Owl Gulch Hiking

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This locals’ secret goes by many names—Owl Gulch, Clay’s Way, the “Wild Wiebe” or the “Dark Wiebe”—and, as a relatively new trail, it sees very little foot traffic compared to the adjacent, similar, and far better-known Jud Wiebe loop. It’s about 3 miles round-trip from the bottom of Tomboy Road.

Written by

Yitka Winn


3.5 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

0.0 miles


3 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

2 hours


Spring, Summer, and Fall

Dog Friendly


Fees Permits


Land Website

Owl Gulch



Owl Gulch is an unmarked connector trail between Tomboy Road and the Jud Wiebe Trail—new enough that it’s still not on some trail maps. It can be done as a loop from the base of Tomboy Road at the northern end of Oak Street. Begin by hiking up the road for roughly a mile and a half. At the second major switchback, you’ll find the unmarked singletrack trail sneaking off into the woods. You might think it’s merely a deer trail, but fear not—it won’t peter out on you.

Though the trail is narrow and overgrown in places, it’s easy to follow. You’ll meander up and down steep slopes—sometimes sans switchbacks—thereby making a slow, western traverse across the hillside. Along the way, you’ll pass through aspen groves, across trickling creeks, through open meadows, beneath interesting boulders and rock formations, and if you’re keeping an eye out for it, some old mining ruins.

This route tops out above 10,000 feet before sending you on a steep descent through the woods to reconnect with the eastern side of the Jud Wiebe loop. Take a left, and you’ll be back to the bottom of Tomboy Road in roughly 20 minutes.

What Makes It Great

It offers many of the same joys of the popular Jud Wiebe Trail—a relatively short day hike, right out of downtown, filled with abundant flora and fauna, deep woods of aspen and fir alike, open meadows with panoramic views—without any of the crowds.

Who is Going to Love It

Those who appreciate getting off the beaten path without having to get in a car to reach some distant, remote trailhead. Though never hard to follow, the Owl Gulch Trail is faint in places, as well as hands-on-knees steep at times.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

There is no parking at either trailhead, so plan to park on the streets in town instead. Note: many streets in Telluride are limited to two-hour parking, so be wary of these restrictions—or seek free, all-day parking at the Carhenge Lot on the southwest corner of town, off West Pacific Ave.


Owl Gulch

Telluride, CO,
37.937494, -107.812285

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