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.