Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
587.00 ft (178.92 m)
Trail type
6.50 mi (10.46 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Galloping Goose Trail is a nearly 20 mile trail that begins from Lizzard Head Pass and travels back toward Telluride, ending at Lawson Hill. The trail follows an old narrow-gauge rail line, making for relatively smooth hiking and biking with gentle grades. The trail gets its name from the unique vehicle that was used on this section of railroad. This vehicle was created by fusing train wheels and a freight car to an automobile chassis. The cars tended to “waddle” down the tracks, had a “honking” car horn, and frequently overheated necessitating the “gull-wing” hoods to be left open. Because of all this the strange vehicle became known as the Galloping Goose.

This 6.5 mile out-and-back hike follows the Ilium Section of the Galloping Goose Trail. You’ll begin from the trailhead on San Miguel River Road, just off Society Drive. Make sure not to park on the private property that is well signed here.

You’ll then follow the Galloping Goose as it gradually descends. Along the way you’ll have views of the San Miguel River, walk through some nice Aspen forest, and have views toward impressive Wilson Peak in the distance.

The trail eventually descends to and crosses the 625 Road. Continue and cross the South Fork San Miguel River via footbridge. The trail then parallels the river making for an enjoyable section of walking. The turnaround point is when you reach another gravel road and trailhead.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Easy walking along old railroad grade. Views.

Trailhead Elevation

8,684.00 ft (2,646.88 m)

Highest point

8,684.00 ft (2,646.88 m)


Near lake or river
Family friendly
Big vistas
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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