Hope Lake Trail

MODERATE 223 reviews
#1 of 10 trails in

Hope Lake Trail is a 4.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Telluride, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,312 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

hiking
1 month ago

My son and I hike up to Hope Lake this morning 10/16/19. Since we did not trust driving our rental to the trailhead, we parked about 1.5 miles away which added an additional 3 mi to the hike. A few rough spots on the road but we could have made the drive. It was a very difficult hike for me. My 23 year old son did very well. We are both from MS (flat landers). For those of you who are 65 yoa or older it could be a very difficult hike. Of course, it is extremely beautiful once you get to the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked this Oct 8, 2019. Views of the fall colors were still beautiful, but we are getting toward the end of the color season. This trail is apparently heavily used so not much solitude, but it is still an impressive hike to a beautiful lake. When you come to the first stream be sure to cross the stream to continue on the trail. There is another trail that goes up the stream drainage to the left, but this is not the way to go to get to the lake. The trail is generally in very good condition with only a couple of fallen trees over the trail to go around. I continued on up the South Mineral Creek trail to the ridge above the lake for some great views. Nothing very difficult on this trail as long as you are acclimated to this elevation.

hiking
1 month ago

Lake is really full right now so that's nice

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Lots of switchbacks, but there are some great views while you do them. Small cascade at one point that’s nice. The lake is beautiful and there’s a waterfall in the background. For some reason, this hike took more out of me than the Ice Lake Basin hike, even though this hike is shorter and climbs (on average) less elevation per mile. Maybe the altitude? Unsure. Great little hike though. Mountain road to the trailhead is a little bumpy, but you can get there regardless of vehicle with the right attitude. Saw another hiker plow up the road in a little Scion.

hiking
2 months ago

The most beautiful hike I’ve done. The views are spectacular all along the way. Has reasonable elevation gain but mostly slow and steady except maybe toward the last 500-1000 feet. Do not give up, rest, take pictures,keep going. Recommend decent ankle support- the terrain is varied. Poles helped a lot with knees on way down. One note on getting there. Dirt road with lots of holes. Would recommend a vehicle that can handle rough terrain. The parking is kind of willy nilly at the trailhead, there’s also an overflow lot on the left on your way up the road. You have to walk up the road to get to trailhead. The trail has one area the crosses water relatively early on the walk. When we went (September) it was mostly just stepping over a few rocks. The trail picks up across the water and changes direction up the side of the hill. We had to stop and look around a minute to see where the worn part of the trail was. However we ran into a group that wandered straight up the rocks and never quite figured it out.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike. Definitely huffed and puffed at the end but it was worth it! Need a durable car to get to the trail head. It was pretty rocky and rough, FYI.

hiking
bugs
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Reallly freaking hard the last mile! Keep pushing!!!!!

hiking
2 months ago

My girlfriend has traveled the world and said this was the most beautiful landscape she has ever seen. Just do it.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing. Beautiful views of Mountains, Trout Lake below, wildflowers and streams.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing hike with beautiful views the entire way. We went on a Tuesday at 9 and it was crowded on our way back out. We’re not avid hikers so it was challenging for us, but worth it. The ATV road that leads to the trail was a good 15-20 minute trek.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful day. Wildflowers were awesome. Caught a very nice Cutthroat

hiking
2 months ago

Fantastic views and wildflowers the entire hike!

recorded Hope Lake Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely Gorgeous hike. The road up to trailhead is one lane and you should probably have a higher clearance car or SUV, but we saw all kinds of cars in the lot. There is an overflow parking lot if the main lot is full, You’ll have to drive back down a little bit to get to it on the right. This is one of my favorite hikes, and the views at the end after you break through timberline are spectacular. Tons of wildflowers. We went on a weekday and it really wasn’t overly crowded, we didn’t see that many other hikers. We stopped for photographs, water breaks and lunch at the lake so it took us a bit longer than it probably should have. We did see a couple heading up farther on a single track trail to the left After we reached the lake. Worth exploring.

hiking
2 months ago

One of our favorites! It’s a can’t miss! ❤️

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing hike. In my top 10 of SW Colorado. Get to trailhead early! Don’t miss this one!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

8/23 This trail was AMAZING! It has everything you could want in a good Colorado trail. I’m in decent shape but this was intense for my midwestern lungs. Took me a good hour and a half going at a pretty good clip to get up. Obv, bring food and water. So glad I had a layer with me. It was a perfect mid sixties with some intermittent cloud cover but between the sweat and the coolness I got pretty chilled in shorts and a t-shirt. Imo, I don’t think I’d enjoy this trail in chacos, glad I opted for the trail kicks. Left the trail head at 3:15 and started making my way down at 6:00. Golden hour was stunning up there but I did want to get off the mountain before it got dark. Could’ve gotten down way quicker if I hadn’t stopped for so many pics. If you don’t want something intense or to feel obligated to take pictures every 50 yards then this hike’s not for you!

hiking
3 months ago

One of the most beautiful trails I've ever done. The road up to the trailhead is a little tricky for vehicles that are not 4WD or AWD, but my Nissan Versa made it. I would rate the trail as moderate. The switchbacks and high elevation will test your endurance. Be careful not to miss the first creek crossing off to the right. Myself and another group went left and followed the trail through a meadow up to a scree field. When the trail disappeared after a mile, we knew we had missed the turn. Backtracking was well worth it. the views are spectaclular, wildflowers are blooming, and there are still some snow patches. Be careful crossing the avalanche area. The lake is amazing!

hiking
3 months ago

Must Do!!!

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This one is a little tougher than moderate if you’re from sea level. The last 1.5 miles to the lake is unrelentingly uphill. Other reviewers compared it to a stair master. Very true. But it’s very much worth it. The lake and surrounding peaks are absolutely stunning. Colorful wildflowers and beautiful vistas throughout the hike. A must do if you’re in the area.

My wife and I did this trail today and for a change, the distance and total ascent advertised was exactly spot-on. My two Garmin devices said 2.5 miles up to the lake for a total of 5 miles. The total ascent was 1350 feet. Almost all of that is on the way up to the lake, but the return trip has some up and down. The trailhead is entirely approachable with a normal car on the rocky dirt roads. The trailhead is a 40 minute beautiful drive from Telluride and can be found easily by using this app's navigation mode, which switches you into Google Maps. This trailhead is on Google Maps. Now for the trail. We have been hiking for decades in all of the National Parks and there is no better 5 miles trail anywhere. This hike is superb. It climbs through a beautiful Spruce forest with many very old trees and has views to the far mountains and open meadows. Then you break out above the tree line to one of the best mountain views in the San Juan Mountains. Absolutely spectacular. The lake is secondary to the whole mountain scene in my opinion, but it too is beautiful. Do this hike. It will take you about 3 to 4 hours and the entire hike is fantastic. The wildflowers are the best they have been in years and today they were blanketing the slopes and meadows - an explosion of red, yellow purple and white with a rich green background. Fantastic!. You also pass a destructive swath of an avalanche from this past winter.

hiking
3 months ago

One of the top trails in the area in my opinion. The access road is rocky which forces you to go slow, but nothing very technical at all. It is narrow in spots. I saw a Camry at the trailhead... The trail is a stair master leading up to the lake with lots of switchbacks. Forest walking with periodic views until you emerge above the tree line on the approach to the lake. The lake is beautiful. There were a few icebergs in the lake. I strongly consider anyone doing this hike to continue up the mineral creek trail up to the saddle. It’s not too much further and the views are spectacular of the lake, surrounding peaks, and over the other side of the ridge into the mineral basin drainage. There were a couple of slightly sketchy snow fields to cross above the lake, and a giant patch of snow on top of the saddle. There were only 4 cars at the trailhead at 8:45 AM; by the time we left around 3 PM it looked like you couldn’t fit another car in the vicinity of the trailhead or the slightly lower “overflow” lot. We saw very few people in the morning, but when we were headed back it seemed like a never ending stream of hikers. Lesson: get there early.

hiking
3 months ago

Most beautiful hike I have ever done! Wildflowers were spectacular.

hiking
3 months ago

Always such a beautiful trail! The wildflowers were gorgeous. So much snow still in the mountains and a few ice bergs floating on the lake.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Beautiful lake and basin at the top! the first 3/4 of the trail is in the trees, not a ton of scenery there. Went on a Saturday, counted 122 people - definitely a popular one. Great choice if you don't have a whole day to hike.

beautiful trail. not too much going on for the first 2.25ish miles you're in the trees but get to see lots of wildflowers. the columbines are gorgeous right now. very easy hiking until the last mile up when it becomes more strenuous but not undo-able for new hikers. the lake is very pretty and wow worthy

hiking
3 months ago

The drive to the trailhead was slow and rugged.... didn’t realized how long that road was. But the drive was beautiful and the hike was spectacular !!! The wild flowers better than anywhere we had seen around telluride! The lake views were gorgeous. It was challenging as the altitude gain was 1300+ feet but it was worth it!!! Best hike I’ve done around these parts!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike however I lost my wedding band somewhere on the bottom third of the trail. If anyone happens to find it please leave a message here. Thanks!

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