South Arapahoe Peak via Arapahoe Glacier Trail

MODERATE 25 reviews
#24 of 108 trails in

South Arapahoe Peak via Arapahoe Glacier Trail is a 8.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from July until September.

DISTANCE
8.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3287 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Directions from Eldora: Travel west on CR #130 and northwest on CR#111 to the 4th of July/Buckingham Park Campground. Hiking alternatives include Diamond Lake Trail from Hessie, Arapaho Glacier Trail from Rainbow Lakes, and Arapaho Pass from Monarch Lake (Hot Sulfur District).

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

Stunning wildflowers in early August and very few people on the trail once you make the turn at the 4th of July mine. Had the summit all to myself. Incredible views all around!

hiking
13 days ago

The views are great the whole time, the trail is wonderful and the marmots are everywhere.

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful Trail. I did this a little later in the day. The views up and down valley were great, with plenty of gaps in the trees to take in the scenery. Tree cover on the lower portion of the hike is moderate to heavy, with some slippery/muddy spots under the heavier tree cover. There are plenty of gaps in the trees to take in the scenery. Tree cover thins out as you ascend, with very little cover at 4th of July Mine, which is the cutoff from the main trail to go up to South Arapahoe Peak and the Arapahoe Glacier Overlook. Bring sunscreen! The only major obstacle on the way up to the mine is a water crossing on a break in what is effectively a waterfall. Water flow at this crossing is always swift, but during lower late season flow some stepping stones stick out of the water. However, after rain or during snowmelt the water level can rise significantly.

Please note that it is another 1,500 ft climb over 2 miles from the mine to the overlook over steep exposed terrain. If you've reached the mine and are already pretty tired, or a few clouds are starting to roll in, consider saving the glacial overlook for another trip. It cannot be emphasized enough how quickly weather can change back here - clouds and thunderstorms will literally appear out of nowhere as air rises over the continental divide.

About 4th of July Road: It appears that they've taken a grader to the lower section of the road since this spring, removing many of the washboards and potholes on the lower section. Don't let this fool you however, the road is still a little rough, especially as you get higher in elevation. Do not bring your sports car up, there are a few small sections where you need some clearance. Restrooms are at the bottom of 4th of July Road and up at the trail head. There is no parking allowed along 4th of July Road until you reach the trail head - it's all private property.

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
30 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Wildflowers are out! Gorgeous day-hike with a nice trail gradient until the final push- there is about .75 mile steep boulder field until the summit. The views are worth the scramble. Got to the trailhead at 8am and it was already packed - get there super early to beat the crowds and the rain on the weekends.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with variable features. Rock hops, waterfalls, streams and great views. Got to the trail head at 7:30AM Sat morning and already lots of people. Get there early if you are doing a weekend hike and as previous reviews state, an AWD with some ground clearance will make the drive to the trail head a little less stressful. Wildflowers are in bloom, enjoy!

hiking
1 month ago

oh my gosh. what an amazing hike! started early at 6am, drove all the way to the trailhead which btw, the road there is pretty rough. 2wd cars can make it i guess but not without some scraping, good clearance is recommended. the ascent took about 6 hours with lots of breaks as it was my first 13er, views from the summit are absolutely incredible and worth the struggle to the top. descent took about 3 hours and i really wish i had trekking poles, lots of loose rock and skree all over the trail. lots of wildflowers, marmots, sunshine, and running water too. love love loved this hike.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Most rewarding hike I've done in the Indian peaks. Little snow left at the top of the tree line but nothing too bad. If you make it up to the glacier. Go ahead and scramble up to the top of south arapaho. Full 360 from the summit

hiking
Monday, August 15, 2016

AWESOME hike. A lot of great views and a great workout. It was VERY busy by 8am due to volunteer projects - definitely going to go back on a day without an event because it's a place to explore. The trail system is awesome - plenty of places to go and trails that connect with more trails. Parking is limited and there ARE restrooms.

BE WARNED OF THE ROAD TO THE 4TH OF JULY TRAILHEAD. It is a rocky (and I mean ROCKY) dirt road that looks privately (aka not really) maintained. Take it SLOW, especially if you don't have a 4x4 or AWD vehicle. We were able to make it up in a Sentra (not without scraping a little), going SLOW...but my brother's Audi...not so much...Needed to go back to Ned to get a tow truck.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Great hike. We were able to reach the top of South Arapaho Peak. Awesome view!

hiking
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

hiking
Sunday, July 10, 2016

Epic day in mid July with wildflowers galore. Do the scramble to the top of the S Arapaho Peak - it's worth it.