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Telluride to Durango

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 4.5 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A big adventure in the San Juans


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Map Key

76.6

Miles

123.3

KM

95%

Singletrack

11,980' 3,652 m

High

7,504' 2,287 m

Low

6,544' 1,995 m

Up

9,389' 2,862 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Hermosa Creek is closed due to the "416 Fire" of 2018. You cannot ride into Hermosa Creek at this time. There are many other ways to finish this route in until it re-opens.

Overview

This is a long ride at high altitude. Most people will do this in 3-4 days. There are many places where a 4x4 can meet you for luxury camping and make this an epic MTB trip!

Description

Starting in Telluride, you might as well enjoy some free vertical (you'll do plenty on your own later!), so take the free gondola up to the Prospect trail. This a a beautiful cross country singletrack with no major climbs and tons of fast descents, partly in the ski area, and partly in what feels like pretty remote wilderness (though it's not).

Once back in the ski area, head down various trails (use the mobile app to find your way, it's confusing) until you get to the Galloping Goose #499. You'll now follow that for 18 miles following the historic rail grade along easy trail with superb scenery. You'll probably want to camp somewhere before this ends. There are several good campgrounds around Trout Lake.

Head up the East Fork Trail #638, which actually descends for a while before starting a long, somewhat techy ascent up to the Colorado Trail. Parts of this are beautiful, parts are pretty tiring. Push through. Good camping at Bolam Pass, which can be reached by 4x4.

You're now on the marvelous Colorado Trail - CT - Segment 26: Blackhawk Pass! This is a big day and you'll reach the high point of this ride (12,000') at Blackhawk Pass. The trail is remarkably rideable (if you've got the lungs!) and passes nonstop stunning scenery. Enjoy the huge long fast descent and perhaps find camp somewhere.

Continue on the Colorado Trail to Hermosa Park Road 578.

2018 UPDATE
All of the Hermosa Creek drainage is closed due to fire in the summer of 2018. As an alternative finish, you can stay on the CT (a long ways, quite hard), or take Salt Creek Trail #733 down to highway 145 and get picked up on the highway.

Shared By:

Nick Wilder

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#1473

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#223

in Colorado

#1,473

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412 Views Last Month
8,810 Since Mar 8, 2018
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Photos

Amazing views of the mountain range!
Oct 13, 2016 near Mountai…, CO
Great views to be had on this trail.
Jul 7, 2013 near Rico, CO
Cool section of old rail ties on the Galloping Goose
Aug 28, 2018 near Mountai…, CO
It's a long climb up Blackhawk Pass!
Aug 28, 2018 near Rico, CO
Jurassic
Aug 5, 2019 near Mountai…, CO
2011 ride
Oct 27, 2013 near Rico, CO

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Aug 8, 2018
Nick Wilder
Amazing 4 day trip!