Caribou Lake via Arapaho Pass Trail

HARD 4 reviews
#7 of 11 trails in

Caribou Lake via Arapaho Pass Trail is a 9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.0 miles
2585 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash










wild flowers


historic site

This hike takes the the Arapahoe Pass Trail from the Fourth of July Trail Parking lot over the Continental Divide and down into Caribou Lake. Caribou Lake is picturesque and feels very remote. The trail from the divide down into the Caribou Lake bowl is very "switchy." Looking back down in to the bowl from atop really gives you a sense of awe!

8 months ago

Awesome hike! Unfortunately, too many people agree, so expect a ton of traffic on 4th of July Rd and the rest of the trail until it breaks off for diamond lake. The further you go, the less traffic. I wouldn't dare hike this area over a weekend, unless there's lots of snow and traffic's thinned.

9 months ago

Such a great hike with beautiful views. It's definitely a great workout.

10 months ago

I did this more as an accident. I meant to go to Dorothy Lake but ended up here instead. It was a great mistake. I had the entire valley around the lake to myself. Huge Greenback Cutthroat in the lake and Arapaho Creek! getting there was not difficult, but getting back was tough. The switchbacks up to the pass wore me out. The wind gusts were strong and knocked me into the side of the mountain a couple times. Views were stunning at all times with many areas of wild flowers. Marmots and Picas running all around too. There were only a few snow fields that required crossing on the back side headed down to the lake. Wet and muddy around the lake.

9 months ago