Monarch Lake Loop Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Granby, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. 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

birding

cross country skiing

fishing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

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.

walking
8 days ago

A most wonderful hike, and a loop so no retracing. Magnificent view of the lake at the trailhead. Parking can be an issue on summer weekends. There are moose around, and they can be dangerous, but generally no problem other than the pleasure seeing them. The trail on the sunny side is wider and easier, but the darker and narrower other side is enchanting. Not difficult, but a few logs to cross over streams. Take water particularly in summer and keep dogs leashed because of moose.

hiking
14 days ago

Hike offered deep woods trail and nice views of the Monarch Lake. Went very early in the morning but barely saw any birds or other wild animals. Great trail for exercise.

hiking
16 days ago

My wife & I arrived from MD yesterday and had not fully acclimated to the +8000’ altitude change, but did not want to waste the good weather. This 4.2 mi loop was perfect. Great views and enough elevation change to make it fun without over taxing our sea level lungs.

24 days ago

Went up to Cascade Falls and around Monarch Lake. Beautiful trail, especially if you love horse poop! I clean up after my dogs!! Dodged more horse poop than rocks but otherwise well worth it.

1 month ago

Great trail! Pretty easy trail compared to others. Rare incline/declines, easy terrain, mostly flat with the few areas of loose rocks. Good mix of lake and Dorset views. If you start the trail going to the right, it isn’t well marked about 2.5 miles in, but the trail strays pretty far from the actual lake. We kept ensuring we were turning left, and made it around without issue. The Lake trail loop isn’t well marked, even though all other trails are. The marshy area at the far end of the lake made for great viewing of moose! Overall pretty easy hike, but well worth the time spent here.

1 month ago

Although it takes a while to reach the trailhead (where parking is limited), the hike around the lake is first-rate. The four+ mile loop is an easy to moderate trail shared with horses. This is one of the best hikes in the Arapaho National Recreation Area—don’t miss it!

This trailhead also allows access to other (more lengthy and difficult) hikes.

On our second visit to the lake, we watched kayakers and canoeists paddling around the lake. Fishermen were also in evidence.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this on Black Friday and with the road to the trailhead closed it adds about an extra mile out and back. Was pretty iced over and slick in areas so I hoghly recommend microspikes in the winter. I was the only one out there so I really enjoyed the serenity of watching the sunset over the frozen lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Saw two moose in the marsh area. Beautiful hike that’s on the easy end of moderate.

1 month ago

Really nice hike with good lake and Mountain View’s. I think this should be rated as easy. I’m not that fit and had no problems.

1 month ago

Nice short hike great views

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful, relaxing hike! There are so many other trails here if you want more of a challenge.

1 month ago

Great hike. Saw a huge bull moose in the marsh. Lots of dogs but totally worth it

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail this morning with my family...husband, and two kids (age 5 and 7) and our 85 lb dog. We hiked it last year as well in hopes of seeing moose. Last year we didn’t see any moose. This year I saw a mother and a young moose just off the trail to the left about a mile and a quarter into the trail going clockwise around the lake. Didn’t see any other wildlife other than squirrels, bird and ducks. Relatively flat trail. Was quite muddy in spots this morning due to rain overnight. But a doable hike for our kids. The toughest part was the 9 mile dirt road drive out to it.

2 months ago

beautiful.

2 months ago

Perfect day hike with our dogs. Lots to see and enjoy at a leisurely pace...took us 2 hours to do the loop. Highly recommend.

2 months ago

Awesome trail! I would mark it on the easier side of moderate solely because of the distance, otherwise it was a pretty easy trail. The trail is mostly shaded which was nice. The wild flowers and the wild raspberries were fun to look at and my dogs enjoyed the access to the lake. I went counterclockwise and think I would prefer to go that route again.

2 months ago

Good for my old dog.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail!! Some narrow parts with a slight hill but smooth easy walking the entire way!! Brought my dog on both occasions and it was great! Great views, beautiful trees. Peaceful and quiet. Not too many people despite the amount of cars in the parking lot.

hiking
2 months ago

great for a family hike.

2 months ago

Beautiful and very easy

2 months ago

beautiful loop. Love the mountain view.

hiking
2 months ago

This is my favorite hike in Granby now. The scenery is spectacular. The trail keeps your interest throughout. The streams and waterfalls are beautiful. I took a drink out of a waterfall coming directly from the top of the mountain. It was delicious. I recommend bringing a “Lifestraw” with you. It will cut down on having to bring water bottles. The trail is full of water features. The trail is not real steep. It has a nice mix of inclines, declines and level terrain. I advise wearing shoes with hiking soles. A lot of the area is rocky. Highly recommend. .

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Beautiful mountain views and lake, great trail and several other trails to take if you want.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a beautiful loop trail that is not too long nor too taxing. I would rate it as an easy trail instead of a moderate trail based on some much more challenging trails in Staunton State Park. If you are not familiar with this area, you should know that you need a $5.00 parks activity pass to park at the trailhead. Look for a forest service kiosk to get a pass on the way in near the dam. I think it is self service.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice little hike. VERY crowded. Got there at 8:00a on a Saturday and parking was mostly full. By the time we left at 10:00ish parking was about 1/4 mile down the road. There is a fee for this area so make sure you pay. Ranger was writing tickets all I've the place. If you start hike going counter clockwise a little bit of uphill. My wife and I actually felt the whole hike was Easy as opposed to moderate, however if you don't do much hiking or are from lower elevation, it could be moderate. Several other longer trails in area that I want to check out.

2 months ago

Nice trail swim dog and good views ! Bring the bug spray! ❤️

3 months ago

Beautiful lake!

3 months ago

Beautiful, popular, easy loop trail!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! About half and half with flat, dirt trails and rocky areas. Lots of great views. Packed a lunch and ate at a shaded picnic table on the lake. My dog loved the area as well!

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