Arapahoe Pass and Lake Dorothy Trail

MODERATE 122 reviews
#4 of 109 trails in

Arapahoe Pass and Lake Dorothy Trail is a 7.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. 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.

DISTANCE
7.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1942 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

2 days ago

Great hike. Very well maintained trails. Great combination of forest hiking and walking along a scree slope (but packed). Challenging with a gradual incline. Great hike for all skill levels with amazing scenery!! Recommended!

hiking
8 days ago

A perfect blend of physical challenge, striking scenery, and varied terrain. Wife and I completed this hike in about 4.5-5 hrs with several breaks, but never found it too tough. Coming from the East Coast and hiking at this high elevation made this hike a bit more challenging than a similar hike in our region, but as long as you take quick breaks every little bit to catch your breath, you shouldn't have any issue reaching the top.
There are a few very rocky sections, especially as you rise above the treeline, but a solid pair of shoes should allow you minimum frustration. Trail was well marked and well trodden the whole way, and offered plenty of amazing views and photo-ops. If you're near Boulder/Denver, this hike is well worth the hour trip West!!!

A word of caution--- the dirt/gravel road to the trail head is dicey at times.. a truck or SUV is recommended. Our tiny Hyundai rental just barely managed to get up to the parking area.

8 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

Very scenic and lots of different terrain. We hiked thru heavily wooded areas on dirt trails and wood planks, through a few small waterfalls and creeks, on rocky cliff sides and finally made it to the tundra with a view of the Continental Divide and Lake Dorothy. We followed the signs for Caribou and Arapaho Pass. Good shoes are a must! The 3 mile dirt road on the way out is better suited for 4wd but our Honda Fir made it... we drove very very carefully!! The entire hike (there and back) is about 7 miles and took us 5.5 hours. We walked pretty leisurely and took rest breaks on the way up.

hiking
9 days ago

11 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

Amazing hike. Went 2 weeks ago. Flowers were still amazing. Just stunning scenery the entire way! I live at sea level so the ascent was slow going but not hard in the slightest. Lake Dorothy was worth a visit (stay to your left where the sign is and the paths fork - it says to go to Caribou pass but first takes you to the lake). Be careful where you step. Saw many walking off the trail by lake Dorothy. Fragile tundra should not be stepped on. Please take care to only step on rocks! One of the best hikes I have done in my lifetime!

hiking
14 days ago

One of the most scenic trails I've completed in my life. Continuous mountain views, and a good steady (but never very steep) incline for our group of three from Missouri. Glad we arrived around 7 am to snag a spot in the upper parking lot at Fourth of July TH. The trail up to the pass wasn't too crowded even on Labor Day, but on our way down the first portion of the trail (to Diamond Lake) was very popular. Stunning views from the pass- especially on the stretch from Arapaho Pass to Dorothy Lake.

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

Amazing hike but always PACKED!!! Btw, if your car is not equipped for the dirt road or you enjoy driving at 4mph, be courteous enough to pull over for those who came equipped or for those who don't have an extra 35 minutes in their busy schedule. Thanks!

hiking
17 days ago

17 days ago

18 days ago

Great hike! Awesome views, plenty of water crossings, the dog loves it too

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful hike. Took a beginner and he struggled with the incline. So would definitely rate it moderate. Lots of wildflowers, some waterfalls, and awesome views.

20 days ago

Great mellow to moderate Indian Peaks hike. Stunning views from the top of the pass!

21 days ago

This trail is absolutely gorgeous!! Views are incredible!! Several things to keep in mind, however; parking & driving on the single dirt road is very difficult on the weekends, & the road itself requires a bigger vehicle. We took my jeep which was perfect but the poor Ford Focus behind us eventually had to turn back. Crowds are big on the weekend & the trail itself can be narrow at times, making it difficult to pass others especially if you bring your dog. Bring a jacket for when you reach the top & don't quit halfway, the best part is reaching the top!

hiking
21 days ago