Explore the most popular trails near Pandora with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Awesome trail if you are reasonably fit. 2,400 feet elevation change with virtually uninterrupted upward slope. Incredible views of Telluride and the Tomboy mine.

A few things...

Get a ride or drive up to Bridal Veil Falls if you can.

Use the AllTrails map to get on the trail. After you pass over the creek, you’ll soon see 4 overhead cables perpendicular to the trail. You’ll turn left between the third and fourth ones to get off the road and onto the dirt trail. There were cairns there when we were there.

Soon you’ll come to a fork. Either choice will get you there. The one on the right has longer switchbacks, is not as steep and is at least a mile longer than going left. But, going left is much steeper and more difficult than going right. You’ll have the same options coming down. Making the choice that fits your capabilities is important. If you start up the trail to the left and don’t like it, go down and take the other fork.

Have a great hike!

Jeff

Did this lovely hike with my 21 month old son in a backpack and my 10lb shih tzu. We had a blast, and even took a dip in the ice cold lake!

Loved this hike. We had walked all the way from the bottom of the bridal veil falls which made for a long day but I would still do it again. From the top of the falls you are hiking right along the river that feeds the falls. This river is gorgeous the whole way with plenty of little waterfalls. I went mid July and the wildflowers were breathtaking. Every slope was covered with them and there were plenty of different varieties to look at. Walking up to the lake we didn’t even see it at first because the reflection was so vivid. The lake was pristine and was surrounded by jagged peaks. Also near the top was left over parts from the old mines making for some beautiful pictures.

This is a beautiful hike. I got elevation sickness so it may not be for everyone. It’s worth it though. Take lots of water or a water filter (lots of water everywhere) and sunscreen and make sure your battery on your camera is well charged because your going to use it!

Gorgeous, stunning... and read on for tips not mentioned in any other review. For me, this was a 12.3-mile hike, because my car couldn't get over the rocks and straight waterfall crossings (for real) on the ride up Bridal Veil. :)

IMPORTANT: As someone else said earlier (thank you! I would have been lost without you), there are no signs, so remember: At the first trail split, stay left; at the second trail split (another 1/2 mile or so up), stay right. This way you'll make it to Blue Lake and not some of the other lakes.

PRO TIP: You can hitchhike up or down it! Locals do this often. I didn't realize this until the end of the hike, however. I started my hike at 10:30am and finished at 4pm. No snow at all this time of year. This hike for me was very long and rises in elevation 3,000 feet.

Also, this is COMPLETELY different than the Blue Lakes Trail near Mt. Sneffels, I did not know this, but it hardly mattered because the views are beyond stunning and truly kept me going. The majority of the trail past Bridal Veils falls is in the sunshine; wear sunscreen even if you normally don't and bring plenty of water. And a fully charged phone or camera, as you'll want to take hundreds of pictures.

My friend and I did this hike last Saturday (6/2) around 10 am. We drove my friend's Rav 4 to the top of Bridal Veil Falls, which was a magnificent drive, but definitely a bit challenging for his vehicle in terms of clearance. However, driving to the top was the right option, as it took about 5 miles off our trek to the trailhead for Blue Lake.

We started our "physical" hike around 11 am and completed the trek around 2:30 pm.

This was a magnificent hike with incredible views of the Three Needles and Bridal Veil Creek all the way up to the lake. The trail itself was covered in river flow (no more than an inch at places), but made for an incredibly pleasant hike. There were also waterfalls galore in the Bridal Veil Valley, which just added to the majesty of this impeccable trek.

The peaks leading up to the lake are breathtaking and there was a little bit of snow on the trail, but nothing that required Yaktrax/crampons.

The lake itself was completely frozen and would have been cool to see a little later in the summer when it is completely thawed out. Still an amazing hike that I would recommend to anyone visiting Telluride for the weekend!

Did this hike on December 16, 2017 during a month lacking normal snowfall. Although there wasn't much snow on the road leading up to Bridal Veil Falls, we weren't able to drive all the way up to Bridal Veil Faills. We had a 4WD vehicle but didn't want to attempt it with the icy sections (and we're glad we didn't). We hiked two miles up to Bridal Veil Falls and continued on to Blue Lake.

There were plenty of areas completely void of snow on the trail, but as we got higher, the icy sections increased. Microspikes were very helpful, but my husband did the entire hike without them. The trail was steep the entire way, but easy to navigate until about two miles in.

When the ground became covered in snow, we just continued to follow tracks that apparently follow Bridal Veil Creek up to Lewis Lake. We followed this incorrect trail until we reached a high point and thought we would run into the lake and there was nothing but an icy basin (not very scenic in the winter and we never reached Lewis Lake, which was even further past the steep section we hiked).

We turned around and eventually saw that we missed the sharp left turn on the trail because there were no other tracks on the trail. This turn off was probably somewhere around mile 2, but we have no idea for sure.

We continued on the correct trail up to Blue Lake and this last mile or so up to the lake was very steep and icy. The lake was gorgeous and icy, but after getting lost, we didn't have time to hang out before racing back down before sunset. I get the sense that this hike would be much prettier and scenic in the summer when the creek isn't icy and the trail isn't buried in patches of snow, but the winter hike was alright, too.

worth the hike! beautiful

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful lake with tons of wildflowers, marmots and old mining equipment. Definitely worth the hike up - I recommend driving to the base of bridal veil for the hike - otherwise it'd be a tad long.

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hiking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

Not too long, good distance to elevation ratio. Some loose rock spots, but nothing too tough.

hiking
Friday, July 07, 2017

We didn't use black bear road; we came from the bottom in telluride, but there is no trail on here for that route for some reason.. Just come straight down main street of telluride and it deadends into it. It's the same place if you want to go to Bridal Veil Falls.

You need 4WD if you want to start the hike up by the falls like a lot of people do. We did not have that, so we had to hike from the bottom. This turns the hike into about 9 miles and 3000 ft elevation gain. You may be able to hitchhike to the falls though.

There are a number of times you need to make sure you know where you are going. Ajax is the peak on the left on the way up. Once you cross the water near the top of the rocky switchbacks, soon after, you will cut hard to the left and leave the rocky path. It's easy to miss so look out. As you go up the grassy side of Ajax, about the top of those switchbacks, there will be another hard left that is easy to miss. Do not continue over the hump and go up to the higher peak. If it looks like you are going too far away from Ajax peak, then you are going the wrong way.

There were wonderful waterfalls and wildflowers throughout the hike, and the views of the surrounding mountains and down into telluride are definitely worth it. Good luck!

hiking
Sunday, July 02, 2017

Gorgeous. Waterfalls and wildflowers everywhere on first half. Upper half has spectacular views. There is still a bit of snow across a few sections of trail (7/1/17), but nothing difficult. Note - there are no signs, so remember.... first trail split (about halfway up), stay left, second trail split (another 1/2 mile or so up trail), stay right.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Just did this trail on 6/24/17. Lots of water runoff from snowmelt crossing over the trail, so be sure to have waterproof footwear. Almost made it to Blue Lake but encountered lots of snow and had to turn around. One group made it to the summit but said the lake was still mostly frozen.

Lots of snow to trek across at higher elevations as of june 25. Difficult to follow trail, for some. Stick to the 'road' tracks.

hiking
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

We tried to access this hike in mid May and didn't make it all the way up to the trail head. The road just to get up there requires heavy duty 4 wheel drive and even then there's still way too much snow to be able to do the hike. It looks spectacular but we would've been better off going later in the summer.

hiking
Sunday, February 12, 2017

We hiked this path, which is pretty much an old mining road, up to Blue Lake in Sept. of 2015. It is an easy hike, but due to the elevation, I guess moderate for some hikers. You park at the top of Bridal Veil Falls and begin walking the road past the falls and up towards Bridal Veil Basin. It's about 3 miles one way. There is some interesting old mine equipment all around the lake area. The lake itself is really nice with a view south of the Needles. Columbine Lake is right over the ridge from Blue Lake to the south. You can take the road all the way to Lewis Lake if you wanted to. That would add just over 5 miles total and you would be in Bridal Veil Basin at that point. We opted to go only as far as Blue Lake on this beautiful sunny fall day. The road follows Bridal Veil creek the whole way, so you are in a canyon on this hike. There are still great views despite that. Easy day hike though and highly recommended!

hiking
Wednesday, February 08, 2017

We hiked to Ajax in Sept. of 2015. I rate it moderate but some folks might think it should be difficult. The switchbacks are such that it takes a lot of the sting out of the climb. I have hiked steeper switches than this, but these are long and quite easy to do. I suppose one could hike earlier or later in the season than posted as well, but the threat of avalanche in the winter months is very real. The hike has some of the best views around Telluride. Pretty much all above tree line as lots of Colorado hikes are. We parked at the car park where you can go no further up the Black bear pass road. It becomes one way at the cutoff to the top of Bridal Veil Falls, with downhill traffic only coming from Red Mountain Pass. So you hike the road up from there, till you get to the cutoff for the trail which is fairly obvious with an old mine tailing that sits right above it. Now the switchbacks start in earnest as you will climb about 1,330' to the ridge above, after about 11 switchbacks in only 1.6 miles. Then it's actually an easy down and back up to get to the peak. 360 degree endless views on top. Look down on Telluride, over to Imogene Pass, Black Bear Pass, The Wilsons, Sneffels, you name it. If you haven't done it, you need to :)

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