Two great hikes in the Telluride Area
Keystone Gorge Hike (1 hour roundtrip)
It’s a loop trail and basically you are following the San Miguel River downstream then upstream on the other side. It’s an easy
hike with a series of waterfalls and it’s different than other hikes in the Telluride area. (no pets allowed due to wildlife corridor)
– From Telluride drive to Society Turn intersection. – Take a left on 145 heading South. – Take your first right on Society Drive (as if you are going to the Conoco gas station) – Pass Conoco on left – Drive a few hundred yards and the road will turn to the right – After the turn, on the right see a large dirt parking lot. This is where the trail begins. – Take a right and park at the Telluride Mountain School because we are not supposed to park in the dirt parking lot. – In the dirt parking area see signs for the Galloping Goose Trail (more like dirt road) toward the San Miguel River – Follow the Galloping Goose Trail along the river – You will come to a bridge – Cross the bridge. Then head downstream (left) – The trail will follow the San Miguel River heading downstream – Go until you see another bridge – Cross the bridge –
Take the trail headed upstream (left) – Follow the trail back up and eventually to Galloping Goose Trail – You will see the parking lot.
Hope Lake Trail (3 hours roundtrip)
This is an out-and-back hike with spectacular scenery the entire way. The first half of the hike is easy. The second half on the way to the lake is moderate. You are rewarded with beautiful Hope Lake. The trailhead is located above Trout Lake. Hope Lake is also a good starting point to climb some peaks in the area. You will need a vehicle that has decent clearance. It’s a dirt road and not a 4WD road and will be bumpy along the way. A high clearance 4WD is not needed. A Subaru would be just fine.
– Head South on RT145 heading toward Rico and Delores. – Drive 15 minutes until you see Trout Lake on the left (very large lake surrounded by dramatic peaks). – Take a left on Trout Lake Road NORTH. This road is just before Trout Lake. – Go on Trout Lake Road North. – After a mile or so look for Hope Lake Road. – Take a left on Hope Lake Road. – Follow Hope Lake Road for a few miles. – See the trailhead on your right with a small parking area. – Park and get ready to hike. – The trail will take you all the way to Hope Lake. – You will cross about 5 creeks. – In the spring and early summer, you will need waterproof hiking boots.
Driving Times to National Parks near Telluride:
- Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez: 1 hour 30 min
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park near Montrose: 1 hour 45 min
- Arches National Park near Moab, UT 2 hours 15 min
- Canyonlands National Park near Moab, UT 2 hours 30 min
Most popular choice
I would highly suggest Arches National Park. Just spend the day checking out all the arches, you’ll find most of the hikes are short (less than a mile to an arch and a few are up to 2 miles). Many arches can be seen by just driving to them. This is a great day excursion. Make sure you stop by Hole in the Rock on the way back home for a beverage and $5.00 tour.
Mesa Verde National Park is also another one day visit. Go to the visitor center and see all the Indian artifacts that were found at the site. Take a drive to the site of the cliff dwellings, they are truly remarkable. Suggest taking the park tour where they will take you into the cliff dwellings and the park ranger will lecture about the Anazazi Indians who lived there. All this will take no more than 4 hours at the park.