Cornet Falls, Telluride, Colorado
by Gary Price
Directions: As you drive into Telluride, turn left (North) onto Aspen Street. The trailhead is only three blocks from Colorado Avenue (CO-145 spur route through Telluride). Since there is no parking at the trailhead, you must park along the street. From the end of Aspen Street, you will see the signs provide you information for the Jud Wiebe Trail, which goes to the left. The right fork takes you to Cornet Falls. The Cornet Falls Trail is ¼ mile in length (one-way), and takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the falls.
This waterfall is nothing short of spectacular. In my opinion, Cornet Falls is one of the best in Colorado! It is set into a red rock cliff, and it has an 80-foot vertical drop. The trail ends practically beneath the falls, so there’s no obstacle to block you from taking some very awesome photos! During the earlier part of the hiking season, when spring run-off from snowmelt is high, the Cornet Falls trail probably will be closed. This is because the trail traverses a watercourse, and the stepping stones across it would be under a fast-moving stream. I would recommend checking with visittelluride.com for any information on the current conditions of the Cornet Falls trail.
How would I rate the difficulty of the Cornet Falls Trail? I know that some people say it is easy, and that they take their first-time visitors up to see the falls. Other people will tell you that you need to be extremely careful, because the trail is steep, although short. I found the trail to be steep and the footing difficult, with fine silt-like dirt. (I suppose this trail would be a good place to rid yourself of unwanted visitors!) I advise good footwear and trekking poles, along with a fair amount of caution. I started slipping on the fine dirt on the way back down the trail (fortunately after having seen Cornet Falls). My inevitable fall cut me up a bit. So, if you are gravity challenged, this is not the trail for you! but I am also an experienced hiker of Colorado hiking trails, since my wife, Karen, is the owner of Colorado-Hiking-Vacations.com. The hikes she has written about, I have been there along with her (except for a few). I know that Karen tries hard not to pick something that is so difficult, that I would vow never, ever to go on a hike with her again! I’ve got to say that Cornet Falls was worthwhile seeing, all things considered.