August 6, 2018

CO: Telluride - Gentleman's Loop

I've skied in Telluride numerous times, but had only passed through the area once or twice during warmer months. Today, that would change. The weather was looking perfect, I was mostly on schedule and I had a route in mind. The Gentleman's Loop utilizes the free town gondola to transport your bike from town (8750') up to the St. Sophia Station (10,535'). From there the route climbs to a bit over 11k after 4 1/2 miles. The ensuing 10+ miles are mostly downhill or level. Sounds like a good ride when on a bit of a time constraint.

The hardest part was finding a place to park for a few hours. I circled downtown a bit, weaved around some construction and finally nabbed a spot a few blocks from the gondola station. Three hours was the limit for on street parking, that should be plenty. Off I went.

The attendant at the gondola station wasn't the most friendly or helpful. She instructed me to get on the next gondola car, but there were no bike hooks. So, I figured she meant the next car, no hooks there either. So, I climbed inside the third car, bike & all. Nope. Get outta there!! Stand over here!! Two cars later I was cruising uphill over the lift towers. For the record, the bike hooks on the gondola cars are not equally spaced, seemed totally random. Strange.
The free elevation gain was nice for a change.

Lizard Head & 14er Mt. Wilson.

I have many winter photos from near this spot. Looks amazing any time of year.

The first half of the ride would follow the Prospect trail.

Sketchy Telluride airport runway jutting out to the end of the far mesa.

It was interesting to see a familiar place through different lenses.

Back & forth between thick forest and wide open ski runs.

The first couple of miles were fast & buff.

Like riding a landspeeder across Endor.

The San Juan mountains are easily my favorite in Colorado.

Gold Hill & Revelation lifts.

Almost to the top of Prospect. I did my fair share of HAB so far, I was ready for the long downhill.

The top of the Village area trails.

Now, we go down!!

Twists, turns, roots and long straightaways.

Entering the land of the multi-million dollar 'cabins'.

Sure would be fun to stay here for a week during ski season.

Or here.

All these homes have a fantastic summer trail system weaving through their community.

No fall-line trail here, berms, berms & more berms.

Zig zag down and across the bridge.

The trail dumps onto some paved neighborhood streets, then winds through the mountain village via bikepath.

This route was never short of scenery.

One of the more luxurious ski in/ski out properties we've stayed at. Group rate bus trips make it affordable.

The Boomerang trail is the shortcut back to town, I wanted the scenic route.

Jurassic trail.

Valley Floor trail finishes things off.

Thick Aspen grove near the beginning of the trail.

The final few miles were mostly level leading into town.

Giddy up!!

The singletrack gave way to a multi-use gravel path.

San Miguel River.

Back where I started right off the River Path.
I made it back to the car with plenty of time left on my parking meter. The Gentleman's Loop was a great introduction to the Telluride mountain biking scene. Plenty more to explore here.

Iconic view of the main drag in Telluride, Ajax Peak front & center.

Passing by Trout Lake on my way home. Have I mentioned I love the San Juan's??


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