See Forever

Round Trip Distance: 4.8 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation: 10,680 - 12,255 feet
Cellphone: 2-5 bars
Time: 4 hrs.
Trailhead: See Forever
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic views

The See Forever trail is located in the Telluride Ski Area of the Uncompahgre National Forest near Telluride, Colorado. The trail begins about a third of a mile from the St. Sophia Gondola Station at an elevation of 10,680 feet where it climbs along the See Forever Ski run until it comes to an end at its junction with the Wasatch Connection trail. This post continues past the Wasatch Connection trail junction to the ski lift that is at the 12,255 foot elevation to get some better views of the surrounding area. The upper portion of the See Forever trail makes use of a road for its route.

The best way to get to the See Forever trailhead is to start from one of the free parking areas in Telluride and follow the river trail to the Telluride Station. The gondola is visible enough that a street address isn't really necessary to find the station. From the Telluride Station take the free gondola up the mountain and get off at the first stop which is the St. Sophia Station. They hand out some pretty nice maps at the Information booths that point out a few of the trails in the area.

As you exit the St. Sophia Station hike south past the restrooms and other buildings. Continue past the Gift Shop and Nature Center and go to the right around the base of the See Forever ski run following the road where there is a sign for the Basin trailhead.

A few hundred yards up the Basin trail is where you will find the See Forever trailhead on your left. The lower section of the See Forever trail is closed to mountain bikes. There is another route that mountain bikes can take the begins near the Nature Center and follows the road up the mountain.

The See Forever trail starts out climbing around the shoulder of the mountain back toward the ski run.

Once the trail reaches the ski run it climbs steeply up the side of the slope making use of a series of box steps.

The trail levels off as it gets over the first hump in the mountain and crosses the ski run to a lookout point where there are some nice views looking down at the town of Telluride and at the mountains on the other side of the valley. The overlook is a good turnaround point for casual hikers.

It isn't at all obvious at first but the See Forever trail continues past the overlook up the left side of the ski slope.

After a bit more climbing the trail comes out on a road that it follows on up the slope.

The trail leaves the road after a short distance but eventually rejoins it and from that point on the road becomes the trail.

As the route continues climbing it passes the Ski Patrol shack, a house that was built on a rocky crag and the Alpino Vino afterwhich it  shortly comes to its official end at a junction with the Wasatch Connection trail. There is the option to go to the left at the junction and take the Wasatch Connection to the Bear Creek trail and get back to Telluride going that way. It should come out to about  6 miles or so taking that route. (Checkout the map at the end of this post for a better idea.)

For this post we continued a little higher up the mountain to the top of a ski lift at the 12,255 foot elevation where there were some nice views to the east in the area of Dallas Peak (13,815 feet) and Mount Sneffels (14,157)

All you can see is the summit area of Mount Sneffels but if you zoom in on it the view is pretty impressive.

There are also some incredible views in the other direction of Lizard Head and the Wilson Group of 14ers. Left to right - Lizard Head (13,114 ft.), El Diente (14,160 ft.), Mount Wilson (14,246 ft.) and Wilson Peak (14,017 ft.).

An ambitious hiker with enough energy to spare can continue a little further up the mountain to the top of the run near Gold Hill (12,736 feet) where the views are probably even better. As far as hiking trails go the See Forever trail itself is nothing special. The views on the other hand are as good as you will find anywhere and they make it all worth your while. The fun factor is increased quite a bit by getting to ride the gondola up the mountain to get to the trailhead. Once we saw the name of the trail that was all it took for us to want to hike it. On the day that we were there we encountered another dozen or more hikers that seemed to be enjoying it themselves. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.