If you like mountain hikes and you are near Nederland, Colorado, then you and your furry friend need to check out the Arapaho Pass Trail. Your pooch will need to be leashed, and you should wear some good hiking shoes because the trail can get a bit rocky with some snowy sections near the top. Many people recommend taking a hiking pole or spikes.
Once you leave the Fourth of July Trailhead on County Road 130, the Arapaho Pass Trail takes a steep trek into the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. At one mile in, the trail intersects with the Diamond Lake Trail and then the Arapaho Glacier Trail #905 where you will see the Fourth of July Mine. You will continue west on an old road another mile to Arapaho Pass. Here you can see Caribou Lake and thousands of wildflowers like purple and yellow columbine, red Indian Paintbrush, and yellow buttercups.
This is a 7-mile hike up and down some serious mountains in the conifer forest, and it will take you to a place where you can see more mountains than anywhere else. In fact, from the top of the Arapahoe Pass Trail, you can look toward the northwest where the Fourth of July Trailhead and parking lot are and see the Rattlesnake Butte, Fairburn Mountain, Ely Hill, Ralston Roost, Centralia Mountain, Mineral Mountain, Klondike Mountain, Blue Mountain, Cedar Point, and the Cheyenne Lookout.
Looking west, you will see Navajo Peak, Apache Peak, Iroquois Mountain, Mount Achonee, Andrews Peak, Mount Julian, Mount Ida, and Mount Patterson. From the top, continue north down a series of switchbacks to Caribou Lake and stay on the Arapaho Pass Trail four more miles until you get to Monarch Lake, which is a woofderful glacial lake that is clear as glass.
The Arapaho Pass Trail is a wilderness area, and you will not find restrooms or water to drink. Make sure you bring along plenty of water for you and your canine cutey because this is a long and strenuous trek for both of you. Also be sure to bring clean up bags. However, you can always cut it short as many do when they get to the peak at about four miles in, or you can make it even longer by taking a side trip to one of the other trails, which are clearly marked along the way. You and your poochie are going to love this furrific and breathtaking hike in the stunning mountains of Colorado.