Lizard Head Hike
Lizard Head is an iconic mountain outside Telluride, jutting up into the sky. We started our hike at 9,953′ and hiked up 5 miles above the treeline a few thousand feet to views of Sheephead Mtn, Wilson, and Lizardhead. For my Bend friends, parts of the mountain views look a lot like Broken Top, but this hike was up to 12,200′. Oh the views!!!!
The 5 miles back down seemed long but we came across another couple who were wearing University of Oregon gear and chatted with them for awhile. As always, small world.
From downtown Telluride anyone can take the FREE gondola up to San Sophia Station at 10,540′. This is the highest gondola station in North America and again, it’s FREE! If you get on before 10am you can even ride up for free with your bike. It costs to ride with your bike after 10 because that’s when the fee bike park opens.
We secured our bikes on the gondola and hopped on for free. The ride up took only 7.5 minutes and after admiring the view back to town we were on our bikes riding. We took Prospect Trail to Prospect Loop and then hopped on Magic Mountain Trail to Sunshine Trail, and the Galloping Goose and Valley Trails back to town. 24 miles, 2,167′ of climbing.
It makes a lot of sense to have this free activity for tourists, paid for by property owners. At its core, the free gondola is transportation, meant to provide a simple and clean commuting option. All the electricity used to operate the Gondola is provided by wind and solar power.