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The Bear Creek Canyon trail is a gem of a hike. The vegetation is lush. Summer wildflowers are very abundant. Of course there are the waterfalls.
The trail starts out at the south end of South Pine St. Here the trail is more of a dirt road. There are old mines dotting the mountains above Bear Creek Canyon, so this old road was undoubtedly an access point for many of these mines.
The first half mile travels uphill somewhat parallel to the San Miguel River. The trail is lined with aspens. After the first half mile the turns south and heads into Bear Creek Canyon. The creek is below you on the left side of the trail. It is still heavily wooded so spotting the trail is tough, but you should be able to hear it.
As you get further up into the canyon the mountains on either side of the trail get taller and steeper. To your right is the Telluride Ski Area, although you won't see any ski lifts or runs from the trail.
As you get higher the creek gets closer to trail level. Then Lower Bear Creek Falls comes into view. Don't confuse this waterfall with the upper waterfall. The upper waterfall is even prettier.
After 2.5 miles and a little over 1,000 vertical feet you reach the end of the trail and the base of Upper Bear Creek Falls. Take in the views and enjoy the waterfall.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.