Priest Lake

One-way Distance: 1.0 km
Difficulty: Moderate
XC Skill level:
Elevation: 9474 - 9614 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Priest Lake Nordic Trails
Fee: $15 donation
Attractions: Groomed trail

The Priest Lake trail is located in the Priest Lake Nordic Trails area near Telluride, Colorado. The trail begins a short distance from the trailhead where it travels along a groomed route that ends near the Priest Lake Campground. Enroute the trail has connections with the Middle Meadow, Elk Wallow, Hidden Valley, Ripsaw, Inside Loop and Railroad Grade trails. All of the interconnecting routes make the Priest Lake trail an important corridor.

This post begins at the lower end of the Priest Lake trail where it departs from the Middle Meadow trail.

The trail is easy as it starts out.

After a short distance it passes a fork where another short connector from the Middle Meadow trail joins in.

The next junction that comes up has the Ripsaw trail connecting on the left and the Hidden Valley trail branching off on the right.

At this point the trail becomes a little more difficult as it begins climbing a few small hills.

Another fork comes up where a short connector branches off on the right that runs over to the Inside Loop trail.

Along the right fork it is a short distance to an historic cabin. The Inside Loop goes to the right at this point. To the left there is another short connector that runs back over to the Priest Lake trail.

If you go to the left the Priest Lake trail continues as it climbs uphill.

The trail levels off as it goes through the Priest Lake Campground where it meets up with the Railroad Grade trail and comes to an end. The top of the Ripsaw trail connects on the left at this point. To the right is another connector that runs down to the the Inside Loop. A little further up the Ski Hill trail begins off of the Railroad Grade trail. Pretty much any way that you go from here, except to the right on the Railroad Grade, will lead back to the trailhead and will be all downhill for the most part. As far as the Priest Lake trail goes, if you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.