Hike to Arapaho Pass and Lake Dorothy
Colorado › 4th of July Trailhead
Added by Eric Schuette
- Hike to an alpine lake in the Indian Peaks wilderness
- Take in the wonderful views at Arapaho pass
- You may also continue on to caribou pass or descend to the west side of the Indian peaks through beautiful areas
- The hike to Lake Dorothy is ~7.5 miles with a total of 2,080 feet of elevation gain
Begin by parking at the 4th of July trailhead. This can be reached by conituing past the Eldora ski area and up a rough but passable (for all vehicles) gravel road to the trailhead. The trail is easy to find, and will continue to rise for the next 1.15 miles.
At just over a mile there is a fork for the Arapaho pass/Diamond Lake split. Take the Arapaho pass trail to the left and continue hiking. At just over 2 miles the Arapaho glacier trail breaks off to the left. Continue straight on the Arapaho pass trail and you will soon pass the ruins of the 4th of July mine.
Past the mine the trail it is easy to follow as you rise above tree-line and continue hiking on a moderate but consistent grade. At just over 3 miles you will reach Arapaho pass; this is a great place to stop and take in the views! For extra credit, you can also head up the obvious ridge (which is class 2) for a 1/2 mile to the unnamed 12er.
From Arapaho pass, continue hiking on the caribou pass trail for nearly 1/2 mile when several spurs will head over to Lake Dorothy. If there is too much snow to see the trail, head into the obvious cirque below Mt Neva. Once at the lake, there is enjoyable scrambling to be had on all sides, and if you are experienced with class 4+ terrain or snow climbing, Mt. Neva is a wonderful hike as well.
- Appropriate hiking clothes
- Keep in mind most of the trail is in the Indian peaks wilderness and special regulations apply
- Standard hiking gear
- Sleeping bag
- Other camping gear allowed in wilderness areas
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Excellent trail, but the first two trail splits mentioned are noted incorrectly. At the Diamond Lake split you continue to the right, up a switchback, to continue on the Arapaho Pass Trail. And at the Arapaho Glacier split, you keep left. Right will take you up to Arapaho Glacier, not Arapaho Pass.
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