Black Bear Pass Summit, Telluride, CO 81435, USA
Photo courtesy of Visit Telluride
Via FerrataSome people call this show-stopping section of vertiginous rock cliffs on Forest Service land the Iron Way, but area romanticists use the Italian name. If you can’t stand staying in the foothills when Telluride’s mountains beckon, the two-mile horizontal traverse known as Via Ferrata is a must-see—though inexperienced climbers should hire a local guide (at one point, you'll find yourself climbing iron ladders 500 feet up the volcanic rock). Still, it’s worth the effort for the thrill of seeing area icons—such as Bridal Veil Falls and the box canyon—the way the local sparrows do.
over 3 years ago
A Summer Place
Telluride’s mountains are the source of its soul, offering solace to those wanting to explore. Meandering trails beckon hikers into high-mountain valleys speckled with wildflowers, alpine lakes, and camps and ruins from 19th-century mining booms—reminders of the hardy spirit of the valley’s European pioneers. Single-track downhill trails tempt cyclists, while endless mountain passes dare Jeepers. The Via Ferrata (or Iron Way) traverses sheer rock cliffs, allowing climbers to hang 1,000 feet above the valley floor. Below, the San Miguel River playfully cajoles fly fishermen, boaters, and SUP—that is stand up paddleboarding—enthusiasts into its waters. All trails end in town or the Mountain Village, near a cold beer.
6 months ago
You might think you need to fly to the Alps to travel along a via ferrata, or “iron way.” Consisting of a steel cable affixed to mountain sides, these climbing routes were developed during World War I to aid the movement of troops in the Austrian and Italian Alps. The one in Telluride has a more benign purpose—to offer mountaineers, both weekend and more serious ones, unparalleled views of the Bridal Veil Falls and the surrounding peaks of the San Juan Mountains. It’s an unforgettable experience, traversing a rock face with the forest floor some 600 feet below.