Arapaho Pass Trail


Photo of the Arapaho Pass Trail showing the steep portion above 4th of July Mine

From the Fourth of July Trailhead, the Arapaho Pass Trail climbs the northern slope of the North Fork, Middle Boulder Creek drainage into the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The Diamond Lake Trail intersects after 1.2 miles.

At 1.8 miles, Arapaho Pass Trail reaches the Fourth of July Mine and the Arapaho Glacier Trail intersects. The Arapaho Pass Trail continues west on an old road 1.2 miles farther to Arapaho Pass (elevation 11,906 feet).

The Arapaho Pass Trail continues north (right) from Arapaho Pass and drops 750 feet down a series of switchbacks to Caribou Lake. From here, Arapaho Pass Trail continues nine miles to Monarch Lake.

For a side trip from the crest of Arapaho Pass, follow Caribou Pass Trail west along the ridge for about 0.25 miles to visit Lake Dorothy (elevation 12,061 feet). Caribou Pass Trail continues on an impressive old road, blasted into a cliff, to Caribou Pass. Some parts of this trail are narrow and not for the faint of heart.

Click here for a trail description.

At a Glance

Permit Info: This trail lies within the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area:
  • Camping permits required for all overnight trips between June 1 and September 15. Overnight permits cost $5 per group, per trip from June 1 through September 15.
  • Organized groups are required to have a permit for both camping and day-hiking year round. Day-hiking permits are free.
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: The road to the trailhead is not plowed in winter. Vehicular access is limited to June through Octob
Restrictions: Indian Peak Wilderness restrictions apply:
  • Motorized and mechanized vehicles are prohibited.
  • Pets must be on a hand-held leash at all times.
  • Campfires prohibited.
  • Campsites must be at least 100 feet away from water and trail.
  • Group size is limited to 12 (people and livestock combined).
Fishing and hunting: permitted in accordance with regulations established by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Closest Towns: Nederland, Colorado
Water: Streams; treat water for drinking.
Restroom: Vault toilets
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301, Phone 303-541-2500, Fax 303-541-2515; Contact Us

General Information


From Nederland, head south on Colorado Highway 119 for 0.5 miles. Turn west onto County Road 130 (Eldora Ski Resort sign). Stay on the main road and through the town of Eldora. Once the pavement ends continue another five miles to the Fourth of July Trailhead. This portion of the road is rough but passable in a passenger car during the summer months.



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Know Before You Go

Areas & Activities

Related Links

Campgrounds At-A-Glance


  Area/Length : 
Fourth of July Trailhead to: Diamond Lake Trail - 1.2 miles; Arapaho Glacier Trail - 2.1 miles; Arap

  Elevation : 
10,121' - 11,906'