Mount Hope A

East Ridge
Difficulty Difficult Class 2 
TrailheadSheep Gulch
Start9,850 feet
Summit13,933 feet
Total Gain4,200 feet
RT Length8.00 miles
Last UpdatedMay 2023
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From Leadville: Drive 20 miles south on U.S. 24 and turn right on the Chaffee County 390 road. From Buena Vista: Drive 14.5 miles north on U.S. 24 and turn left on the Chaffee County 390 road. On the 390 road, drive 7.5 miles to the Missouri Gulch trailhead and continue approx. 1.6 miles to reach the Sheep Gulch TH on the right, at 9,850'.


Leave the trailhead ( 1) and hike north into Sheep Gulch on the Colorado Trail. Stay right at a trail junction ( 2) and continue up the excellent trail ( 3) to 11,300' where the trail crosses to the east side of Sheep Gulch - 4. Continue north along the gulch ( 5) and exit the trees near 12,200' where you can see Hope's east ridge and Hope Pass, the saddle between Hope and Quail Mountain - 6. Continue up to Hope Pass (12,550') - 7, 8 and 9.

Taken from Quail Mountain, 10 provide an overview of Hope's east ridge route. From the pass, leave the trail and begin west up the ridge - 11. You may find a faint trail to the left but if you don't, pick your line and gain the ridge crest - 12. Once you reach the top of the first ridge bump ( 13), the remainder of the ridge comes into view. Continue along the ridge crest - 14 and 15.

Near 13,400', you'll reach the crux of the route - a 300-foot section of jumbled rock which is unlike the defined ridge you've enjoyed since Hope Pass - 16. The ridge crest is along the right side of this mess but it's easiest to stay a bit to the left instead of scrambling along the northern edge. In 16, you can see some small gullies on the upper left of the photo. A good way up is to angle into one of the gullies and ascend back to the ridge. Walk up to the base of this area and traverse left ( 17) to reach a defined gully - 18. Ascend the gully and regain the east ridge - 19 and 20. Turn left and pass a ridge point to reach the top of Hopeful Couloir - 21 and 22. Continue up to a false summit and then the true summit - 23 and 24.


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