Cascade Creek (#1)

Length: 8 miles to Crater Lake; 10 miles to Pawnee Pass DISTANCES ARE ONE WAY

Elevation: 8,346 feet at Monarch Lake Trailhead; 12,541 feet at Pawnee Pass

Trail Information: The Cascade Creek Trail is one of the most popular trails in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, especially on weekends and holidays. Begin at the Monarch Lake Trailhead. The trail starts off fairly flat for the first 1.5 miles before reaching the Arapaho Pass Trail junction. Cascade Falls is 4.5 miles into the trail. At the last junction, continue south to Crater Lake or continue east for 2.5 miles to Pawnee Pass, where the trail becomes very steep with 27 switchbacks.

View a printable trail profile here.

View a trail map here.

At a Glance

Fees: Parking in the Arapaho National Recreation Area at Monarch Lake requires a daily use fee. America the Beautiful Interagency Passes accepted.
Permit Info: Permits are required for overnight stays in the Indian Peaks Wilderness from June 1 to September 15. Additional permit requirements exist for large and organized groups.
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Hiking conditions are best from July through September.
Restrictions: Cascade Trail is located within the Indian Peaks Wilderness, therefore Wilderness regulations apply:
  • Permits are required for overnight stays in the Indian Peaks Wilderness from June 1 to September 15
  • Mechanized/motorized travel is prohibited.
  • Do not camp or build campfires within 100 feet of developed trails or bodies of water.
  • Group size is limited to 12 people and/or livestock.
  • Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles.
Unless seasonal restrictions are in effect, campfires must be attended at all times and cold to the touch with the bare hand before being abandoned. Collection of dead and down wood is allowed; do not break branches from standing trees for firewood.
Closest Towns: Granby, Grand Lake
Water: Lakes and streams; treat water for drinking.
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace principles
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service

General Information


Take Highway 34 to County Road 6, 5.4 miles north of Granby and 8.9 south of Grand Lake. County Road 6 (NFSR 125) is a 9.4 mile improved road along Granby Reservoir to Monarch Lake where parking is available.


Day Hiking


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