Caribou Pass Trail #11


At Junco Lake Trailhead, the trail begins as an old jeep road now closed to motorized vehicles. After a mile, the road forks and the right-hand fork leads to several tumbled down log cabins beside Meadow Creek. Following the left fork, the road will skirt the northern edge of a long open meadow through which Meadow Creek flows. Here the trail enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. The trail continues to a junction. The right fork goes to Columbine Lake and Mt. Neva. The left fork goes on a narrow footpath to Caribou Pass. Rock cairns mark the trail even though the trail is well defined. From Caribou Pass you can continue on to Arapaho Pass (elevation 11,906’) and from there continue down to Monarch Lake, or return to Junco Lake Trailhead.

From Monarch Lake follow the trail on the west side of the lake for 1.5 miles to the fork and take the Arapaho Creek Trail. The trail crosses a log bridge over Arapaho Creek 5.2 miles up the trail and then steepens to pass a large avalanche slide area, crossing several small brooks and emerging into Coyote Park (elevation 10,500’). This is a good camping area. Timberline marks the location of Caribou Lake (elevation 11,147’), located between Arapaho and Caribou Passes. The trail continues steeply up a series of switchbacks to Arapaho Pass and the Continental Divide.

At a Glance

Area Amenities: Tent camping,Fee charged for some activities
Permit Info: Permits are required for overnight stays in the Indian Peak Wilderness (IPW) from June 1 to September 15. Additional permit requirements exist for large and organized groups.
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Caribou Pass Trail is located within the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Mechanized/motorized travel is prohibited. Group size is limited to 12 people and/or livestock. Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Camping at designated campsites only, no campfires permitted at Caribou Lake.
Closest Towns: Granby, Grand Lake
Passes: Parking in the Arapaho National Recreation Area (ANRA) at Monarch Lake or Meadow Creek and Junco Lake TH requires a daily use fee. $5 daily fee. Annual passes available.
Information Center: Sulphur Ranger District, 9 Ten Mile Drive, PO Box 10, Granby, CO 80446, Phone: 970-887-4100, Fax: 970-887-4111, Contact Us

General Information


Go north on U.S. Highway 40 from Fraser and turn right (east) onto Grand County Road 83. When this road forks, go left onto CGR 84 (NFSR 129) and travel 11 miles to a left spur going to the Junco Lake Trailhead.

From Granby, go north 5.5 miles on CO Highway 34 (9.5 miles south of Grand Lake) to Grand County Road 6 (NFSR 125) and travel 10 miles to the Monarch Lake parking area.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Day Hiking


Fee charged for some activities
Tent camping

Know Before You Go

Areas & Activities

Related Links

Campgrounds At-A-Glance


  Area/Length : 
4.4 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
10,080 feet - 11,906 feet