Arapahoe Pass and Lake Dorothy Trail

HARD 35 reviews
#6 of 112 trails in

Arapahoe Pass and Lake Dorothy Trail is a 7.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, CO that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

7.9 miles 2669 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

2 months ago

Loved the trail once we got to the trailhead.
Nobody mentioned that the last 30 minutes of the drive was unpacked and VERY bumpy. If you don't have a jeep, that last half hour is long and dusty!

2 months ago

Went on a cloudy day but was still a great hike. Because of clouds and middle of week, it was not busy. The aspens on the drive to the trailhead were beautiful. Above tree line, views were great.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

One of the best hikes, in my opinion, in the state of Colorado. Very tough once you get closer to lake and very windy, but well worth every step.

hiking
3 months ago

Gorgeous hike!! Lots of sweeping views, and the changing colors were a perfect touch. It's not necessarily a difficult hike, but distance and elevation gain make for an overall more difficult trail. It's very worth the workout! It is steadily uphill, and the last mile or so turns into a leveled talus trail. We saw lots of baby marmots up there!! Definitely bring a light jacket (or heavier) for Lake Dorothy. It got suddenly very chilly once we got there.

hiking
3 months ago

This is by far the prettiest most breathtaking hike I have taken so far in Colorado. I agree with a previous review that the 4mi drive to the trailhead is very rough and 4wd would be best. Will definitely do this hike again!!!

3 months ago

This is by far my favorite hike so far. You are on top of the world when you get to Lake Dorothy.

We went up on Labor Day weekend and arrived at 8am. Definitely plan to get to the trailhead at 8am at the LATEST if you're going on a busy weekend. We were able to park along the road close to the trailhead, but we picked the last spot!

The way down had a few more people than is optimal for a nice hike - loud and a little congested with large groups. I'm chalking it up to the holiday...

BE WARNED OF THE ROAD - definitely need a 4x4 or all wheel vehicle. We made it in a Sentra a few weeks back, but our SUV this time around made it much better. This time, the Sentra probably wouldn't have made it. The condition of the road has degraded from rain.

hiking
3 months ago

Great Hike, most traffic on the beginning of the trail tends to go to Diamond Lake, so it is usually really peaceful.

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Trail was exciting and fun filled to hike. There are several water crossings, one over a mild creek, the other over a gentle waterfall. See attached video for more of our experience on the trail.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_denXJE3Yo

Trail is in a national forest, not a national park, so standard drone laws apply.

I highly recommend arriving early (at or before 8am on non-holiday weekends) and parking at the trailhead (4x4 capable truck recommended). Otherwise you will have to park much fatter away and hike the dirt road to reach the trailhead. We were willing to pick up hitch hikers on the way up or down, so it is not a huge problem if you can't park, some people may help!

hiking
4 months ago

This hike was awesome! Road to trailhead very rough. I would highly recommend 4wd, even though I saw a few sedans at the trailhead. I thought this was a moderate, not a difficult hike. The scenery was awesome. Lots of wild flowers. Make sure to pack a jacket or windbreaker, as it was cool, and very windy at the top. Lake Dorothy was beautiful and protected from the wind.

hiking
4 months ago

The trail to Lake Dorothy is not difficult at all, there are a couple switch back at the beginning but most of the trail gradually ascend to the saddle and the Lake. What would be difficult would be climbing the peak as the map suggests. We watched 5 guys and two dogs struggle to descent the peak for about 45 minutes, at times they seemed like they didn't know what they were doing because they were treading back and forth. We stayed in case they had an emergency.

4 months ago

Great hike. Amazing wildflowers. Beautiful vistas .

camping
4 months ago

Absolutely beautiful hike past waterfalls and amazing wild flowers. Fields of columbines and Old Man of the Mountain, rugged mountain views and lakes. The hike down from the Pass to Caribou Lake was well worth the hard slog out (900 vertical in about a mile).

hiking
5 months ago

Super beautiful trail. Difficult, especially with the 2 miles or so of snowpack each way. Excited to go again in the late summer to see it in a different season.

hiking
6 months ago

great hike! absolutely beautiful. it is definitely moderate not easy. i love that you have options on this hike and they are all as amazing as the others. get there early and be rested so you can explore all day. its worth it.

hiking
1 year ago

This is one of my favorite hikes. I've hiked this starting from the 4th of july trail head, and the Arapaho Glacier trail. The Indian Peaks Wilderness is one of my favorite places to hike, and I'd like to think I know the wilderness pretty well. The hike to Caribou Lake or Lake Dorothy has everything you'd ever imagine. Waterfalls, mountain streams, lakes, mountains, ridges, an abandoned mine, and a trek through all 3 climates in the rockies.

I'd highly recommend this hike to anyone who's looking for a decently long hike with a spectacular view. Beware that the trail can be difficult to some. I took my sister on this trail who had completed more difficult but shorter trails, and she had a hard time completing this one.

1 year ago

Do you think this trail will be accessible Oct 5th?

1 year ago

was amazing hike with beautiful wild flowerd and scenic mountains. because of the distance and terrain not sure why it is rated as easy. I would rate it moderate. I i set the recorder from the parking lot to Lake dorothy shore and it was about 4 miles. If you walk around left of the lake over the ridge it is beautiful scenary of your whole hike.

started the hike about 715 a.m. and was hardly anyone on trail.... on the way back around 130pm there were quite a bit of people going torwards the lake.

hiking
1 year ago