South Arapahoe Peak via Arapahoe Glacier Trail

MODERATE 36 reviews
#23 of 109 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

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

dogs on leash

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).

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22 days ago

Tougher than a moderate hike, but still awesome. Quite a bit of false routes on the final scramble to the top, so keep your eyes peeled for cairns.

View from the top is worth it!

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28 days ago

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1 month ago

Wonderful views! Made it up as far as the rock scramble...at 65 too old for that! I also thought it harder than a moderate hike but I'm sure that has a lot to do with my age! The young folks we saw on the trail didn't seem to be having any problem. Rockier and wetter than I thought it would be. Glad my hiking boots were waterproof. Saw the mama and baby moose cross the road as we were driving in and marmots at the top.

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1 month ago

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1 month 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!

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1 month ago

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

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1 month 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.

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