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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

Survey Highlights

  • The largest portion of hikers and bikers are using our trail system three to four times per week
  • Hikers are mostly intermediate and advanced
  • Mountain bikers are mostly advanced and expert
  • Bikers are mostly using the following trails: Prospect, Village, Jurassic, Alta, T35, Deep Creek, Eider Creek, Mill Creek, the Galloping Goose, Valley Floor and the Bike Path
  • Hikers are mostly using the following trails: Bear Creek, Jud Wiebe, High Country Trails (Silver Lake, Blue Lake, etc.), Valley Floor, Deep Creek, Eider Creek, Mill Creek, Sneffels, Whipple, and Mountain Village based trails
  • In the future (if new trails are built), bikers would like to see trails off the ski resort towards Prospect, from the Town of Telluride to the top of the Gondola, a perimeter trail around Telluride, more Alta Lakes trails, a T35/Goose travers and a multi-use advanced high route
  • In the future (if new trails are built), hikers would like to see a perimeter trail around Telluride, a Bridal Veil hiking trail, a Down Valley River Trail and a trail from the Town of Telluride to the top of the Gondola
  • Hikers and bikers would like to see better signage in high-use areas

Telluride Regional Trails Survey Results by Question

Are you a resident of the Telluride region?
Full-time Resident: 81%
Part-time: 14%
Visitor: 5%

If a resident, where do you reside?
Town of Telluride: 38%
MV: 19%
South End (Ophir, San Bernardo, etc.): 15%
Lawson Hill: 13%
Down Valley: 8%
Other: The rest

How often do you use the local trails during snow-free months?
3-4 Times per week: 56%
Daily: 18%
Once a week: 17%
A few times per month: 9%

What activity do you most often engage in on the local trails?
Walking and hiking: 48%
Mountain Biking: 43%
Trail Running: 9%

How would you rate your ability level for your chosen activity?
Advanced: 49%
Expert: 26%
Intermediate: 24%
Beginner: 1%

What trails do you use most frequently?
Town of Telluride: 56%
Mountain Village, Prospect, Jurassic: 54%
Telluride Valley Floor: 49%
Deep Creek/Eider Creek, etc.: 47%
High Country: 43%
Prospect/Alta/T35: 36%
Galloping Goose: 27%
Sneffels Highline, Whipple, etc.: 23%
Sunshine/Wilson Mesa: 12%
Jeep Trails: 11%
River Road (Illium to Sawpit): 8%
Bike Park: 7%
Norwood: 5%

How would you describe the current local trail system?
Pretty good, but could minor improvements: 64%
Rough, needs work: 20%
Awesome, leave it alone: 8%
What trails system: 7%

How would you like the current trail system to be improved?
Few new connects and reroutes: 46%
Significantly improve and add new trails: 31%
No new trails, but do maintenance: 13%
Rebuild all trails and new trails: 5%
Perfect: 5%

If you would like to see existing trails maintained and/or improved, what areas would you prioritize?
Mountain Village Area/Ski Area: 47%
Prospect to Alta to T35: 36%
High Country: 34%
Valley Floor: 28%
Deep Creek/Eider, Etc.: 26%
Town of Telluride: 22%
Lizard Head: 15%
Sneffels Highline/Whipping: 15%
Sunshine/Wilson Mesa: 15%
Bike Park: 12%
River Road: 10%
Galloping Goose: 9%
Norwood: 6%
No upgrades: 3%
Other: 19%

If you are in support of new trails, what type of trails would you like to see built?
Multi-use: 54%
Mountain Bike Trails: 21%
Single-use hiking: 20%
Not in support of new trails: 5%

Although no new trails are currently being proposed or planned, if you are in favor of new trails, what specific trail projects would you support?
Perimeter Trail: 52%
Ski Resort Trails towards Prospect: 48%
Telluride to top of G: 46%
Bridal Veil Hiking Trail: 41%
Multi-use advanced high route (Telluride, Rico, Silverton, etc.): 37%
Improvement and completion of River Trail: 29%
More multi-use trails in Alta Lakes: 27%
More connecting trails on Deep Creek: 24%
Traverse from T35 to Goose: 23%
Last Dollar to Sawpit: 18%
More multi-use trails around MV: 16%
Bike route in lower Bear Creek: 14%
Norwood and West End: 10%
Bike Park: 9%
Not in support: 3%

How do you feel about current trail signage?
More signs in key locations: 42%
Current signage is adequate: 34%
What signs: 24%

If you are in support of new trails, what level of challenge do you seek?
Medium Challenge: 60%
Advanced: 29%
Expert: 6%
Low: 5%

Is there easily accessible information for potential trails users about the local trail network?
Yes: 57%
No: 43%

From your perspective, what level of user conflict occurs on our regional trail system?
A few problems, overall not too bad: 60%
None, we all get along: 29%
Bikers and hikers don’t mix: 11%

Would you support a new tax initiative to fund building new trails and improving our existing trail network?
Yes: 69%
No: 31%

Would you be in favor of allocating existing public funds for building new trails and improving our existing trail network?
Yes: 95%
No: 5%

Would you be willing to help out with improving the Telluride regional trails system?
Time: 54%
Time & Money: 25%
Money: 10%
Neither: 10%

Listen to our newscast regarding the trails survey from our interview with KOTO here.

One Comment

  • neal mathews says:

    I thought that the Pandora to Bridal veil Falls hiking trail construction was imminent . is is not yet a done deal ?

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Telluride Mountain Club advocates for safe, accessible, enjoyable and respectful opportunities for human-powered recreational activities in the Telluride region, through education, awareness and collaboration.

Telluride Mountain Club is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.