Arapahoe Pass and Lake Dorothy Trail is a 7.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
Great Hike, most traffic on the beginning of the trail tends to go to Diamond Lake, so it is usually really peaceful.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Great hike. Amazing wildflowers. Beautiful vistas .
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).
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.