Hope Pass via Willis Gulch Trail

MODERATE 20 reviews

Hope Pass via Willis Gulch Trail is a 8.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Twin Lakes, Colorado that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,254 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

views

9 days ago

A beautiful roughly 10 mile hike that has a little bit of everything. Very steep sections but the view from the top of Hope Pass is worth it. It took us about 6 hours out and back. Make sure to bring poles and lots of water. Would do this again!!

hiking
15 days ago

We hiked this trail July 27, 2018. We started around 10:00 am. My honey had hip replacement surgery 2 years ago, and I’m no exercise queen. The hike was beautiful, well marked, and although up hill most of the time- it was SOOOO worth the views at the top of Hope Pass. The trailhead sign clearly states 5 miles to Hope Pass and it is true to that. Not sure where the app gets 8.6?
There’s a beautiful river with a great bridge to cross about 1.9 miles in. Plenty of picture opportunities along the way. Even wild strawberries - although they’re tiny- they’re delectably sweet. If my honey and I can do this—- ya all can!!! Hope is always worth the climb!

24 days ago

We did this trail on Saturday, July 7. It is now one of our favorites! We went all the way to the top (Hope Pass) which, going by the directional trail signs, appeared to be more like a 10 mile hike than what's listed here. This trail has a little bit of everything as far as scenery goes - dense aspen and pine forests, close proximity to gorgeous streams/rivers, alpine meadows, and breathtaking views at the top. It's pretty strenuous, but worth it!

backpacking
1 month ago

Gorgeous hike once you finally reach the top. It's a steady climb up, up, up a mountain. The switchbacks at the end are a huge help. The views are g'inormous. I camped with my dog in two different spots along the trail and hung out in the backcountry and LOVED it. Poles helped, going up and down due to the steep incline in some places. I disagree with the reviewer who says this mellowed out after 2 miles. No, it doesn't; Hope Pass is 12,500 ft in elevation.

1 month ago

mellows out a bit after the first 2 miles. the valley beneath mt. hope is worth everything. the hike from there to the pass is very doable and provides even better views.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail with my wife a week ago, mid june. very beautiful trail. we hiked all the way up to the top of hope pass and back to the willis gulch trailhead. it was rather warm at the bottom, and had us prespiring quickly with a constant elevation gain throughout the hike. cool up top and breezy, brought sweatshirt and hat for above treeline and was happy to have it. bring plenty of water and enjoy the gorgeous landscape. a couple of easy snow crossings near the top, no poles or footwear protection were needed.

1 month ago

We did only a short part of this trail but it was beautiful!

1 month ago

This is part of the Leadville 100 run. We were truly impressed by the athletes that were training. It is not easy at all. There is a lot of elevation gain and not a lot of flat segments to recover. Our Garmin mapped us at 9.5 miles from trailhead to peak and back. I’m not sure where the extra mile came from but I sure felt it! We stopped to eat about 0.5 miles from the end in a beautiful meadow where we could see a green lake (possibly Willis) and off in the distance twin lakes. It was wonderful. There are still 2 snow patches to cross on the way to the peak (its June 20, 2018) but mostly it was dry. Lots of running water along the way. One area was hand marked to point to Hope pass. Thank goodness! I’ll post that picture for future hikers.

1 month ago

I hiked to summit of the pass from the opposite side of twin lakes and it was very steep, kinda hard to get thru the beginning but once you break the aspen forest and you’re starting to break tree line the views are rewarding and it is absolutely worth the hike, definitely try to make it to summit of Hope Pass, you won’t regret it

4 months ago

We did about half this train with snow shoes, we didn’t see much views but the bridge and small river is beautiful. Lots of snow, some was packed most was soft.

backpacking
9 months ago

This trail is beautiful. We hiked through lots of snow and enjoyed every minute of the trails. View up top is amazing. We did not have snow shoes but could really have used some toward the top. Highly recommend!

hiking
10 months ago

My wife and I hiked up to Hope Pass the final weekend of August and it was an absolutely wonderful hike. The trail begins in a parking lot as a gravel bed off of 82 and is marked as the willis gulch trailhead. The trail begins as a steep ascent through pine and aspen growth. Mt Elbert reveals itself to the north in periodic openings in the tree cover. After making a stream crossing over the bridge, the trail heads aggressively uphill with no switchbacks. A junction in the trail will mark the way to Willis Gulch off to the right, keeping straight will take you to hope pass. Once emerging from the tree line, a beautiful alpine landscape surround you in all directions. Continue on up the trail to final switchbacks up to hope pass. These switchbacks are a bit of a kick in the butt for weary legs but the views to the south at the top of the pass are well worth it. Once at the top it appears there is a social trail leading to the top of quail mountain. Not sure if it would be recommended to make this trip for the sake of preventing erosion, but it appears that many travelers have taken the route. I was tempted myself, but we opted to have a snack in the pass and head back down. The whole trip took us about 5 hours including breaks.

hiking
5 days ago

1 month ago

hiking
7 months ago