Skunk Trails

Round Trip Distance: 2.8 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
XC Skill level:
Elevation: 9130 - 9300 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Adams Ranch Rd.
Fee: none
Attractions: groomed trails

The Skunk Trails are part of the Mountain Village Nordic and Snowshoe Trails that are located  in Mountain Village near Telluride, Colorado. Groomed for both classic and skate style cross country skiing the trails are comprised of a number of interconnected loops that travel around the course of the Telluride Golf Club on both sides of Skunk Creek.

To get to the trailhead turn off of Highway 145 west of Telluride at the signs for the Ski Area and Mountain Village. Take the first left off of Mountain Village Blvd. onto the Adams Ranch Road and park in the obvious spot along the west side of the road after 100 yards or so from the intersection.

Look for a short connector that leads back across the road from the Wilson Loop. It's pretty easy to see where the snowcat crosses the road and drops off of the hill on the south side of the house in this photo.

Several switchbacks come into play as the trail drops over 60 feet in elevation before having gone 500 feet.

As the trail levels off it comes to a junction where the trail splits with each each fork following a route on either side of the valley before once again reuniting and crossing Skunk Creek. For this post we followed the trail on the north side of the valley heading out and came back via the other route.

The two routes reunite at a 4-way junction where there is another route that loops up to the intersection at Mountain Village Blvd. and Pennington Place.

After crossing Skunk Creek the trail makes another split where once again it offers up routes along either side of the valley.

After both of those routes reunite they cross a ridge and make a long loop around one of the fairways, passing a side spur with another short loop along the way.

It was interesting how meticulously the snowcat would groom the trails, making several passes to smooth them out before its final pass to lay down the set of classic tracks. That's in contrast to most places where everything is done with one pass.

Regardless of the time of year you visit the scenery is always faithfully awesome in the Telluride area.

With multiple loops to choose from you can tailor an outing with as little as a half mile to something closer to 3 miles using just the Skunk trails.

There are also a number of alternate routes all along the Skunk Trails. Some of them connect to other trails in the system while others lead to the neighborhood streets that surround the golf course. All the alternate routes can make route finding a little more challenging until you become accustomed to the layout. The trails are packed so well that most of the people that use them are walking their dogs without the aid of skis or snowshoes. The scenery is great and when you finish you can always head to the Village Center where you can lounge around one of the firepits and enjoy some refreshments. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.