The Tellurium Creek trail is a lesser-known but spectacular trail in northern Taylor Park, which follows a narrow corridor into an isolated pocket cherry-stemmed out of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area, surrounded by towering peaks on all sides.
The first few miles consist of a rough and rocky trail following Tellurium Creek up a forested valley with multiple excellent campsites before opening up into a series of meadows and willow bogs where moose can commonly be found. At around 4.6 miles, the trail forks and forms a lasso shape, looping up and over a striking ridge line high above timberline with amazing views of the Tellurium Creek and Pine Creek valleys.
The route up the ridge to the east is easier and wider, while the route up the west side involves a series of narrow and off-camber switchbacks across a talus field. While the Funtreks guidebook recommends the west route only for ATVs, it is wide enough for narrower full-size vehicles like Jeeps but likely not for full-size trucks. The outside edge of the trail is raised enough that there is little danger of sliding off as long as you take it slow and carefully. On the ridge's eastern side, there is also a connecting route across the scree field back to the main fork in the trail, which you can take to make a loop if the path to the summit is blocked by snow. The eastern fork also accesses the hiking trail to Ptarmigan Lake, with a small parking area at the trailhead.
The legality of these routes is confusing, as the MVUM doesn't show either the loop-back path or the connecting segment to the summit on the ridge's eastern side, even though both are shown as legal routes on the map for the 2010 travel plan. The Forest Service has confirmed that the entire loop over the summit is a legal route, though they are unsure about the middle loop-back path and will be working on corrections to the MVUM.
Two short spur routes appear open on the ground but are not shown on the MVUM. One at the top of the ridge is almost certainly illegal to drive because it extends about 600 feet into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area, ending at a high point with excellent views of Ptarmigan Lake and the surrounding peaks. This spot is worth hiking to from the saddle at the top of the authorized trail (0.3 miles one way). The other spur takes off from the bottom of the switchbacks on the western side of the ridge and dead-ends at a small turnaround. Its legality is unclear as it was not inventoried for the 2010 travel plan, so it should be assumed to be illegal as well unless the Forest Service revises the MVUM.
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