Sneffels Highline and Deep Creek Loop is a 14.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Telluride, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length14.3 miElevation gain3,986 ftRoute typeLoop
BackpackingCampingHikingDog friendlyForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlife
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (141)
Photos (476)
Recordings (104)
Completed (266)
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Rett Young
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For what's it's worth for anyone worried/confused based on comments below, I followed exactly this route and both my Garmin watch and Strava on my phone showed the same distance that AllTrails says. Great hike.

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Sebastian Fungiman
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So I am a bit embarrassed about writing this review, but decided to do so in order to help others so here goes nothing. To give you some background information, I am originally from Dallas and this was my second attempt ever at hiking at high elevation (past 8K). I drove in from Dallas, and stayed about an hour away from Telluride as it was getting dark. The next day when I made it to town just trying to find a parking spot was difficult enough, as I was about to park on the outskirts of town and make my way to the trailhead. There is parking officials/security that check the cars parked inside of Telluride, they were even checking tire thread on vehicles and issuing citations; just FYI. After about 30 minutes of senseless driving around, I finally stopped to ask one of the ladies that was checking the vehicles for her advice on where to park. After some initial pondering, she referred me to Carhenge Free Parking area near the gondolas and presented a business card for me to place on the window. Supposedly, parking is not allowed there between 2-6am. Once I arrived I saw numerous other vehicles, as well as some people who looked like they've made the place their temporary home. I decided since I had no other options that this was my only option, and decided to park my vehicle there and start my trip to Sneffels. I walked about a mile through town with 40lb of gear on my back, and everyone was giving me odd looks like I was the walking version of COVID-19. I finally made it to the trailhead, and decided to take the Jud Wiebe Memorial Trail to connect to Sneffels. This is a fantastic trail to walk on with plenty of spectacular views of Telluride and the mountains. It is very demanding though, and not for those who are out of shape. It is straight incline up the side of the mountain the entire way through the trail. The trail also has lots of loose rock and areas where if you lost your footing you will definitely experience severe mechanical injuries/death, so I wouldn't wear sandals and use trekking poles to keep your balance if you had weight on your back like myself. I often had to stop to drink water and catch my breath, and the elevation was taking its toll on me. The trail is moderately-heavily trafficked, as I completed the Wiebe Memorial connection on a Tuesday and saw about 20-25 people. Everyone that I saw recommended that you take this trail in order to connect to Sneffels Highline as it is the one with the best views, and though I haven't had a chance to take other trails it was quite impressive. After completing the Wiebe Memorial to connect to Sneffels, there was a fork in the trail with a sign that pointed towards an area called Deep Creek. At this time, I was already trying to find a water source as I had brought 1.5L of water with me and had burned about half of that since leaving my car. I decided this was the route I would take, and ultimately this decision sealed my fate. The trail took me through a beautiful forest of Aspen trees that were displaying their fall foliage. Watching the wind blow the remaining leaves off the limbs to create a shower of gold was spectacular. Next to the views from the side of the mountain on Wiebe, this was the best part of my entire trip. I was at peace and one with nature, and all the troubles of society escaped me. I tried to acclimate to the elevation gain here the most, sitting on top of decomposing aspen and drinking what precious water I had remaining. I continued up the path, and about another mile in I started experiencing severe fatigue and shortness of breath. I was losing daylight, couldn't find any water sources and the few people I did see at this point coming down were ecstatic to see another human and warned of no water to come until you hit the other side of the mountain. I had less than half a liter of water left at this point, and decided to make camp since I wasn't going to make it. In the morning I woke up, dehydrated and felt defeated as I did not think I could make it to the other side where the water was. Regrettably, I started to make my way back down the mountain. I still had service on my phone (AT&T) at this point and could tell I was at around ~12,000ft elevation. I started my decent, but admittedly I was descending at a fast rate as it was easier going down than up. I made the few miles I had gone up the mountain yesterday in record time and managed to make it to my vehicle at Carhenge, still where I left it. I sat in my car and started driving and that is when it hit me. I started experiencing severe nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of motor control and knew I was about to vomit. I pulled off the road and started puking my guts out. In 24 hours I only had crackers to eat, so I was mainly puking bile. I suspected high altitude sickness, and drove around aimlessly looking for a hotel with vacancy; pulling over every "X" amount of miles to puke. I couldn't find any vacancies at every hotel I...

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Mackenzie Feathers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 5, 2020
HikingWashed out

This trail is well over the 14 miles, so be prepared !! Both of our phones said 20.1 miles ( we started in town which probably added a total of 2 miles to the distance so more like 18). We had our dogs with us , so I do not recommended this ( both of our dogs run with us as well and are in good shape ). There was a few sketchy parts where the trail was washed out and we had to lift the dogs up/down, and crossing over the peak was a little sketchy with them. Pack way more water and food than you think you will need !! I think if we both knew it was more like 18 miles we would have enjoyed the trail more. Luckily we had extra food and water ! My husband and I are both are in good shape and have hiked all over the country, and both agree that was rough. I think we both had altitude sickness at one point ( which I have never experienced ). Overall the trail was beautiful and you could see waterfalls , peaks , beautiful meadows and woods. Just be prepared for a longer hike than the map says ! It took us about 9 hours and we stopped every hour for about 5 minutes.

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Adam Parsons
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Hiking
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Katja Dunlap
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Hiking

does anyone know where to find a map in order to identify campsites on the route/how to reserve campsites if necessary? Thanks!

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Jessica XYZ
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Hiking
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Brian Dally
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Hiking

This is a great way to do Sneffels Highline. Bring layers and rain gear!

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Andy Baker
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Hiking

An amazing hike. Definitely go counter clockwise. - the hardest climbs are at the beginning and the best views at the end.

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sara rodell
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Hiking

Beautiful trail, but smokey conditions made it hard to see the views. I went clockwise, doing the 7ish miles up and 5ish down, it was nice, not too steep. The switchback trail over the peak was completely gone so be ready to pick your own way over the top. There is water at the top to refill, not much water along the trail though.

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Erin Hellman
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Hiking

Steep incline up to the pass but beautiful views! Camped in basin with about 4 other groups. Had plenty of space for each group.

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Adam Rhoads
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BackpackingGreat!

Trail was superb. Begins with a steady climb with views of Telluride amongst the pines and aspens. As you continue to climb you experience vistas of the ski area and surrounding range. There is a small trickle of water available about half way up to the pass at some switchbacks. This is the only water that was available until you cross the pass. The view at the top of the pass is well worth the work of getting there. Spend time enjoying the view as the sun begins to set. We camped in the basin on the northern side of the pass. We were the only ones there and the sunset was beautiful. The second day was an easy day down the basin back to telluride. There is a waterfall to check out as you descend through the basin. Overall great trip, but be aware that there is no parking at the trailhead. We spent an hour trying to figure out where to park. The only option we found was to park at Mountain Village parking garage and pay for overnight parking and ride the gondola back to Telluride.

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Dorothy Cranfill
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Great variation in this hike- aspen groves, pine/spruce forests, waterfalls, flowers, elevation gain to the saddle, and amazing views throughout!

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MJ Peters
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HikingRocky

One of the best hikes in Telluride. We always hike counterclockwise (starting on the Jud Wiebe). Usually, I will ask a friend to pick us up at the Mill Creek trailhead instead of completing the loop. This shaves off about 2mi, but you still get all the views. Today (8/22/20), the switchbacks coming down from the saddle were in the worst shape I’ve seen them. We descended safely, but if you are not comfortable descending loose rock and gravel, then you will feel safer hiking the loop clockwise, so that you descend the other side.

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Daryl Strauss
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful, long day on the highline yesterday! Still some flowers hanging on in the basins, but definitely past peak. I really suggest going counterclockwise. You will reach the high point in 5 miles going this way, and get to spend 7+ miles hiking gently downhill back to the car. One of the best hikes in telluride!

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Brian McDonald
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HikingGreat!

This is a very hard but rewarding hike. I run 100 miles each week and it took me just over 6 hours to complete. I was burned out afterwards. I did it counterclockwise and that is my recommendation. What makes it so incredibly unique is the long period of time that you get in boulder fields and alpine meadows. There is a tough traverse down a rocky area at the back of the hike. Wear good shoes and bring tons of water. Incredible experience. Well worth it.

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Marlin Rooks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking

Wonderful! I hiked up the initial 3000 ish feet to the ridge line and the ran down the other side. Took 3:10 and change at a halting run down. Beautiful the whole way, saw about 4 people on a Tuesday evening.

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Kristian Poscic
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Hiking

great trail, we really enjoyed it

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Brian Melius
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Hiking

My wife and I set out for a hike that we thought would be out and back of 12 miles. We started at Jud webie and then sneffles. When we got to the saddle we were thinking we would turn around and go back. Another hiker reached the saddle and told us that there was a lot more to see and convinced us to keep going and do the entire circle. This was the most beautiful yet hard hike I have ever done. 19.95 total miles and 8:45 time on trail. You get to see some of everything on this hike I highly recommend this. Some of the trail is a bit scary and the last few miles all steep downhill.

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Gab Crank
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking

A beautiful day out on Sneffels Highline with minimal traffic & dreamy wildflowers! We went clockwise and started on Deep Creek Trail from Mill Creek Rd to save ourselves from some of that early Jud Wiebe elevation gain. Started around 6:40am and got down around noon with multiple breaks. Enjoy!

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Nathanael McCoy
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BackpackingBugsMuddyRocky

Absolutely stunning trail. Not an easy trek, but well worth it. Started out at 8am on a thursday going clockwise, and only ran into 5 groups of people before setting up camp ~7 miles in around noon. Though I got rained on the entire afternoon, it wasn’t terribly cold this late in July; I don’t think it even reached freezing all night. I set out at 8am Friday morning, and reached the summit at 9:00. The trail was very technical and rocky at the top, but there was no snow at all and the trail was not difficult to follow. Hiking down the steeper side was quick and not as technical, I made it to the bottom by 11:00. I ran into probably 15-20 groups of people on the way down, but it was a Friday morning, so I wasn’t surprised. With a 20lb backpack, I expected to have a difficult time at the top, but I did just fine on fresh morning legs. As long as you’re acclimated to altitude, in decent shape, and prepared for a whole day’s journey, it’s a wonderful hike.

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Michelle Chait
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Hiking

Completed this as a run and it was amazing! I started from Mill Creek and went counter clockwise. It can be a little difficult to see the route after you reach the saddle, but if you really scan the talus and scree, you can see the footpath. I'm not the best route finder and I managed okay.

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Brandie Brunner
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No "thigh-high wildflowers" yet, but still a great way to see two cirques rushing with streams. A rock slide has covered the beginning of the descent from the saddle with scree. Not ideal but not impossible. We did counterclockwise loop on Sneffels High Line and Deep Creek in exactly 7 hours with frequent short stops on the steep sections.

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William Swisher
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Hiking

Incredible hike. Challenging, but totally worth it. One of the best hikes I’ve done in Colorado, or, dare I say, anywhere. Highly recommend.

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Suzi King
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Hiking

We hiked this today from the Mill Creek Trialhead. It was gorgeous! We got in 6.2 miles (12,038ft) and hit the last stretch up the saddle which was covered by snow. It looked rather deep and slick so we turned around. The rest of the trail was clear of snow. No wildflowers yet, but I think in 2-3 weeks the snow will be melted from the saddle and the flowers will be in bloom.

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Kathy P
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Hiking

Strenuous and stressful along the last stretch to top because of steepness and loose rock. Beautiful views.

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Del Kauf
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Hiking

Definitely my favorite in telluride. I prefer counter clockwise.

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Mike Krause
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 21, 2019
Hiking

This was my first hike in the area and it is a fantastic trail. it is only single track but it is easy to follow (mid-September). Passes through aspen and spruce stands and the views of Telluride and the box canyon are just the start.

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