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.
Eider Creek to Deep Creek
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?
The San Juans are the youngest mountain range in the Lower 48. As a result the mountains around Telluride are STEEP!!! One must be prepared for a good ol’ fashioned ass whuppin when taking to the trail around here. Of course you could skirt the issue and take a jaunt down the valley floor, or perhaps a walk out to the mine?? Nah…embrace the angle, go up! No trail better represents Telluride’s steepness better than Eider Creek.
DIRECTIONS: Starting at the Mill Creek road (across and just west from the Shell Station 1 mile out of town). Take the Mill Creek road up to the first switchback and take a left next to the gate. Giant aspens, wild grasses and flowers accompany the creek on this south-facing trail. You shouldn’t find too much snow left in June, as this one gets plenty of sun. About a mile and a half up you’ll find a sign and option to go right. This is the Eider Loop and will take you right down to where you started and is a good option to keep it short. However, if your in it for the long haul keep going up! Eventually the Eider Creek Trail connects with the Deep Creek trail. If you make a right, you can hike all the way back to Telluride (by meeting up with the Waterline/Mill Creek Trail). If you take a left, you can hike Deep Creek to the west trailhead near the Telluride airport. The aspen trees make this a great outing. South facing, warm, big trees and a view of the ski area are all quite memorable.
MORE INFORMATION: Note that this trail is also popular among runners and mountain bikers. Remember to share the trail, be friendly and follow proper trail etiquette protocols.
DISTANCE: Depends on the route. See various options via our trail map here.