Galena Gleason, 32, has been biking since age 4, kayaking since age 16, and living in Telluride, Colorado, for the past 18 years. She is also a raft guide and standup paddleboard instructor for Further Adventures, which gives her quite a leg to stand on when it comes to recommending summertime activities. “Telluride’s awesome,” she says. “It is like having your own private mountain town. A lot of locals take off to exotic locales around the globe [during the summer] but I love to stay here and take advantage of the peace and quiet. You have the rivers and trails all to yourself.” When not helping her family manage its line of Boot Doctor ski and bike shops, you might find her on a paddleboard with Oly, her border collie, who likes riding shotgun.
Here are a few of her favorite things about Telluride:
Place to mountain bike: Prospect Trail to Alta Lakes. It’s an amazing cross-country ride with abundant views of the ski area and surrounding 14ers.
Place to road ride: Lizard Head Pass. It’s a portion of the first stage of the 2012 U.S. Pro Cycling Challenge. The climb is challenging, and I can’t think of a prettier section of pavement.
Place to ride with the family: The Galloping Goose trail. It starts as a jeep road and evolves into an easy grade single track. The scenery is spectacular and it’s a great ride for everyone from grandpa to little sister.
Place to paddle (flatwater): The hanging flume section of the San Miguel River is a great mellow float with desert canyon scenery and mining history.
Place to paddle (whitewater): The Upper Animas. You put in at Silverton and descend through the heart of the Weminuche wilderness. The whitewater is quality and consistent for over 30 miles.
Place to paddle with the family: Norwood Canyon. This is a very special section of river that is currently being proposed to congress for Wild and Scenic designation. The whitewater is fun for all and the scenery is hard to top.
Place to refuel: Hit Butcher and the Baker for the best breakfast sandwich in town. After your ride or paddle, head to Floradora for Matty’s jalapeno popper burger, which is sinfully good.
Place for a beer afterwards: Oak at the bottom of Chair 8. You can’t beat the PBR for post boating/biking refreshment flowing straight from the tap.
Photos courtesy Telluride, Gleason