Sneffels Highline

Distance: 8.0 - 12.7 miles (loop)

Mount Sneffels Wilderness, Uncompahgre National Forest, near Telluride in Southwest Colorado

Upper Mill Creek Basin from the saddle

Upper Mill Creek Basin from the saddle


This is my favorite hike in Telluride, crossing a high saddle separating two gorgeous alpine basins. Along the way the trail traverses meadows filled with thigh-high wildflowers and serves up spectacular views of the high peaks surrounding the Telluride valley and the San Miguel Mountains in the Lizard Head Wilderness. (full description)

  • Distance: 12.7 miles (loop)
  • Elevation: 8,900-ft. at Trailhead
    Maximum elevation - 12,280-ft.
  • Elevation Gain: 3,380-ft.
  • Difficulty: strenuous
  • Basecamp: Telluride
  • Region: Southwest Colorado

Why Hike Sneffels Highline

If I only had time for one hike in the Telluride area, I’d choose the Sneffels Highline. This classic loop hike, leaving right from town, features spectacular views, two beautiful alpine basins and pretty meadows with thigh-high fields of wildflowers.

Be forewarned the trail is strenuous, covering 12.7 miles and climbing 3,380-ft. to its high point on a saddle below Mt. Emma (12,280-ft.). Don’t let the challenge deter you. Pick a beautiful day and get an early start so you can enjoy this premier hike at a leisurely pace.

Read the full trail description

Elevation Profile

Sneffels Highline Elevation Profile

Best Hiking in Southwest Colorado around Ouray, Telluride and Silverton

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