- Bridal Veil Falls Trail (Telluride)
- Ouray’s Perimeter Trail
We drove from Dolores CO up into the San Juan Mountains towards Telluride. This would be our first trip off grid, meaning no water, electricity, or sewer hook-ups at an RV campground. We selected a couple of possible locations to camp and drove around to check them out. The first campground we visited was Mary E Lake, which was closest to Telluride. It was on a river and had potable water access but it was completely closed when we arrived! We turned around and drove to option #2 next to Priest Lake. When we arrived we found a bumpy one way road that made us a little nervous coming in! The majority of the spots seemed to be for tent camping only but we did manage to find a large spot a little farther down the road. We turned in but couldn’t find a level enough spot for our RV. It was doable but we decided to move on to our 3rd option and we’re so glad we did! It was at Lizard Head Pass, which is a dispersed camping area about 20 minutes outside of Telluride. It was beautiful! We lucked out and arrived when someone was leaving a great spot. It was level and sat by itself overlooking the mountains. We set up camp and made a great dinner!
The next day we went into Telluride, which is a popular ski destination. There’s a great downtown area that’s lined with shops and restaurants; a nice place to spend the afternoon. After walking around downtown, we headed to Bridal Veil Falls to do a hike. The hike up to the falls was a little challenging but so worth the effort. The trail leads you to the lower falls before the final ascent up to Bridal Veil Falls. (There’s a switchback road that you can drive to take you directly up to the falls if hiking isn’t your thing. )
Day 3 was spent exploring Ouray, “Little Switzerland of America”. It has a cute downtown area, similar to Telluride, that we spent an hour walking around. Ouray is set in a kind of bowl-like valley, surrounded by the San Juan Mountains. There’s a neat hike called the Ouray Perimeter Trail that takes you along the entire circumference of the town via a trail. The loop starts near the Ouray visitor center and takes you past neighborhoods on your way up into the mountains. It was about 6.5 mi long and listed as ‘moderate’ by AllTrails. It was definitely challenging in places, especially since we started on the steepest part of the loop with the longest incline. (If you want to avoid our mistake, start on the side of the loop that starts across from the visitor center.) The hike is so neat. The views of the town are incredible. The trail takes you past Cascade Falls, Box Canyon waterfall, Baby Bathtubs and Uncompahgre River. You get a lot of bang for your buck from the Perimeter Trail.
The natural beauty found around Telluride and Ouray is unbelievable. Beautiful mountains with pristine mountain lakes like Priest & Alta Lakes. We had a great time exploring the area and highly recommend a visit.