Date hiked: 07/06/17
Mileage: 3.2 mi
Head Count (how many other hikers I saw): Dozens
Last year I had Ouray on my radar, but this summer, Telluride is quickly taking its place. And as far as Telluride hiking goes, the Jud Wiebe trail is a classic, not to be missed.
Heading into it clockwise from the dead end at Aspen Street, a long stretch running parallel to Telluride quickly gains elevation on town, with views of the naked runs and town spilling across the valley below you.
One half mile in, keep right at the Deep Creek fork, and soon the first batch of switchbacks brings the trail north before swinging east into the steepest stretch.
Reaching a cruel false summit at the Jud Wiebe memorial bench, the foliage opens to a prime view of Telluride and the valley. Jud Wiebe, a forest service manager who planned the trail out, passed before work was completed. But for future hikers to come, his work is well appreciated.
Back into the grind, the trail finally reaches its climax less than a quarter mile on at 10,000 feet. Here, the trees back away from the trail to far-flung views of Bridal Veil Falls and the peaks which form Telluride Valley’s eastern wall.
A thick forest peppered with aspen pulls the trail down towards Cornet Creek, where a sturdy footbridge assists with the crossing. After one last uphill battle finally succumbs after a tiring quarter mile, the route meets with the Liberty Bell trail and levels.
Turn right onto Liberty Bell, where the trail; secured tight to the mountainside with heavy cribbing; finally wraps back around towards Telluride. At the base of a series of loose and rocky switchbacks, the trail meets with a set of water storage tanks, then eases on its way to Tomboy Road.
Take another right, and Tomboy Road leads you into town. Turn left onto Oak Street for one block, then right onto Galena, and yet another right onto Aspen which will take you back to the trailhead.
A spur trail at the trailhead heads off to the Cornett Creek Falls. Though steeper than the Jud Wiebe loop, the payoff is just as big. Try to plan your trip to see the falls when the snowmelt is at its greatest.
From Colorado Avenue, head north on Aspen Street. The western trailhead is at the end of the road, while the eastern trailhead is about a quarter mile up Tomboy Road. Parking in Telluride can be difficult to find, especially free spots. But with the help of a local, I found some free parking on the north side of Galena Street. Just look for the roads with the permit parking signs folded down.