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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.

Length 4.2 mi Elevation gain 223 ft 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

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

Please note: Gate may close seasonally, adding about two miles round trip to the route. 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.

Parking just near the ranger station.

Sulphur Ranger District, 9 Ten Mile Drive, PO Box 10, Granby, CO 80446, Phone: 970-887-4100, Fax: 970-887-4111

Monarch Lake is in the Arapaho National Recreation Area (ANRA), six miles northwest of Granby on US Highway 34, nine miles east on County Road 6 (Forest Road 125, Arapaho Bay Road) at the southeast end of Lake Granby.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (609)
Photos (584)
Recordings (369)
Completed (1015)
Katie Lehfeldt
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 10 2020
BugsGreat!Rocky

Such a beautiful hike! Wildflowers, easy to walk trail and endless waterfalls! No wildlife seen today.

Dana Eisenhour
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jul 08 2020
Hiking

Went out mid-morning and it was perfect. Parking was ok-we found a spot, but it was full when we left. We started out counter-clockwise and some things I noted-the SW side of the lake seemed more scenic to me. More shade (that time of day), closer to the lake. There were more opportunities to picnic off trail on the SW side as well as about the halfway point. We saw a couple different spots by some of the river crossings that would have been perfect for a picnic. The NE side of the lake had some mud pits that crossing with a 5yo and 7yo were a little precarious, but we made it without any major incidents. Felt the NE side was a little more open and wasn’t as close to the water. Saw a moose sitting down by the water hanging out in the shade-that was pretty cool! Really loved this trail and would def do again!

Mike D.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
HikingGreat!

Easy trail with nice views and multiple spots to stop along run-in streams. Seems a bit longer than 4.2 miles for the loop. Closer to 5 miles.

Jenni Gruenisen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
Hiking

We really loved this loop today. The lake was gorgeous, and the river fun to walk along as well. There were scattered groups, but we made it around the entire loop without walking near anyone. Would recommend!

Chris James
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 26 2020
HikingBugs

Heavily trafficked would be an understatement. Luckily as you get further from the starting point people give up. Easy walk with 2 Mini dachshunds (though it wore them out). The lake is nice when you can see it but otherwise it’s an uneventful walk.

Colette James
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 26 2020
Hiking

6/26/20 arrived around 9am parking lot fairly full but was maxed out and parking down the road by noon. If doing the whole loop we didn’t encounter a ton of people once we got a little ways in just some groups scattered along but probably one of the busiest trails around.

View Colette's Recording
Oliver B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 25 2020
HikingBugs

Nice and very shady trail! Perfect for an easy hike.

Chris Koenck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 25 2020
Hiking

This was a very beautiful trail that circles Monarch Lake. The trail was rocky in parts but overall was pretty manageable. We hit the trailhead at around 8 AM on a Thursday and didn't see anyone else until we were about 1 mile from the end. The parking area was full when we left around 11 AM. The trail is narrow so you'll likely encounter incoming hikers so remember trail etiquette. We went counterclockwise around the lake and came face to face with a cow moose on the trail. She stood her ground and seemed curious so we double backed to a spot where we could give her space to pass. Towards the end of the hike, we saw several other moose in a grazing area in the distance.

View Chris's Recording
Ellie Sepe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 21 2020
Hiking

Pretty hike! We started to the left which meant we came head on with a handful of groups, but we liked it that was since the end of the hike had more interesting aspects vs just at the beginning. There are pockets of big gnat clouds, but they are pretty much right at the beginning and ends. A face covering would be good to get through them if you don’t want to continually swat with your arms. We didn’t have any issues with signage. Pretty easy loop. Loved it!

Ryan Lehman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 21 2020
Hiking

Signs were terrible or non existent aside from the starting point. Lots of bugs around the lake loop. Lake was beautiful and overall was a nice hike

Lynn Geiselhart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 20 2020
HikingFee

Very crowded area on Saturday morning (100 cars), which was surprising since it’s 10 miles down a dirt road. Beautiful lake! Lots of people fishing and kayaking. The trail was in great shape with views of the lake for the most part. Mostly shaded, crossed several small streams, gentle ups and downs, plenty of tree roots and rocks. We forgot to hit record until we had already started the hike and then we turned around and backtracked instead of continuing on the loop. $5 fee for the day in the Arapahoe National Forest.

View Lynn's Recording
dot carpenter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 18 2020

This is an amazingly beautiful hike. We saw a moose in the parking lot before setting out and then another on the trail. I would go early because there are tons of people, many of which have young children who can be quite noisy. We started out about 8am and were able to enjoy the solitude for the first half of the hike. Someone had posted that you need awd to get here, but I didn't find that to be true. The road is bumpy but not much.

Dustin Dvorak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 17 2020
Hiking

Great family hike. Absolutely beautiful streams and rivers. Lots of crossings. A bit muddy in places but nothing too bad. A little buggy but only if you stop for a long time. Beautiful little waterfall only a short distance in.

Leah D.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 16 2020
HikingBugs

Fun easy trail through the woods. Lots of shade and lots of water crossings (bridges)! Great for everyone including dogs and kids! Beautiful lake views! Watch for Moose!

Nikki M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 15 2020
Hiking

Took my 9 mo old pup and he did great! Pretty easy, and there were mesquites. But it’s by the water so that’s expected. Road to get to the trail head is a little rocky so I recommend a AWD. Great views though :)

Charity Stanley-Coleman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 14 2020
Hiking

Beautiful!!!

View Charity's Recording
Tatiana Filpi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 13 2020
HikingBugs

Great and easy hike for the whole family but remember to put some mosquito repellent on :)

View Tatiana's Recording
Priscilla Danner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 12 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

We love this trail! Lots of variety. Beautiful

View Priscilla's Recording
Ashley Crim DeLá Crim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 12 2020
Hiking

Came towards the sunset and saw 3 moose and one bear. Muddy in parts but overall a lovely trail and easy for out of town-ers.

J S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 06 2020
Hiking

Absolutely gorgeous lake and trail. GO EARLY, like before 7 if you want serenity and to be alone without loud tourists and people not being respectful of the serenity to be had. Great chance of seeing moose here as well, tons of moose poop!

Mindy Giffin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 02 2020
Hiking

What a pretty trail. Great for views, and a good amount of variety. Many more connecting trails if you want to extend your hike. Many places to take a nice lake break as well!

View Mindy's Recording
Lyndsey Lack
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 01 2020
Hiking

A perfect hike especially with kids. Not too long, not too steep. Beautiful scenery

Lexi Macan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 31 2020
HikingFloodedMuddy

Love this trail! Had to walk through a decent amount of water and mud but it’s fun if you have the right shoes!

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Tara Raju
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu May 28 2020
Hiking

5/27/20 good trail for our group ( age range 10-72). Just a few muddy spots due to run off. Good shaded areas, nice open views of the mountains. Not many folks on the trail, parking lot had less than 8 cars in it and we started around 10:30 am.

Reece Barnes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 23 2020
HikingBlowdownMuddyWashed out

More of a walk than a hike, but still one of my favorites. Seemingly popular (it’s Memorial Day). Love the lake and the waterfalls. Very easy to take friends and dogs on.

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