Arapaho Pass Trail (#904)

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

Length: Fourth of July Trailhead (TH) to Diamond Lake Trail - 1.2 miles; Arapaho Glacier Trail - 2.1 miles; Arapaho Pass - 3.3 miles. DISTANCES ARE ONE-WAY.

Elevation: 10,100 feet at the TH; 11,245 feet at Fourth of July Mine; 11,906 feet at Arapaho Pass.

Trail Description: 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.

View a PDF trail summary.

View a Colorado Trail Explorer map of Arapaho Pass Trail.

For current Fire Restrictions and other important information, visit our Know Before You Go page.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Sections of this trail on the west side of the Continental Divide are impassable due to a destructive wind event last fall.
Permit Info: This trail lies within the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area:
  • Camping permits required for all overnight trips between June 1 and September 15.
  • Organized groups are required to have a permit for both camping and day-hiking year round.
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Hiking conditions are best from July through September.
Restrictions: Indian Peaks Wilderness restrictions apply:
  • Motorized equipment and mechanized transportation are prohibited.
  • Pets must be on a hand-held leash at all times.
  • Campfires are prohibited year round.
  • Campsites must be at least 100 feet away from water and trail.
  • Group size is limited to 12 (people and livestock combined).
  • Processed weed-free feed is required for stock.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles.
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

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.


Key Information:

Access to the Fourth of July Trailhead is via Fourth of July Road. This road is maintained by Boulder County. There is no seasonal gate on this road. However, winter maintenance does not occur. In addition, once the town of Eldora receives a significant snowfall, plows pile snow at the end of the pavement creating a barrier to points west. Therefore, access in the fall is weather dependent. The road is not passable in winter. Boulder County typically plows this road open before Memorial Day weekend. Trails at this elevation are typically not snow free until July.


Day Hiking


Know Before You Go

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  Area/Length : 
3.3 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
10,100' - 11,906'