Home | Getting Started | Gift Center | Gear Store | Topo Maps | My Wildernet | Newsletter Signup

Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Rio Grande National Forest > Divide Ranger District

Quick Facts

Hope Creek Trail

Beginning Elevation: 9,500 Feet (2961.3 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 2,500 Feet (779.3 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 12,000 Feet (3740.6 Meters)
Length, One-way: 6.0 Miles (10.0 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 838
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Spar City

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This trail goes from timbered land along the creek to high alpine areas at the base of Sawtooth Mountain. The first three miles, up to the Weminuche Wilderness boundary, are on a gentle incline along the creek. The trail then climbs more steeply, alternately passing through meadows and spruce timber stands. From several locations, the views are splendid: across Hope Creek to the bowls of Mount Hope, other mountains on the Continental Divide and the mountain ranges in the distance. The last 1/2 mile is above timberline and also offers magnificent scenery.

Directions from South Fork: Drive 11 miles west on U.S. Highway 160 to Big Meadows Road and go 3 miles to Shaw Lake to the trailhead.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: June through September .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Alvin Crosswhite (Enid, OK)
Time of Day: The best time to start this hike is early morning.
Length of Time: This hike took my wife and I about 6 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: The first mile into the trail was a rather bleak experience. The trail was well littered with the occassional beer can, plastic bags, and even a dirty diaper. Once you get past the walking distance limit that most people who would want to litter in a national forest are willing to exert themselves (about a 1/4 mile), the trail proved splendid. Although poorly maintained in the upper portions, the trail offered beautiful views of the saddle between the two highest peaks. A veritable garden of Eden replete with wildflower displays that looked as though they were planted by a master gardener await the hiker who is willing to brave the steep, rocky parts of the trail and the almost veritcal switchbacks of the uppermost portion.
Conditions: Many fallen trees populate this trail. My wife and I became disoriented and could not easily find the trail at one place due to a slew of downed trees.
Water Availability: We were able to utilize a pump filter all along the trail. There are several small springs that cross the trail and the trail also crosses a larger creek (Hope Creek I think) in several locations.
Recommended Clothing: Rain gear is essential. We were caught in a typical afternoon thunderstorm on our way down.
Suggested Accessories: Hiking sticks are useful. The steep, rocky trail was torturous on my knees on the way down.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Hope Creek Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Goes to the base of Sawtooth Mountain
ICON Viewing Scenery Magnificent scenery

Related Activities
Big Meadows Reservoir - Rainbow trout, brook trout and some native cutthroat trout are in the reservoir. There is ample parking and turn around space and a paved boat ramp at the north end. Boating is suitable for rafts to small motor boats.

Continental Divide - Sawtooth Mountain to Knife Ed - This trail segment begins with a 1/4 mile traverse of the cliffs that form the fable Knife Edge. From here to Piedra Pass, the trail goes up and down like a roller coaster in reasonably short, steep pitches.

Highland Trail - Some people prefer to use the Hunters Lake trail (Forest Trail 800) which goes straight toward the Stairsteps. The Stairsteps are another scenic attraction of the Weminuche Wilderness.

Kitty Creek Trail - The trail is steep and susceptible to wind fall trees. In general, the trail is very scenic and maintains a steady incline along the creek.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Divide Ranger Station, 13308 West US Highway 160, P.O. Box 40 , Del Norte, CO, 81132, Phone: 719-657-3321, TTY: 719-657-6038


About Wildernet |  Email to a Friend  |  Disclaimer |  Privacy |  Contact Us  | Comments & Suggestions
Advertisers & Sponsors |  Owners & Operators |  Tourism Promotors
©1995-2019 Interactive Outdoors Inc. All rights reserved.