The name of this trail says it all. I mean..who doesn’t want to See Forever? It’s also what helped convince me that we should tackle this long, strenuous high altitude hike. I knew it would be hard, but figured the view would make up for the pain.
The hike started off easy with a brisk 5 minute walk to the gondola and a quick 10 minute descent up 1,750 ft. to the trailhead
The top of the gondola, and the start of the trail, has an elevation of 10,500 ft. From there we had a four mile, 1,700 ft. climb ahead of us.
It was as hard as I thought it would be. Especially the first mile which was basically straight up a ski trail. After that the trail turned into a wide switchbacked road that wound up along the ridge. The switchbacks made things a tiny bit easier. It was slow going though. We were trudging more than we were hiking. Sometimes on a short, easy hikes we challenge ourselves to set a good pace for the sake of exercise, but on a long hike such as this above 10,000 ft. we take our time and stop often.
Finally we reached the high point of the trail. Sure enough, you could see forever.
From here we began our descent down into the basin on the back side of the mountain. Because we took the gondola part way up, our descent was much longer than our ascent. We had 3,500 ft. to hike down over a distance of approximately 5 miles. As anyone who regularly hikes mountains knows, down is not always easier than up. It can be really hard on the body, and in this case the trail was comprised of loose gravel which meant we had to take careful steps to avoid sliding down the mountain.
The very best part of the downhill section were the brilliant yellow, orange and red colored hillsides. It was our first taste of fall colors and almost made up for the pain in my feet, ankles, and hips.
This hike left us sore and exhausted, but as I suspected, the views more than made up for the pain. We only have a few more weeks left in Colorado, and don’t plan to spend them in an area with these kind of hiking options. Which means this might just be our last epic Rocky Mountain hike for awhile. I’d say we picked a good one to end with.
We’re thinking about traveling in an RV someday and it’s been fun to check out your blog. Although it sounds like you must have some sore muscles after that hike, those gorgeous views of the mountains make it worth it!
We were sore for days! Mostly from that long downhill. My hips and ankles were not happy with me. Happy we could provide you with some inspiration, and I hope you do consider RV travel. It’s a great way to get out and see the country.
Gosh, what great scenery. The mountains are beginning to cool down a little. I guess the crowds are all back home so that is good.
Yes, things are starting to feel a bit cooler and more fall like in the mountains. The crowds are thinning out which makes our lives so much easier!
I’m impressed. That looks like a very tough hike. I would agree that the beauty was well worth the effort. Your photos energize me! I do love Colorado! -Linda
It was a tough one. I almost declared it above my ability in the first mile, but after a bit of complaining I pushed through :)
Beautiful scenery and what a hike!! Love the colors on the trail around Tim!! Starting at over 10,000 feet and going higher from there… wow… and ouch!! Good for you guys!
It was both a lung and thigh buster for sure! Who knows when we’ll make it back to Colorado, so we had to get one last epic hike in.
Wow… kudos to you guys – very impressive. Your photos are stunning. Gorgeous country I can’t seem to get enough of.
As you well know, the mountains around Telluride are incredibly scenic. I already can’t wait to go back.
Gorgeous! The last few photos of Tim are a little scary — so steep! It looks like one wrong step and he could go tumbling down like Buttercup!
That section of the trail was very steep. I couldn’t believe it when a few people on mountain bikes passes us. I would never be brave enough to bike down that mountain!
I am completely impressed that you did this hike.
Thanks! I am pretty impressed myself :)
Love Colorado..thanks for the wonderful pictures. What a hike!
That hike looked amazing!
Congratulations to you two! The views do look like they made up for the pain. We are now in Longmont and I still wonder how I will do hiking above 11,000 feet. The only time I hiked above that altitude I experienced some symptoms of altitude sickness. So far hiking at 10,000 feet has been fine. Are you two planning to be in the Denver area by chance? :)