A hike or mountain bike ride along Colorado's Galloping Goose Trail will leave you exhilarated, (if not for the elevation alone!). This 20-mile path follows an old narrow-gauge rail line, which was built beginning in 1890 to help haul precious metals from these high mountains.
To scale the 10,200-foot-high pass between Durango and Telluride, railroad crews blasted ledges into cliffs, built winding loops, and constructed dozens of trestles. And thus the Rio Grande Southern (RGS) Railroad was built. But it didn't last long; the economic depression of 1893 sent the company into receivership. Their loss is your gain, however, as this trail is among one of the state's most impressive for scenery.
You can easily reach the northern trailhead (in the Lawson Hill subdivision about three miles west of Telluride) by one of two routes: a paved multi-use path that runs alongside Route 145 out of town, or a scenic, unpaved path along the San Miguel River. Both routes join near the junction where Route 145 heads south; cross the road here and ride on Society Drive about half a mile until you see a large, unpaved parking lot on the right, with a sign marking the trailhead.
At the southern end, take State Route 145 south from Telluride and look for the turn off past the Trout Lake Road.