Mount Hope

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
Colorado, United States, North America
Activities:
Mountaineering
Season:
Summer
Elevation:
12834 ft / 3912 m
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Page By:
Mount Hope
Created On: Jul 22, 2016
Last Edited On: Oct 20, 2017

Overview

Mount Hope rises to the north of Archuleta Lake in the Weminuche Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. A trail starts at Big Meadows Reservoir not far from Route 160 and goes 6.75 miles uphill to reach Archuleta Lake. Beyond the lake, the trail continues up the slopes of Mount Hope to around 12500 ft where you can leave trail and hike to the top of Mount Hope. A day hike to Mount Hope via this route will be 16 miles long roundtrip with 3600 ft of net elevation gain.




North face of Mount Hope from the slopes of Table Mountain

Getting There

From Wolf Creek Pass on Route 160, drive a few miles east and turn left onto Route 410 to Big Meadows Reservoir. Under ordinary conditions, this is a well graded dirt road passable by any car. After a few miles you will see a split on the road with left going to Big Meadows Campground. Go right (on Road 430) and shortly after take the left to Big Meadows Reservoir Boating Site. Trailhead is at the end of the parking area.



Route

All distances are per my GPS

Place
Elevation
Distance
Big Meadows Reservior Trailhead
9220 ft
zero miles
Archuleta Lake
11740 ft
6.75 miles
Summit
12834 ft
1.25 miles
Total One Way
-
8.0 miles



At the Big Meadows Trailhead, Mount Hope will not be visible and will not come to view until you get close to Archuleta Lake. Follow the trail on the northwestern shoreline of Big Meadows Reservoir heading southwest.

Big Meadows ReservoirBig Meadows Reservoir


After less than a mile, the lake ends. You will then enter the wilderness where you may find a trail register. The trail follows the South Fork of Rio Grande. The roaring river creates many rapids here.

South Fork of Rio Grande
South fork of Rio Grande


The trail then makes a number of switchbacks going up to follow Archuleta Creek. When I was in the area, most of the trees seemed to have been killed by some type of a disease.

Point 12404 ft


As you approach Archuleta Lake, you can look north to see the southeastern slopes of Mount Hope.

Southeastern slopes of Mt. HopeSlopes of Mt. Hope


Dead forest below the lake.

Dead forest below Archuleta Lake


At 6.75 miles, you will reach Archuleta Lake.

Archuleta Lake & Point 12404 ftArchuleta Lake
Archuleta LakeArchuleta Lake


Mount Hope can be seen to the northeast of the lake.

Mount HopeMount Hope


Maps show that the trail goes to the far south side of the lake where it reaches another trail. If you turn right on the new trail, you will supposedly come back 100 vertical feet or so above where you first reached the lake. I left the trail where I first reached the lake and went directly up the grassy slope to pick up the trail again 0.25 miles later. The trail goes to a 12500 ft saddle to the west of the summit. I left the trail at some point going up first the grassy slopes and then the boulder field to reach the top.

Above Archuleta Lake
Above Archuleta Lake


Below the summit of Mt. Hope


Views from the summit.

South River PeakSouth River Peak
Archuleta Lake & Point 12404 ftArchuleta Lake
Spotted LakeSpotted Lake
Long Trek, Montezuma & Summit PeaksLong Trek, Summit & Montezuma Peaks
Sawtooth & Peak 12688 ftSawtooth Mountain
Red MountainRed Mountain


Red Tape

No permits or fees.