Explore the most popular lake trails in Arapaho National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

11 hours ago

Fairly approachable hike for all abilities. The views are okay and maybe impressive for newbies or short term visitors who don't have too much time to stay.

hiking
22 hours ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike. The snow can be a bit challenging in the spring months but the views are worth the effort. My group and I had lunch right next to Silver Dollar Lake and it’s hard to think of a more perfect and peaceful setting.

Great and easy hike. Beautiful views everywhere!

Perfect trail for someone seeking a half day beginner-intermediate trail. We hiked on 5/19/18 and were nervous about not being prepared for the snow/ice. There were some slick spots but totally doable in tennis shoes.

Amazing!

Amazing hike, one of my favorites! Proposed to my fiance at the top next to a waterfall

hiking
2 days ago

5/23 Couldn’t make it to the very end but the views are awesome. I will definitely be back in a month. With that being said there was a lot of trash along the hike, I collected as much as I could. After the first mile, on your left, there is a small clearing when you can see the river there is a ton of metallic confetti caught in the grasses. Spent an hour trying to get most of it. Help me out if you go on the trail and try and collect it so it doesn’t end up in our rivers or wildlife. Also plenty of people leaving there dog poop bags along the trail.

Hiked on May 12, 2018, and could not have asked for a better hike. Fitbit indicated it was longer than 4.2 but tt is a great hike, not that difficult.

It’s usually very busy since it’s so close to Denver. It’s also a short hike so can go out and back in an hour. However the views of the lake and glacier are beautiful especially if you hike up the glacier a little!

backpacking
4 days ago

Don't give this trail a bad review because your car couldn't handle the road....
4WD isn't required but I wouldn't go unless I had it. The road gets rough and high clearance is required. We drove up there and made it about half way up the road before we had to stop and hike because of the deep snow and slush. Totally worth it though!

This is one of my favorite hikes and I plan to come back! The scenery is stunning, the trail is well maintained but still natural. The lake is kept quiet and peaceful and even though it’s busy I never felt crowded. We started to the left this time and the shady trees were perfect for the afternoon in September 2017. Highly recommend! Now I want to paddle board the lake itself. We also saw a juvenile moose in the marsh to the south of the trail near the parking area.

We saw 3 moose on this trip! It was fabulous! We started out left too with other hiker’s advice. The other side had more ice and snow. It was much dryer than 10 days ago. Right side did have some ice but not too much. The marsh lands on the back side of the lake were amazing. Found a nice log to grab a bite to eat on next to the river. There were several man made bridges to go over so good balance is required on some. It was a lovely trail. We will be back!

First week of May it was still very cold, windy, and snowy. Couldn’t really find the trail. No restrooms. Stunning views though even just from the beginning of the trail off the road. Was worth the drive and view, but bummed we couldn’t really hike.

Went in 3.3 mi on May 17 -- conditions good with some snow patches and postholing but easy enough. The creek crossing at ~2.7 mi in was challenging though.

Great place to hike without having to make a valiant climb to reach a summit. Undulates for most of the way, with occasional rough footing but nothing that a novice hiker would be unable to accomplish. The view was great despite the moderate elevation and hiking next to the creek gives a good “naturalistic” feel. Great Frisco hike, conveniently located.

on St. Mary's Glacier

hiking
11 days ago

I usually agree with the average rating on AllTrails but not in this case. Yes it is close to Denver but this is overrated on all accounts. Drive an extra 20-30 minutes for many more options.

trail running
11 days ago

I like to trail run this route. I ran this trail Thursday 5/10. No snow on trail! Some mud/water.

Super cool to see a glacier! Great hike for someone who wants epic views without it taking a chunk of your day. The trail was icy/slushy when we went 5/13/18 but nothing terrible in hiking boots!

hiking
12 days ago

Bring your yaktrax and poles to make your life easier during this time of the year. The lower section, for about 2 miles, has a nice pack and is pretty breezy. Once you get past the “1 mile to Lower Mohawk” sign, you will run into soft snow and deep post holes. I would definitely go early, when the snow is more stiff, if you plan on making it to Mohawk Lakes without snowshoes. Wasn’t able to make it past Lower Mohawk since I didn’t bring my snowshoes. It’s gonna be an awesome summer hike!! Looking forward to getting back on this trail.

Trail head has Portal Potties (not the cleanest). $5 fee to park (Honor System). The trail is pretty steep and rocky in the beginning but not bad at all. Once you reach the top it's amazing. Mountains were covered in snow. The trail is covered in snow, some slush but no ice..snow is very very slippery in sneakers so wear boots. At the top you can ski down, snow board or just slide down. The lake was half frozen. Beautiful pictures on this trail. Trail had moderate traffic. Definitely coming back when snow is melted.

fun trash bag sledding!

Enjoyable, yet early- sunken steps.

hiking
15 days ago

Went on May 7 2018. We went clock-wise around the lake. The left side was a lot easier and drier. The right side still had snow on many parts of the trail. We saw many tracks (and scate) on the right side, I'm not an expert but several looked like moose & elk , but pointed out to my wife a couple in the soft mud looked like fresh bear tracks, which got my attention. Due to the many patches of snow still on the trail on the right side of the lake it was a lot harder walk. We never saw a moose while on the trail, but someone we passed latter told us they saw one right on the trail on the right side around the 4-5 o'clock position of the trail right after they passed us. On the walk back down the road from the trail head to the campground we saw a moose on the left side right where a stream or creak dumps into a very large Creek that makes a large bend next to the gravel road. It was a bull with no antlers. We watched him for about 15 min as he crossed the little stream and came towards the road eating brush along the way. The trail will be a bit easier in late spring, summer and fall, without the snow. Pay close attention to the signs at trail junctions, they don't always call out Monarch Lake Trail Loop by name, (they should), so make sure you're going the right way to stay on the loop trail. Bring snacks and water.

hiking
15 days ago

Simple, beautiful hike. My favorite to do with family and friends coming in from out of state because even the out of shape of us can handle it and it’s an incredible pay off.

hiking
16 days ago

Patches of snow that you won't even notice in the morning but if the sun is out, you'll definitely notice them in the afternoon! Lots of post holing after noon, even in snowshoes. Suggest starting really early so you don't have a bad time!

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful little trail. Definitely wear some waterproof boots.. lots of little streams and snow on the trail. Otherwise great views ! 5$ parking bring exact change !

Went up 5/5/18, arrived around 1pm, the trail mostly dry with the occasional patches of snow at first. About 2 miles up you’ll see significantly more snow and might want to consider poles for stability, however we made it up just fine no yak traks or poles. Eventually the snow fall is too much and you’ll loose the trail, you can’t continue up to Gore Range. Easy to moderate hike, only two hours at most if you take your time and maybe detour a bit. Trail follows the river majority of the time, plenty of places to pull off and enjoy the views. Moderately trafficked, we only saw a hand full of people on the trail however the parking lot is small so it fills up fast. Great for all skill ranges and ages.

hiking
17 days ago

tried to go last week in a fwd subaru outback, had to turn around due to slush and mud big rocks and holes

We parked right at the end of the road by the signs that point towards the lake. The trail was doable without snowshoes but we definitely wished we had them as we got to the top third or so of the trail. We sank up to knees and hips every 5 or 6 steps or so in spots. Windy at the top. Really beautiful! Will definitely go back his summer so we can see the water!

hiking
19 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike! We were originally looking for something mellow so we choose this trail because it was rated on here as easy, and I gotta say it should definitely be rated harder in the winter. In early April the entire trail is still packed with feet of snow, making it very tough to walk. We put in a good 7 miles on this hike, going past the meadow to the mohawk lake trail towards the Continental Falls. There's an amazing cabin some ways up, and from here we walked through knee deep snow all the way up to the top. Had we known what we were getting into, we would've brought snowboard gear to ride down, so many solid tree runs just waiting to be hit. Perfect backcountry riding! Will definitely be back next season to shred this majesty

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