Aspen - Snowmass
Hope Pass (12,508') is located 4.5 miles from Willis Gulch Trailhead in the San Isabel National Forest. This short but steep route begins off Highway 82 and joins the Continental Divide Trail up Little Willis Gulch to a saddle between Quail Mountain (13,461') and Mount Hope (13,933'). Visitors will enjoy diverse forests, cascading creeks and big alpine landscapes on the way to Hope Pass.
<< Previous Gallery
Next Gallery >>
The CDT takes a winding but efficient route up to the pass with great views of Mount Hope (13,933'), the 64th tallest peak in Colorado
Connector trails run 1.35 miles from Highway 82 to the bridge over Willis Creek, where you'll merge onto the CDT and follow it up to the pass
A large pond on the flank of Mount Hope is a nice off-trail detour, though you'll have to pick through dense willow and rock slides to reach it
Hope Pass is the highest point on the Leadville 100, Colorado's legendary 'Race Across the Sky'
Many alpine tundra plants have dense hairs on stems for wind protection, or red pigments capable of turning sunlight into heat
The Willis Gulch Trailhead is located along Lake Creek, which forms on the east side of the Continental Divide and flows into Twin Lakes
The CDT runs approximately 800 miles through Colorado with nearly 70 contiguous miles at or over 11,000'
The Big Willis Gulch Trail splits off the CDT after 1.8 miles and continues up to Willis Lake (11,742')
The CDT runs over 3100 miles from New Mexico to Canada. It passes through 5 states, 12 wilderness areas and 3 national parks
Huron Peak (14,003') is prominent across the Clear Creek valley from Hope Pass
The San Isabel National Forest is one of eleven national forests in Colorado
Aspen trees can regenerate vegetatively by shoots and suckers that extend from lateral roots, creating 'clones'
The highest point on the CDT is Grays Peak in Colorado (14,270’) and the lowest is along Waterton Lake in Glacier National Park in Montana (4,200’)
Tundra grasses and sedges are common where soil beds are well-developed, like on this stretch up the flank of Quail Mountain
The Twin Lakes reservoir has a total capacity of 141,000 acre-feet
There are many nice places to camp in the alpine meadows between treeline and the pass
Hope Pass (12,508')