Monarch Lake Loop Trail

EASY 459 reviews
#12 of 162 trails in

Monarch Lake Loop Trail is a 4.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Granby, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.2 miles Elevation Gain: 223 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

cross country skiing

fishing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

The views of the mountains and rivers are breath taking especially early in the season around late May, with moose and other wildlife sightings in the area. The trail will take you along the edge of Monarch lake and into the woods were you will cross both Arapaho and Buchanan Creeks along with several runoff steams. This area is quite lovely but keep in mind that as this is a fairly easy trail there maybe a lot of traffic. The trail is made up of the Cascade Creek and Arapaho Pass Trails and its spurs, but all of the turns are well marked. It is always advisable to have a trail map of the area with you. If you are looking for fishing or a nice view to picnic the lake area and trail head are a great. Dogs are allowed on leash in the Arapaho National Forest, but check with the ranger station for any local restrictions. Remember to check in at the trail head. There are bathroom facilities as well at the trail head.

running
26 minutes ago

Great trail run! I went clockwise in early afternoon on a Wednesday, very few people on the trail even though the parking lot was almost full. Beautiful views, clear rivers and even a few moose!

hiking
4 days ago

Absolutely beautiful! Saw baby chipmunks, bald eagles, a moose family, and lots of squirrels and Stellar’s jays. Most of the trail is in the forest, but lots of river views. The steam donkey was cool too!

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful hike for the most part. We went counter clockwise. For as packed as the parking lot was, there weren’t too many people on the trail. The first half was beautiful and ran right along the lake. The second half felt long and was all in the trees with barely any lake view. Still a gorgeous hike but just way different than I expected. 4.4miles for us. Also, there was a huge tree in the path of the trail on one side that you need to do a little detour around. Go around the top not the root or you’ll go off trail.

hiking
9 days ago

Stayed overnight nearby and wanted to take a short hike before driving on into the park. Mostly flat. We unfortunately had to speed around the lake but it was still spectacular complete with moose. Beautiful views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

off road driving
off trail
11 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

This trail was very beautiful. For the most part shaded. Pretty busy. More people started to show up later in the day. The morning was really pretty nice, and quiet. I went clockwise rather than counter clockwise. Most people do clockwise. I preferred this direction because I was alone the majority of the time.

hiking
23 days ago

Great dog-friendly trail with beautiful views.

hiking
bugs
rocky
27 days ago

No bicycles allowed. Dogs on leash. Bring bug spray. Definitely worth it!

hiking
bugs
rocky
27 days ago

Great trail. Lots of shade. Beautiful glimpses of the lake as you walk thru the trees. No bicycles. Songs on leash. 2:30 on a Thursday

Beautiful walk and well worth it! Was 5 miles around the lake for us.

hiking
30 days ago

Wasnt expecting this trail to be as gorgeous as it was! you get amazing views of sp many different things.

hiking
30 days ago

A favorite light hike in a beautiful setting

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

if your hiking for views of the lake and not anything else, your better off going right and the left around the lake and skipping the rest.

hiking
1 month ago

good easy family hike around a beautiful lake. compared to some of the hikes in RMNP the views were not that spectacular. in fact, the best view comes probably right in the beginning when you first get to the lake. also we did not see a waterfall.

hiking
1 month ago

I wasn't sure what to expect but this was a good trail for a new hiker like me. took my dog and I let him do play in the water at 3 spots along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

Great gentle hike. Beautiful lake, stream crossings, and saw two moose at the end of the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Great views, go early when the water is calm. Very easy trail to navigate. Bring bug spray for the wooded part. Breath-taking views on this hike.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail! Got here at 7:45 and the lot was relatively empty. Didn’t see anyone until I was halfway done with my hike. Very peaceful and easy to navigate trail. A few places where you’d have to scramble over rocks in the trail but not much. The inclines are short and spaced apart that you’ll be comfortable. You should probably wear hiking boots but probably not a requirement. Lots of beautiful places to take photos. Tons of shade for my two dogs (8 years old and 2 years old) who were both easily able to navigate the trail. Plenty of spots where the inlets to the lake pass over the trail so they were able to get wet and stay cool. Bridges were solid over the biggest parts of the rivers. We went straight off the trailhead so right into the shade, and the last few minutes of the hike were in the sun. Get here early cause the lot was totally full by 10:15 when we got done.

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

Hiked this on 7/28, mid afternoon. Took the trail counter clock wise, and enjoyed the great views. Some steep sections at first, but smoothed out. Last .5 was a bit rocky.

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

Arrived at 5:45 am on Thursday 7/25. Had the trail to ourselves, never saw another hiker. Nice and not too strenuous of a hike with some nice views of the lake, streams, rivers along the way. A few bridge crossings (my favorite was the one at about the halfway point). Nice little starter hike before doing some longer, higher elevation hikes the next couple days. I’d imagine this lakes views would be even more remarkable if it hadn’t been cloudy like it was on the day we went. Bugs were out but not overbearing. Saw 2 fawns and a mom as we were leaving.

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