From the South:7 miles round-trip, 4,000 feet
Go 9.3 miles west on Chaffee County 390, a dirt road accessible from U.S. 24. To find Chaffee County 390, go 14.9 miles north from the center of Buena Vista, or 4.3 miles south of where Colorado 82 leaves U.S 24.
At 9.3 miles west, you will pass two large beaver ponds. This one is right next to the road. There is a small turn in the road here, and on the north side of the road a 4-wheel drive road turns uphill. There is a small post at the junction of this road, but no sign.
Park at the junction, or, if you have a 4WD you can continue up the 4WD road for 0.2 mile to the Hope Pass Trailhead. This is your starting point.
Follow the steep and well-maintained Hope Pass Trail 2.5 miles to Hope Pass, at 12,540 feet.
From the North:12 miles round-trip, 4,700 feet
The Willis Gulch Trailhead can be accessed from Colorado 82, 8.4 miles west of U.S. 24 and 15.3 miles east of Independence Pass. To get to the TH, turn south onto a dirt road and follow it 100 yards. There is plenty of parking here.
Follow the Willis Gulch Trail for 2.5 miles to a trail junction at 10,300 feet. Take the south (left) trail, the Little Willis Gulch Trail, and follow it the rest of the way up to Hope Pass.
Once at Hope Pass, Mount Hope is to your west, and Quail Mountain to the east. To climb Quail Mountain, continue up the daunting western talus-strewn slopes. This is steep, but not as steep as it appears from the pass. Some of the talus is loose, but for the most part you can stay on inter-twining trails the whole way up these slopes. Near the summit, the angle lets up and you can trot the rest of the way to your perch at 13,461 feet. Enjoy the view! Note: All distances per Gerry Roach.
Hiking shoes, water, sunscreen.
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