Stretching for more than 80 miles from the San Juan Mountains all the way towards western Montrose County, San Miguel River is a tributary of the Dolores River and one of the top natural attractions in the town of Telluride.
For outdoor lovers, the river offers a wide array of fun activities, especially during the months of March to October. If you’re planning a trip to the San Miguel River, here are some of the many activities you can enjoy:
The San Miguel River Trail is a popular 6.6-mile out and back trail located minutes away from Telluride. The picturesque trail has an elevation gain of 393 feet, and is ideal for hikers, nature lovers, joggers, and sightseers of all ages and skill levels. The trail offers stunning views of the rugged box canyon, sweeping meadows, and lush forested areas.
Hikers will be able to access the trail from different points throughout Telluride. Go east on the trail to get to the Idarado Mining Legacy Trail, where you’ll find signs with information and key facts about the town’s rich mining heritage. From here, you can continue east along the trail to reach the Pandora Mill and the road leading to Bridal Veil Falls. Heading west, the trail meanders along the hillside, extending throughout the Telluride Valley Floor trail, and ending at Highway 145.
You can view an interactive map of the San Miguel River Trail here.
The San Miguel River starts in Telluride, flowing southwest until it connects with the Dolores River, ultimately joining the majestic Colorado River. One of the last free flowing rivers in the state of Colorado, the fertile river is abundant with hatches of stoneflies and caddis. Thriving within its deep pools and the long, slow runs are massive volumes of browns, cutthroat, rainbow, and brook trout.
If you’re looking forward to enjoying a fishing trip in the San Miguel River, you can join a guided fishing trip by groups like the San Miguel Anglers, which offers half-day or full day fishing trips in some of the best spots along the river.
Biking and trail running
Telluride’s Valley Floor has a reputation for being one of the region’s best examples of land preservation. Once included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Most Endangered Places in the US, the expansive 570-acre parcel of land was eventually purchased by the town of Telluride in 2008, and is now preserved forever as a public open space for locals and visitors to enjoy.
In the summer, the Valley Floor is an absolute paradise for trail runners and mountain bikers, with its miles of rolling and flat singletracks surrounded by breathtaking views of the box canyon. Keep in mind however that while the network of singletrack routes throughout the Valley Floor aren’t really well-marked, they are all within a mostly flat, open valley, so it’s easy to find your way around.
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