This trail was a tad busy for me, but it was a good way to kill some time while hiding from rain showers and thunderstorms on Saturday.
The trail is heavily trafficked and the path is more of a road in most spots, but the waterfalls are definitely worthy destinations. The most difficult part about this trail is finding a parking spot. I think I ended up parking about a half a mile away from the trailhead.
This would be an ideal option for less avid hikers and families.
With the lack of precipitation and general winter in the Valley of the Sun, I've been trying to make every attempt to experience snow as often as possible. Every so often, one of these trips turns out to be more spectacular than I imagined. Snowshoeing on the Bear Creek Trail was one of these exceptional experiences. We had a full day of activities in Telluride, so we only went part of the way to Upper Bear Creek Falls. Regardless of distance, every step was a breathtaking view of the dramatic San Juans, blanketed in white.
- there's nothing like finding Water in the Desert -
This is an enjoyable hike. The grade is moderate enough that you aren't huffing and puffing. The aspens are about 2 weeks from prime time. Both lower and upper waterfalls are nice, and access is right to the base of the upper waterfall.
Tip: the city park area allows for 4 hour parking, which is enough time to complete this hike with some to spare. You can hike along the San Miguel River trail for a little bit to connect.
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
Roamed around Telluride for a bit during a break from the bluegrass festival, and then took an evening hike up to upper Bear Creek Falls. The massive cliffs and rocky peaks above us glowed orange in the setting sun as we basked in the beauty of the falls. We saw a porcupine on the way down, and made it back to town before dark. Beautiful hike!
"As soon as I can I’m sneaking back in them mountains..." -Johnny Paycheck
A lovely hike with trailhead accessible from Telluride. Love how many trailheads start in town! It starts on Pine street, and you walk along a wide jeep trail road for a while. The elevation gain is very gentle - and as a result, this is a very popular part of the hike. It does get steeper, and the population gets thinner. At one point about 3/4 up the trail you come to an area of cairns....literally hundreds of cairns. We called it Hobbit Land...another couple were hiking to that area seeking what they'd heard as "Little Hawaii." It's strange, but a fun place to take a break (and add to the collection). The first time we did this hike was in November 2013 and we show shoed to the lower falls. This time we went up to the upper falls - amazing water fall!! You can get under the falls if you want. We liked this so much we hiked it again with our friends a couple days later.
This combination of two interesting, very scenic, and historic mining area(TR#508) hikes provides a full day outing and gives one the feeling of being remote yet knowing your TH Start was in town.
There are actually three hike options available within this hike description:
..The "Bear Creek Canyon" out & back hike only: 4.8 miles R/T & 2062'AEG;
..The "Bear Creek Canyon" segment in & the entire "Wasatch TR#508": 12.5mls R/T & ~4700'AEG;
..The "Bear Creek Canyon" segment to Lwr/Upr Falls & back to "Wasatch TR#508" to include the entire TR#508 to the high pass/divide at 13k': 13.0 miles R/T & 4911'AEG;
I attempted hike option #3 above but was unsuccessful in hiking to trail end at the high pass/divide due primarily to a late start and some serious storm clouds appearing on the horizon. My hike in on TR#508 ended at 11.6k'as noted on my posted 7/20 GPS Track and associated waypoint reference.
An excellent hike day #3 out of Telluride within the Uncompahgre National Forest.
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
average hiking speed 2.24 mph
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.