Hope Lake – almost the Caribbean

When the Life Bus went to Durango at the end of August to celebrate our brother’s wedding, we spent a few days in Telluride adventuring together there.  (See Just a Darn Good Day Paddling in Telluride post).  We were recommended this hike by the great people at our SUP rental location –  Mountain Adventure Equipment at Telluride Mountain.  We were looking for a high altitude hike with solid elevation gain, and hopefully a lot of beautiful, mountain scenery along the way.  This hike delivered on all of those criteria in spades.

Normally my goal would be to hike as fast as I can to the summit; testing my endurance mettle and pace the whole time.  This hike was so jaw-droppingly beautiful that I found myself stopping frequently, not caring at all about my pace or time.  We couldn’t stop staring in wonder, amazement at the wildflower explosion that surrounded us and at the kodachrome color of the surrounding peaks.  Hope Lake itself was equally worthy of pausing for a long while to just take in the serenity, the clarity, the Caribbean color.

The hike begins with popping in and out of a beautiful spruce forest.  Interestingly, given the epic amount of snow this area saw during the winter of 2018-2019, we encountered numerous avalanche paths where the sheer force of those events was evident by the number of trees bent over like matchsticks.  The destructive power of such a massive snow season was conversely matched by the beauty that such snowfall brings … wildflowers as far as the eye could see, in every color.

fullsizeoutput_2a4aGetting to Hope Lake requires driving a few miles on a Forest Service road, a 4WD vehicle would be best on this road.  Once at the trailhead, I’ve seen varying distances reported for the hike distance – ranging between 3.3 miles to 4.5 miles from TH to Hope Lake.  I’m not exactly sure because my GPS stopped working along he way.  Normally this would’ve bugged me but I was just so in the moment and in love with nature.  Elevation gain from TH to Hope Lake is about 1300 feet.  Hope Lake sits around 12,000 feet.

This was just one of those perfect days that really drives the Life Bus.  We’re happiest when surrounded by quiet nature, the smell of pine and dirt, mountain breezes, and single track trail.  Hope you get the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful part of our state and this hike.

Thanks as always for following along 🙂  Here’s to adventure!!