In the winter, the Telluride Trail is an intermediate (blue) run with access from the top of the Gondola and Chair 7 down to the middle of Telluride. It’s one easy way that skiers can cruise home or down to the bottom of the lifts in town from up top.
In the summer, it’s a trail for walkers, hikers, runners and mountain bikers. Called the Telluride Trail, this path takes one either up or down, through a series of switchbacks — relatively steep turns, but ones that offer dramatic scenery and a leg workout.
Start at the Gondola, in the meadow adjacent to Oak restaurant. Then, cross the bridge, and after it, head left to start the ascent. You might see other hikers, some with pets starting their journey up.
For those who’d like to experience Telluride Trail, but prefer not to take the challenge of the ascent, they can simply ride up the free Green Gondola and get out at the top. From there, hikers can enjoy a refreshing downhill experience and receive all of the same incredible views.
To come down, locate the trail that snakes around right directly to the left of Chair 7.
Walking down, Ingram Falls and Ajax Peak are on the right. So is the Telluride Town Park and the open space out toward the mine.
Directly in front lies the town, with the school, many homes and shops clearly visible and the Valley Floor stretched out below. Telluride Trail is a great way to get up, get some perspective and see all of Telluride.
Depending on the time of year, you might see Coronet Creek rushing straight out of the other side of the canyon.
To the left, though somewhat obstructed in view at times, is the down valley area and the road in and out of town.
While on Telluride Trail, keep your eyes out for wildlife. It’s not unusual to come across deer, elk or even the occasional bear. Porcupines and marmots are also present in this area.
It’s never okay to feed wildlife, so be sure to take all scraps and trash with you on the way out.
Whether you walk up T-Trail or ride the Gondola up, the views are the same. At 10,200 feet, things look different. Sometimes temperatures can feel different too. The air is cooler and thinner the higher you climb in altitude. It’s also quite common to experience rain on one side of the gondola, for example, in town, and not the other side, in Mountain Village.
For those with children, San Sophia Nature Center is just steps away from the top of the Gondola. With summer programming and interesting things to learn, it’s worth checking out.
A relatively new summer event, the Telluride Trail is also the venue of a local Fourth of July race: The Rundola. It’s amazing how fast some folks can make it up to the top, starting from the bottom, in the town of Telluride.
So see it, do it or at least know it.
In any season, it’s a regular Telluride adventure route.