek to the west trailhead near the Telluride airport. The aspen trees make this a great outing. South facing, warm, big trees and a view of the ski area are all quite memorable.
MORE INFORMATION: Note that this trail is also popular among runners and mountain bikers. Remember to share the trail, be friendly and follow proper trail etiquette protocols.
DISTANCE: Depends on the route. See various options via our trail map here.
The Telluride Mountain Club and the Telluride Open Space Commission are reminding users of Bear Creek to share the trail.
REMEMBER THREE RULES OF THUMB: (more…)
SKILL BUILDING EVENTS AT CLIMBING WALL
FREE to members, $5 non-members (unless otherwise notes)
Thursday, February 27: Telluride Mountain Club presents CLIMBING ESSENTIALS – Technical skill building with Angela Hawse, Guide, Alpinist, Sponsored Athlete and Motivational Speaker. (more…)
Read the Telluride Daily Planet’s cover story, “Proposed Wilson Peak Land Exchange could affect biking trails.”
Telluride Mountain Club and San Miguel Bike Alliance are urging mountain bikers who enjoy the Prospect-Alta-T35 loop to submit a comment to the U.S. Forest Service about its proposed Wilson Peak Land Exchange submit comments.
Let the USFS know why public access on the Alta Lakes trails system is important to you and how trails in general help our area. Whether you enjoy hiking or biking on these beautiful trails, please help us keep them open and accessible to the public.
The current public comment period ends Friday. Comments can be submitted via email to Dee Closson at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the proposed land exchange, go to www.fs.usda.gov.
The Telluride Mountain Club generally supports the proposed Wilson Peak Land Exchange and commends the entities involved for working together on this conservation-based exchange. With a few exceptions, this exchange appears to be a win-win situation for the USFS, the private landowners and for public access, especially in the Silver Pick Basin and Yellow Mountain areas.
We’re excited to see the Rock of Ages pass becoming public domain, and the areas near the summit of Yellow Mountain, the location of many popular, long-standing backcountry ski routes.
Although the mechanics of the proposed Land Exchange seem positive, we have some concerns that many Existing Established Important Trails in the Skyline Ranch and Alta Lakes areas (Parcel 2 and Parcel 3) will not be protected after the USFS finalizes the Land Exchange. In collaboration with the San Miguel Bicycle Alliance, we have prepared the attached maps which clearly depict those Existing Established Important Trails and the property boundaries both pre- and post-exchange.
While we are happy to see that Skyline Ranch, LLC and Alta Lakes, LLC (collectively, the Proponents) have stated that they will grant public access easements on some trails, we also have noted several Areas of Concerns on existing public lands (depicted in red), which the USFS may convey into private ownership. Continued public access on trails in our region is vital to our economic and social welfare. The trails in question have long been established and are very popular for locals and visitors alike, and comprise a larger trails system that provides a crucial link between other USFS-recognized trails in the area.
To ensure continued public access in and around these cherished lands, Telluride Mountain Club would like the USFS to protect and recognize these Existing Established Important Trails. We appreciate that the Proponents intend to ensure continued public access on these trails.
However, TMC strongly feels that the USFS needs to thoroughly review all Areas of Concern and must secure access easements prior to the closing and conveyance of any public lands to the Proponents. Otherwise, there is no guarantee that the Proponents or any future owner(s) of Parcels 2 and/or 3 will maintain public access. Telluride Mountain Club cannot support any land trade that does not require careful inventory of existing trails, and then the execution of access easements within all Areas of Concern prior to closing and conveyance to private ownership.
We look forward to working with the USFS to help identify and map an appropriate trail network and work towards creating a sustainable trails system. Telluride Mountain Club is also eager to help the USFS amend the current Forest Management Plan in the Alta area to further ensure these Existing Important Trails are not only protected, but are also added into the USFS trails inventory.
Thank you for your careful consideration on this issue. Please let us know how we can assist you.
Tor Anderson, Board President
and the Telluride Mountain Club
Board of Directors