RootsRated explores the best mountain biking trails in Telluride. From quick rides to all-day epics, let our experts help you find the perfect trails. Our destinations are chosen by outdoors experts who live and play in Telluride, so you’re sure to find the top adventures and maybe even a few local secrets!
Mill Creek Road, which is located about a mile west of Telluride via either the bike path or Valley Floor trail, is the jumping off point for several rides on the sunny side — an area of aspen-cloaked slopes that includes Mill Creek, Deep Creek and Eider trails.
This gently graded, primarily non-technical trail follows an old narrow-gauge rail line for roughly 19 miles from the 10,222-foot Lizard Head Pass back toward the town of Telluride. A scenic ride, it crosses a number of roads, so with a car shuttle, it can be ridden in sections, too.
The high country that encircles Telluride is home to stunning high-alpine basins, stark mountain passes, splashy river crossings, interesting mining artifacts, wildflower-strewn fields and some of the most breathtaking views in Colorado.
Telluride isn’t exactly a beginning mountain biker’s paradise. The steep, rocky and rugged San Juan Mountains that encircle the town (and make it so beautiful) also translate into steep, rocky and rugged riding.
The Telluride Ski Resort rises from the Valley Floor directly north of Telluride, offering steep slopes where you can ski right into town in the winter and pedal through pine forests in the summer. Boomerang/Jurassic/Meadows is a fast and convenient link-up that offers the best and flowiest downhill section on the ridge.
This challenging tour of the north side of the Telluride valley offers a bit of everything—mountain views, wildflowers, alpine meadows, aspen groves, expansive basins, steep climbs, flowy descents, talus fields, and creek crossings.
This ride is huge and strenuous. At times it feels like the climb — which is often on less than ideal doubletrack — will never relent. But the alpine wonderland in Upper Bridal Veil and Upper Bear Creek basins makes all the sweating and grunting worth it.
As its name implies, Penelope’s is a relatively easy ride that travels up and over a ridge with no technical sections and a nice breezy downhill. It also affords gorgeous views of the Wilsons Range and looks out onto Telluride Ski Resort and the box canyon.
With very little through traffic other than the occasional jeep or four-wheeler, this approximately 20-mile (one way) dirt road is an ideal mountain-biking route with soaring panoramic views of Telluride’s most jagged peaks—the Wilson Range, St. Sophia Ridge, Palmyra Peak, and the Sneffels Range.
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