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This is a challenging but exceptional loop hike to seven summits near Telluride.

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13,521' 4,121 m


8,761' 2,670 m


6,352' 1,936 m


6,353' 1,936 m



Avg Grade (9°)


Max Grade (40°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Fall Colors · Lake · Views

This route is off-trail through much of the alpine and requires way finding and self sufficiency. There is exposure and high consequence zones.


This hike is a challenge from the beginning with a quick gain of nearly 4,000 feet in switchbacks, but if you're up for a challenge, you'll certainly be rewarded by the stunning views that each of the seven summits offers you.


Start out on the Bear Creek Falls Trail at the Bear Creek Reserve. The trail starts on doubletrack through the forest. The lower portion of this trail is very popular, so you might see many people out with their dogs.

Less than a mile into the trail, turn off to the left for the Ballard Trail. Cross a creek and after about a mile and a half, take the trail that spurs to the left. Follow the forested switchbacks up the side of the mountain for quite a long time. You'll be gaining nearly 4,000 feet in switchbacks before reaching the first summit at Ballard Mountain. The views through the trees get better and better as you ascend so you'll have something to look at during your climb!

The summit of Ballard (12,804 feet) has some Class 2+ or Class 3 rock, depending on your route up. From there, head along the ridge to Ballard Horn, the horn isn't super significant but is counted in the list of the seven summits so you best tag it!

From there, keep heading along the ridge to the first No Name Peak, summit #3 of the day. You should see a faint trail to follow, the trail gets pretty rocky and loose near the top so watch your step. From the summit you can see great views of where you're headed and where you've been.

Keep following that ridge and the faint trail and make your way to summit #4, La Junta (13,472 feet). Also really great 360° views from the top of this peak. But it makes your next objective look daunting and rightfully so, the trail between #4 and #5 is the hardest. Descend quite a bit into the La Junta Basin, there's a nice alpine lake here, and when you're ready, head up Wasatch Mountain, standing tall behind the lake.

The trail is super loose and scrambly, but eventually you'll find yourself at 13,555 feet with the lake nestled in far below you. Happy summit #5! Next, descend a bit and then continue along this ridge. This ridge is more solid and fun! It'll bring you to your second No Name Peak (#6) of the day.

Follow the ridge and then descend to a saddle, from there head up Oscars Peak (13,432 feet), lucky #7 for the day. You can see all the hard work you've accomplished when you look back at each of the summits you've crossed. It's a great spot for a little celebration.

After celebrating on Oscars Peak, drop back down to the saddle. At the junction descend to the Bridle Creek Trail. The Bridal Veil Basin is unbelievably beautiful, especially with a dusting of snow. It's a mesmerizing spot as seen above from Oscars and also when you get right down to it.

Continue along this trail until you can get on La Junta Trail and follow it back down. Be aware, La Junta trail can be very loose and hard to find in places. There is one section where it is easy to get cliffed out. Look for the trail near the bushes to the left of all the cliffs.

Incredible views along this entire trail from each of the seven peaks. It is an absolutely stunning day that should not be missed!

Shared By:

Ashley Peterson

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  5.0 from 1 vote


in Telluride


  5.0 from 1 vote
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Views down the summit ridge toward Telluride.
Nov 4, 2023 near Telluride, CO
View down to Silver Lake.
Nov 4, 2023 near Telluride, CO
Starting out on the popular and smooth Bear Creek Trail.
Nov 4, 2023 near Telluride, CO
Views from the summit of Ballard Mountain.
Nov 4, 2023 near Telluride, CO
Views from the Ballard Mountain Trail.
Nov 4, 2023 near Telluride, CO
Alpine lake below Wasatch Mountain.
Oct 29, 2023 near Telluride, CO



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