Telluride–High Country Hiking & History
Nestled in a canyon surrounded by towering Rocky Mountain peaks, much of Telluride was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1964. The result is a thriving but carefully preserved hamlet of Victorian homes, mining shacks, and clapboard storefronts.
For this new TPL trip, we chose the height of the wildflower season to explore Telluride and its surrounding landscape. From our base at the historic but luxurious New Sheridan Hotel, we will explore the high country around Telluride, Ouray, and Silverton while learning how TPL is converting 19th-century mining claims into protected open space.
Intended for both the avid hiker and the nature-loving wanderer, our explorations will be guided by experts in the region’s flora, fauna, and colorful mining history. We’ll ride the Telluride Gondola to a ridgetop stroll with a naturalist from St. Sophia Nature Center, and we’ll learn how TPL protected 14,017-foot Wilson Peak, one of the most recognizable of Colorado’s magnificent “fourteeners.” One day, you can hike the popular Bear Creek Trail up a gentle valley to Bear Creek Falls—or join a local historian for a walk along the San Miquel River Trail to learn about the Ute Indians, longtime inhabitants of the Telluride area. Another afternoon, anglers can choose to wet a line in the blue-ribbon trout waters of the Dolores River—or to fish in a variety of alpine lakes, ponds, and creeks.
We will close our trip with dinner at the private home of a local TPL supporter, where our speaker will be Ian Billick, executive director of the 80-year-old Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, a remote Rocky Mountain field station.
Dates: July 6 – 10, 2011