Bear Creek Canyon, CO • Hike
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Bear Creek Canyon, CO

Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.3 of 5 
CO > West
no permit
68 9 0
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,789 feet
Elevation Gain 1,020 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,293 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 16.27
 Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
 Backpack TBD
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
5  2018-08-18 FOTG
5  2018-01-14 arizona_water
3  2015-09-15 nonot
21  2011-08-17 trailzrus
34  2010-07-27 slegal
author avatar Guides 74
Routes 101
Photos 2,962
Trips 57 map ( 363 miles )
Age 60 Male Gender
Location Thousand Oaks, CA
Associated Areas
list map done
West Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  5:57am - 6:34pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

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.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2011-02-24 slegal
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

     Permit $$

    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    The trail head is located in Telluride. If you're driving in from out of town, take West Colorado Ave. to Pine St. Turn right on Pine St. and look for a place to park on the street. The trailhead is at the south end of Pine St. If you're staying in Telluride use the same directions as if your coming from out of town. If you're staying in Mountain Village, take the free gondola from Mountain Village to Telluride. From the gondola take W San Juam Ave. east to the end, turn right on Pine St.
    page created by slegal on Feb 24 2011 6:57 pm

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