Beginning at Hand Lake Trailhead, Hand Lake Trail #3513 immediately enters the Mt. Washington Wilderness and heads northwest through an alpine mixed-conifer forest. The trail exits the Mt. Washington Wilderness just before coming out of the woods into a large meadow near Hand Lake and the historic Hand Lake Shelter. The trail continues north across the meadow, re-entering the dense woods and continuing along the west edge of Hand Lake. The trail hooks northwest and passes by and through old burnt forest over undulating terrain before ending at Deer Butte Trail #3508.