Off the Beaten Path in Telluride

Telluride, with its majestic peaks and charming streets, is undoubtedly captivating. Yet, nestled within this picturesque landscape lie lesser-known corners waiting to be explored. For those yearning to wander off the well-trodden paths and uncover the secrets of Telluride, here 8 truly hidden gems, so hidden we don’t have pictures for them:

1. Silver Lake

While not entirely off the radar, Silver Lake retains its serene allure due to its slightly more challenging access. This alpine lake, nestled high above Telluride, rewards intrepid hikers with breathtaking vistas of the surrounding peaks. Take the less-traveled route via the Wasatch Trail for a quieter, more contemplative experience up high in the alpine. 

2. Deep Creek Trail

Venture beyond the popular trails and discover the tranquility of Deep Creek Trail along Last Dollar Road. This lesser-known route meanders through lush forests and alongside babbling brooks, offering a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of town. Keep an eye out for wildlife and enjoy the wildflowers as you wander a path less traveled.  

3. Ames Falls

A beautiful sight no matter the season, the Ames Falls sees fewer visitors than other Telluride cascades. It’s a fairly short trek, about 1.4 miles tucked away from the historic Ames Hydroelectric Plant. Be mindful as you make your way up to the falls, as it is surrounded by private property. Bring a 4WD vehicle to access the trailhead, and to continue up to Mystic Falls. 

4. Sneffels Highline Trail

Escape the crowds and embark on the Sneffels Highline Trail for an unforgettable backcountry adventure. This lesser-rambled trail traverses high alpine meadows, windswept ridges, and rugged mountain passes, offering unparalleled views of the San Juan Mountains. Camp under the stars and immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of this hidden wilderness sanctuary.

5. Alta Lakes Observatory

Perched high above Telluride, the Alta Lakes Observatory offers a unique retreat for those seeking solitude and serenity. Accessible only by a challenging hike or 4×4 road, this remote mountain lodge provides breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and a cozy, off-the-grid escape from the modern world.

6. Silver Pick Basin

For a truly remote wilderness experience, journey into the Silver Pick Basin, a pristine alpine valley tucked away in the mountains near Telluride. Accessible only by foot or horseback, this hidden gem offers pristine meadows, crystal-clear streams, and towering peaks as far as the eye can see. 

Spend a day hiking or camping in this untouched wilderness, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a simpler, more peaceful era. A great way to access Silver Pick Basin is by the Rock of Ages Trail, which also leads to trails to Wilson and Gladstone Peak. 

7. Hope Lake Trail

Nestled above Trout Lake, the Hope Lake Trail is a great place to find solitude near Telluride. This scenic trail winds through dense forests, across alpine meadows, and past sparkling mountain streams, offering stunning views of the surrounding peaks along the way. Pack a lunch to enjoy at the lake! The round trip is 4.5 miles. 

8. Sunshine Mesa

Mostly known by only the locals, Sunshine Mesa offers quiet trails and jaw dropping views. Since it’s on this list, finding the way up to Sunshine Mesa can be a little confusing, so follow these directions to get there.