Explore Summer 2018 Trails - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Summer 2018 Trails Map

Awesome camping area 2 miles from parking. Get there early as non 4wheel drive parking is limited. Easy trail to navigate if you pay attention. Several waterfalls on the way up if you open your ears. 9 campsites at the lake that are first come first serve basis. All are nice but some better than others. There are several cool trails above the lake that you can explore old mines and get an awesome view of devils thumb. Pack your fly pole as you can slay fish up there in the morning or evening. Permit not required as you are not in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Believe the hype - on the gorgeous hike, the dirt road to get there, and the amount of people. It’s all true!

Be sure to bring a high clearance vehicle, hiking boots, and layers. The road up is slow and bumpy and gets super sketch when vehicles are parked along side it and you’re forced to drive on the little space that remains regardless of its condition.

The hiking trail has lots of water features and rock fields so you’ll need proper footwear. It also gets windy and cooler at the top so bring layers.

Be prepared for an incredible variety of views, wildflowers, and bears, oh my! We felt like we saw it all. The trail was friendly with lots of dogs and even more hikers. It took us about 2 hours up (including a slight diversion where the trail splits at the pass - going right will lead you down to Caribou lake but it is called Arapahoe Pass trail so we took that. We should have followed the sign for Caribou Pass and gone left, up to Dorothy Lake which we eventually figured out). We saw a family of ptarmigan at the pass. The views of the mountains will take your breath away! It was 1 hour, 40 minutes to get back down. Only about 10 minutes from the trailhead we spotted a black bear cub grazing up the mountain. One of my favorite hikes yet.

short and sweet, if you follow the river instead of the main trail, you'll be treated to a old log cabin and beautiful waterfalls. The main trail is a twisted ankle waiting to happen. The lake is pretty but fairly non descript. Filled with little Brook trout.

7/14. if you wanna do this, start early. I reached by 7.30 in the morning and the parking space was full and cars were already lined up along the road for atleast half a mile. so better reach early.

And the hike, OMG it's just amazing. lots and lots of wild flowers along the entire hike. so if you are interested in photography flowers, it's for you. The trail is well marked. The view does not disappoint you. The spot where tree line ends is just spectacular.

overall it took 3.5 hours uphill and just 2.5 hours downhill. be prepared to spend a good 7 hours on the trails and lake overall.

Above the tree line it is there are some loose rocks, so be careful. The lake is greenish blue adds to the amusement. Just walk past the lake for an amazing Mountain panoramic view.

Great little hike with beautiful views! A waterfall gushes noisily by you once you’re halfway up, and wildflowers are abundant at this time of the year. It has a good amount of shade as well. The only disadvantage is parking at the trailhead. This is a VERY busy trail, and parking is a nightmare. We added a mile each way to our hike because of the parking situation. I would try and take a 4WD with high clearance to allow for parking closer to the trailhead - Basically you can go down a narrow rocky road (read the directions on other hikes in this app, that start at Hessie trail head - King Lake, Jasper Lake). If your car can make it through that path (which also has water year around, so you are driving through a small stream), your hike will be shorter. Else, your best bet with parking is somewhere in the town of Eldora. Good luck and enjoy the hike!

SO CROWDED/HEAVILY TRAFFICKED. Arrived at 8:30am on Friday 7.13. Upper lot was full and there were about 15 cars lined up along the road, so ~30 cars total. Once on the trail though, I was able to pass a few groups then was mostly alone. Definitely want to do this one in the AM because like others have said, coming down the volume of people had almost doubled.

Of course we're all there because the hike is amazing with lots of running brooks cutting across the trail, wildflowers, nice shade for the first half, and amazing views at the top. Was tough to trail run with so much loose granite towards the top, but I made due.

Absolutely beautiful hike. I went in May and there was still plenty of snow and ice, but returning in July that was all gone and replaced with plenty of green trees and wildflowers. The hike itself is fairly short and easy, but there are plenty of other trails that branch off if you're looking for a little more.

You know this hike is going to be great when people endure the final few miles of the drive in attempting to ruin the underbelly of your car. But the second mile of the hike up has amazing wildflowers and the top of the pass is a sight to behold. One of the best hikes I’ve done in Colorado!

The first part of the hike is very exposed — there is no shade so come prepared! It becomes nice and shaded once you reach Shadow Canyon trail, however, then begins the most difficult part of the journey. This is not a hike to bring your low-altitude friends on, as it is demanding of your endurance, balance, and ability to climb a lot of rocks. Reaching the summit is quite a treat after everything is all said and done. I completed it in 5 hours roundtrip while intermittently resting as needed, but I am also in relatively good shape. Happy trails!

Absolutely loved the scenery on this trail and hearing the river most of the way. It's also pleasantly shady. There are a few water crossings (bridges and on rocks) and wildflowers galore. The views are magnificent. Lost Lake itself is very pretty and still. As other reviewers have said, this trail is VERY rocky. VERY ROCKY. Poles would be helpful if you worry about stability. We managed to hike it okay with our 2 year old in a backpack, but poles would have been helpful. It is lots of uphill with few breaks. Still a very lovely trail. Parking is difficult. I recommend arriving around 2:30 pm. When we left at 3:15, there were many available parking spots. When we arrived at noon, many people were waiting for parking spots.

beautiful and not too strenuous. easy 3.5 hours

7 days ago

I've done quite a few trails and this by far has to be my favorite! It's a challenging hike in some areas, especially if you decide to climb to the mountain peak at the end!

8 days ago

More difficult than I expected but doable. Lake at the top is spectacular. My dog loved it

This hike was beautiful and if you make it to the top you get to see such a variety of views!! The wildflowers are blooming and look out for a waterfall across the way at the beginning.

You do have to take a really sketchy road to get there, as all the reviews suggest. It is scary but do-able in a sedan. It would be better to have a big car. We arrived at 9am and the parking was more than full which means walking even further from your car to the trail. Arrive early to avoid people.

We loved having so many dogs on the trail!! It was so fun, but do be aware that people don't always keep their dogs on leashes while hiking. We got to run around with three labs at Dorothy Lake and it was a dream come true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also: being from Texas the altitude really took me by surprise. This made an already strenuous 2,000 feet climb a lot harder. If you don't acclimate to altitude well be aware.

My wife and I completed the hike over Arapahoe pass and down to lake Dorothy this morning.
Let me start with the good:
- this place was touched by the hand of God, it's so beautiful, so fast and so varied. Wildflower gardens of violets, Columbines, paintbrush, daisys. Ptarmigans, Pika, Marmots.
Lake Dorothy is flush with trout and clear as glass and has a serious Sound of Music vibe to it.
Now the not so good:
The endless crappy dirt road to the trailhead resembles a Bagdad side street. If you dropped mortors on it, it might actually improve it.
"Lightly traveled" trail is fake news, it's the worst kept secret in Colorado. We got there at 6:00 am, the lot was full then. We had the mountain pretty much to ourselves until we started coming back at 10:00. Then it's a trail version of I-25 with every dog known to man.
Back at the crappy dirt road, ten thousand illegally parked cars and one ranger to write all the tickets. Poor dude...
I'll be back tomorrow!

Great climb And awesome views. I would definitely recommend this hike! Be prepared to drive on a rocky dirt road to get there.

9 days ago

Feature rich with blue glacial ponds, alpine lakes & waterfalls, lovely vistas, meadows filled with wildflowers. A fun scramble to finished it off. Fairly easy incline for most of trail. One of my favorite CO hikes to date!

This hike was amazing! This is the best time to go... wildflowers EVERYWHERE and the lake is beautiful and the mountain views are incomparable.

Despite all this, I would NOT recommend hiking here on a weekend. We grabbed the last spot even though we arrived at 8am. I would have preferred to change my work schedule to come on a Monday instead so we didn’t have to stress about parking and crowds.

I do not recommend doing this hike on a weekend unless you start early. It’s a very popular hike, and the parking lot is very small. However, the trail is beautiful. There are tons of wildflowers right now and several waterfalls as well. If you actually go to Dorothy Lake it ends up being longer than 7.1 miles. It’s worth it to make the trek down and add a couple extra miles to your trip though.

Nice hike. Lake is a good oasis. Back country camp sites along the way and around the lake.

It was a nice hike along a creek. The views at the lake were nice. No big views of the range. biggest downside is is the rocky trail. Lots of loose rocks the first 2/3 of the way. Look at the pictures.

9 days ago

Love this hike. Took it slow and steady and made it in 4.3 hours. Beautiful and challenging.

11 days ago

I thought I was in decent shape. But damn. This trail was very humbling. Took shadow canyon up — lots of scrambling but doable. Took fern canyon down — so steep, so tiring. Ended up being 11-12 miles and 8 hours total with breaks and picnic at the peak. I am city dweller, however, so I’m probably on the slower side. With all that said...TOTALLY WORTH IT.

11 days ago

Perfect conditions. Hard but attainable for the average hiker. Turn south and visit boulder peak too only adds less than an hour

Great workout, I have done it for years

Gorgeous hike complete with bubbling streams, wildflowers, breathtaking views and a waterfall. There is a lot of shade throughout the hike so we weren’t uncomfortable at all. Parking was nightmare. We had to park half a mile away from the trailhead, and it was completely overrun with people when we arrived at 1pm...but it is called the Fourth of July Trailhead and it was the Fourth of July so, I guess that is to be expected. By the time we were walking back down at 5 we had the trail to ourselves. That’s why I docked one star-it says it is a lightly trafficked hike but it is extremely heavily trafficked!

on Bear Peak Trail

12 days ago

It never gets easy! It’s always a beautiful hike in every season. Indeed, it’s a challenge and is rated appropriately. Work up to the difficulty and it’s very enjoyable.

Did this hike again on Sunday (7/1/18). This is favorite of mine, especially this time of year. Wildflowers are wonderful and the trail is free of snow. I consider this hike easy, but might be moderate for those not use to a steady climb in elevation. Lake Dorthy is a sweet little lake, peaceful if not too crowded and a good spot to linger over a long lunch break, weather permitting. It is windy as heck up there though, so be prepared with layers, even on a sunny day if you reach the lake before 11am. Parking can be a nightmare as well, so the earlier you get to the trainhead, the better. I would not consider this a lightly trafficked trail at all! By the time I was coming back down around 1pm, there were a so many people that I would say the trail was overrun with people. However, given how beautiful and accessible this trail is for all levels of hiker, I'm not surprised and it won't keep me from doing it again next summer. If you plan to follow Caribou Pass around the mountain from Dorthy Lake, there was still enough snow in places to make the trail not safe to pass. We followed it along as far as we felt was a safe bet, but turned around due to snow covering the trail. We did see some people press on through this snow, but I would not risk it. The fall, if you should have one, would mostly likely result in death or serious injury. Not worth it!

Fantastic trail with amazing views the whole way. Not too technical. Very windy towards the top. We huddled behind a rock at the top to eat lunch and take in the amazing view of Dorothy Lake.

Gorgeous trail with excellent views nearly the entire hike and a few beautiful stream crossings. First half is shaded. Second half mostly sunny but cool and windy due to altitude. Parts of the trail near the pass are rather rocky making it a little more slow-going. Otherwise trail is steady with a gentle incline the entire way. Went on a Thursday, arrived around 930 and the trailhead had about 15 cars. Drove to the trailhead with a Honda Fit, slow going but doable. Beautiful hike, will definitely return!

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