Poverty Gulch Trail to Pilot Knob is a 3.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Trout Lake, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
The Poverty Gulch trail is a primitive trail that splits off from the Hope Lake Trail. It follows the Poverty Gulch drainage all the way to the saddle between Golden Horn and Pilot Knob peaks. It is used as an alternative approach to access these two amazing 13ers. Start at the Hope Lake Trail Head near Trout Lake. After just a quarter mile, you cross a small creek. Look for the primitive trail immediately on your left. It follows the creek up the Poverty Gulch drainage. The trail can be easy to lose as it crosses the endless scree fields, but just head for the saddle between Golden Horn and Pilot Knob. Once at the saddle, you will have an amazing view of Ice Lake Basin. Take your pick from any of the nearby 13ers to climb, the closest being Pilot Knob and Golden Horn. This is the best way to access these peaks from the west, and is much shorter than the easier standard route from Ice Lake Basin.
This is an excellent way to access Pilot Knob and Golden Horn. It is much shorter than the standard approach from Ice Lake Basin. However, it is a bit of a scree slog in a few spots. It would make for a really nice snow climb in the early spring.