San Miguel River Trail

Rating: 
One-way Distance: 3.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 8671 - 8797 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: San Miguel River
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic river trail




The San Miguel River trail is located in Telluride, Colorado. The trail begins at the end of the Valley Floor trail where it travels along the banks of the San Miguel River through the town of Telluride until it meets up with the Idarado Legacy trail and comes to an end. Besides being a scenic place to enjoy a hike the trail serves as an important connecting route between the public parking areas and other nearby trails and attractions like the free Telluride Gondola.


This post begins at the northern end of the San Miguel River trail where it connects to the Valley Floor trail. This is also the boundary of the Uncompahgre National Forest. To get there from the Valley Floor trailhead on Highway 145 follow the Valley Floor trail to the right for 1.5 miles.


The trail starts out traveling along the west bank of the San Miguel River through a lush and beautiful forest of pine and spruce trees that includes a pleasing variety of bushes and wildflowers.


As the trail nears town it passes between the river and the large Shandoka Public Parking Lot. Shandoka is one of three lots in Telluride that offer free parking.


After passing the parking area the trail crosses Mahoney Drive where it changes to the east bank of the river.


As the trail continues along the river it goes by the Carhenge Public Parking Lot where there is a restroom at the Galloping Goose bus stop.


There are also public restrooms at the Telluride Station on Oak Street where you can catch the free gondola for a ride up to the ski area and Mountain Village.


A little past the Telluride Station the trail crosses the river again until it reaches Pine Street where it crosses back. A couple hundred feet to the right on Pine Street is where you will find the Bear Creek trailhead.


Continuing past Pine Street the trail goes through the Hobgood/Drew Wetlands and Nature Preserve.


At Maple Street the trail passes the entrance to the Town Park & Campground where there is free 4 hour parking and campsites that are available on a first come basis.


With Telluride Peak (13,509 feet) dominating the background the trail works its way deeper into the head of the valley after passing the Town Park.


A little over 3 miles from where it began the San Miguel River trail transitions to become the Idarado Legacy Trail and comes to an end. The Idarado Legacy trail continues up the valley along the river for another 1.2 miles until it ends across the road from the Pandora Mill. Whether you need to get from one end of the valley to the other or just need to go somewhere along the way the San Miguel River trail it is about the most pleasant route that you will find. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.