This fall, the Telluride Mountain Club (TMC) put together a survey to get an idea from community members about their vision for the future of Telluride’s regional trails system. The data that we have collected through this survey will help us draft a plan for the future of our trails and how to achieve the results we have received. 370 surveys were filled out in September and October of 2015, and here are the takeaways and results.
Survey Results, Overall Takeaways
- Mountain Bikers want trails to be improved and more to be established
- New trails should be built as multi-use trails
- New trails should be built as medium challenge terrain trails
- Hikers would like to see the High Country trails improved and to have better signage
Telluride Mountain Club has joined forces with Patagonia Telluride and Jagged Edge Mountain Gear to host the 2016 Winter Fundraising Film Night on Thursday, February 4th at the Sheridan Opera House.
We will be hosting three short films in addition to the main event, Jumbo Wild. Dale Atkins, snow safety professional, will also be on hand to talk briefly about uncertainty in the backcountry and his event the following day at Patagonia Telluride. It’s going to be a great night, we hope you can join us! (more…)
Pete Inglis, the Telluride Mountain Club, And the Gold Hill Backcountry Access Gates
Words by Steve Johnson
Back in the 1980s, while employed as a ski patroller for the Telluride Ski & Golf Club, Pete Inglis realized the need for public education concerning avalanche hazard within and around the Telluride ski area and the San Juan Mountains as a whole. So Pete formed the Telluride Mountain Club around 1986, which had an initial focus on local avalanche education classes. Pete was appointed as the Telluride Mountain Club’s first president and began running avalanche education seminars for local skiers.
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