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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests > Norwood Ranger District

Quick Facts

Hope Lake Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,800 Feet (3292 Meters)
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 1,645 Feet (512.8 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 12,445 Feet (3793 Meters) at divide above Hope Lake
Length: 3.0 Miles (4.8 Kilometers) to trail in San Jaun National Forest
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 141 Silverton, Ouray, Telluride, Lake City
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
Trail Number: 410
Usage: Heavy
USGS Maps: Ophir Quad

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Hope Lake Trail leads south from Forest Road 627 through Poverty Gulch to Hope Lake. This is a very easy hiking trail. Although it gains a lot of elevation, there are no switchbacks and the trail is on a good grade and well maintained. The last mile is above timberline through alpine tundra. The lake is two and a half miles from the trailhead. This trail is used by hikers, horses and a few bikes.

Hope Lake Trail is easy to reach by car and has plenty of parking space at the trailhead. The short distance to Lake Hope (two and a half miles) makes this a very popular trail for families with young children. The high elevation at the end of the trail provides expansive views of the surrounding area.

Hope lake is a man-made lake which stores water for the Ames power plant and is used to maintain a constant water level in Trout Lake. There are lots of fish in the lake, but fishing is usually poor. Normally the ice does not melt from the lake until around July 1.

Directions from Telluride: Travel Highway 145 south to Trout Lake. Turn left on to Trestle Road, 626, and travel one mile to the junction of Hidden Lake Road, 627. Turn left and follow 627 for two and a half miles. The trailhead is located at a switchback with a large parking area. The trail is signed.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Correen Becher (Dolores, CO)
Time of Day: Morning into early afternoon
Length of Time: 4+ hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This is NOT an "Easy" trail--I would rate it moderate to difficult due to the rough terrain on parts of the trail, crossing the stream in several places, and the elevation. It doesn't take much exertion to get winded at the top. Wouldn't recommend driving a passenger car to the trailhead as the FS road is deeply rutted with large rocks protruding. When you get to the confluence of the 2 streams, take the trail to the left (don't cross the stream). The wildflowers were SPECTACULAR! We spent a lot of time admiring, photographing, and talking about them
Conditions: The trail was in good shape overall. You're in and out of the trees up to timberline. It's a good idea to be down by early afternoon when the thunderstorms usually start.
Water Availability: We each carried about a quart or so of water, which was plenty. It was not hot, even in August. There is a stream along much of the trail.
Recommended Clothing: Everyone in my group wore pants. I was glad to have my jacket at Hope Lake as the wind was cold and gusty.
Suggested Accessories: Trekking poles make crossing the stream much easier.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing Hope Lake Trail
ICON Hiking & Walking Hope Lake Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Hope Lake Trail
ICON Bird Identification Hope Lake Trail
ICON Mushroom Identification Hope Lake Trail
ICON Plant Identification Hope Lake Trail
ICON Wildflower Identification Hope Lake Trail
ICON Mountain Biking Hope Lake Trail

More Information

Visitor Information:

Montrose County Chamber of Commerce, 550 N Townsend , Montrose, CO, 81401, Phone: 800-873-0244


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