Many Tellurites will tell you, they came for the winter, stayed for the summer. And with the many hiking, biking trails and climbing areas to devour, who can blame them? To continue our exploration of the area’s hiking trails, we bring you our July hike of the month: Hope Lake.
Hope Lake is a great hike, ending at one of the region’s most beautiful alpine lakes. An added bonus? Views of high-country wildflowers, Trout Lake and of the Lizard Head Wilderness that can be seen along the trail keep your mind off of the climb and into focusing on the beauty of your surroundings.
TIP: It’s rainbow season in Telluride (hey, it sounds better than monsoon season, right?). Make sure you get an early start on this hike to avoid getting stuck above tree line during an afternoon thunder storm. Walk portions of the perimeter to see different views of the lake. Feeling extra frisky, take a swim!
How to get there: From Telluride, travel 3 miles west on State Hwy 145. Turn left at the first highway intersection, continuing south on State Hwy 145 for approx. 8.5 miles. Turn left onto County Road 63A (signed on highway as “Trout Lake”). Proceed on CR 63L for approx. 1.5 miles, then left onto Forest Road #627. Proceed up this rough, rocky road 2.5 miles to the Hope Lake Trailhead. See map below. Look for cars parked at the trailhead. If the trailhead switchback is full, just below the trailhead is an extra pullout for parking.
DISTANCE: 5 miles round-trip.
Trail Etiquette Reminder: Don’t cut switchbacks. This trail sees quite a bit of love throughout the summer. Make sure you stay on the trail and don’t forget to be friendly to your fellow hikers. Learn more about trail etiquette here.