Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hiking the Sneffels Highline Trail

We are so fortunate to have so many wonderful hiking trails right out our door here in Telluride.  Last week we hiked the Sneffels Highline for the first time on a perfect fall day without a cloud in the sky.  We saw a total of five people on the trail that day, Tuesday.  We started up Mill Creek Road on the Deep Creek trail to get there.  Starting at the top of Mill Creed Road shaves off a couple of miles and 1,000 feet of elevation gain.  We hiked a total of 12 miles with an elevation gain of just over 2,000 feet.

Immediately the views are amazing!





The Wilson group of mountains are in view much of the way up.


The San Juan Mountains do have a few hoodoo formations.


The ski runs on the left are on the Telluride side of the resort descending from lifts 9 and 7.

We gradually made our way to Mill Creek Basin.


Upper Mill Creek Falls was flowing pretty well due to the rain the day before, and maybe a dusting of snow up higher.

Dallas Peak towers above Mill Creek Basin, elevation 13,809 feet.


Even though this trail is in the Sneffels Wilderness, part of the Uncompahgre National Forest, Mt. Sneffels is actually not seen from the trail due to being hidden behind Gilpin Peak.  Just too close to see it!

One of the five people we saw on the trail was a guy bow hunting. He had spotted a buck over in the rocks.  We never saw the buck, but admired his willingness to hunt up there with almost 6 miles of packing out a deer.

Of course there were a few marmots along the way.



We were heading up to the saddle of the trail here.  It was kind of like a narrow Ophir Pass.

One more look back at Dallas Peak and Mill Creek Basin.

There was a new dusting of snow on the way up.


There is a huge cairn on the saddle at 12,000 feet between Mount Emma and Greenback Mountain.  We left Mill Creek Basin and descended into Pack Basin.



Wilson Peak is in view again all the way down.


We eventually joined back up with the Jud Wiebe trail and then into town. It took us a little less than 8 hours to complete the hike, but I did stop and take a lot of photos and we enjoyed our time in the alpine tundra. A great classic fall hike!  Don't forget you can click on any photo to make it larger.

1 comment:

motoroz said...

Wow, what an awesome hike. I was in Montrose this summer, but did not hike much. Maybe next time I can hike this trail.