This short, steep hike features fine views of Telluride along with the ski slopes and peaks rising to along the south side of the valley. The popular trail, used by locals for exercise and dog walks, is a good option for acclimatizing or if the weather precludes hiking in the high country.
- Distance: 3.2 miles (Loop)
- Elevation: 8,900-ft. at Trailhead
Maximum elevation - 10,000-ft.
- Elevation Gain: 1,100-ft.
- Difficulty: moderate-strenuous
- Basecamp: Telluride
- Region: Southwest Colorado
Trail Description - Jud Wiebe
This trail can be hiked in either direction and is a good option during the shoulder seasons. I recommend starting in Aspen Street and walking in a clockwise direction.
The Jud Wiebe Trail starts at the north end of Aspen Street in Telluride. (See driving directions below.) The trail is named in honor of Jud Wiebe, a forest ranger who made major contributions to the trails systems around Telluride.
From the end of Aspen Street the trail heads uphill and soon swings west, crossing a steel and timber bridge over Cornet Creek. The trail then ascends steeply along a broad track through ponderosa pine, spruce and aspen trees up the north side of the Telluride Valley. As you climb enjoy views of downtown Telluride and the ski area across the valley.
Reach a trail junction at 0.8 miles after gaining 670-ft. and turn right (east/southeast) on the continuation of the trail. (The Deep Creek trail, to the right, is part of the Sneffels Highline trail.)
Beyond the junction the grade abates a bit but soon resumes its ascent, aided by a few switchbacks. Soon the trees thin and then give way to meadows where fine views open to Bear Creek and the summits rising to the south of Telluride including Ballard Mountain, La Junta Peak and Wasatch Mountain.
At 1.3 miles arrive at an overlook and the high point of the hike (10,000-ft.). A bench offers an opportunity to take a break and enjoy the views. Vistas extend west down the Telluride Valley and to the peaks rising across the valley to the south/southeast.
When you’re done taking in the view, follow the trail as it descends through aspen along the eastern slopes of Cornet Creek Valley. At 1.9 miles the path crosses a bridge over Cornet Creek and then climbs through forest to a junction with a broad track at Liberty Bell Flats at 2.1 miles. To the left (east/northeast) the track is signed for the Liberty Bell Trail. We bear right on the broad track/road which briefly climbs before descending on moderately-steep grades through trees and then meadows down the Telluride’s northern slopes to the Tomboy Road. A few switchbacks facilitate the descent. Along the way pass a water storage tanks and enjoy more views of the town and the ski slopes across the valley.
Reach the Tomboy road at 2.9 miles and turn right (west). The road now descends on moderate grades to Oak Street at 3.2 miles. Oak Street is one street to the east of Aspen Street. Now simply follow Oak Street back to Colorado Avenue, Telluride’s main street.
Walking directions in Telluride: From Telluride’s main street (Colorado Avenue) turn north onto Aspen Street and proceed uphill past the last of the houses to the Jud Wiebe trailhead.
Parking in Telluride: Parking is by permit only at the trailhead and limited to two-hour parking along Colorado Avenue. Permits are required to park on most of the side streets around town.
Free day-use parking is available in Carhenge Lot, just off West Pacific Avenue at the west end of town near the base of Lift 7, or at the south end of Mahoney Drive, near the west entrance to town. A free shuttle bus called the Galloping Goose runs between the parking lots and various stops in downtown Telluride.
There is also free parking in the mountain village. From there you can take the free gondola into town and easily walk to the trailhead.
- Trail Photo Gallery
- Trail Maps
- Basecamp(s) Information: Telluride
- Region Information: Southwest Colorado
- Other Hiking Regions in: Colorado