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    Caribou Lake via Arapaho Pass Hike

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    14.2 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    793 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Looking for an awesome hike through the Indian Peaks Wilderness? The Caribou Lake via Arapaho Pass Hike delivers breathtaking vistas from the Continental Divide before placing hikers in front of a crystalline alpine lake. Caribou Lake via Arapaho Pass Trail is an epic day hike, but an even better backpacking route! Camp along Caribou Lake’s shore and rest up before venturing back out into the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

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    Route Description for Caribou Lake via Arapaho Pass Hike

    The Caribou Lake via Arapaho Pass Trail has it all! Sure to get your heart pumping, this trail will leave you dumbfounded. Though it is an easily manageable day hike, consider bringing your pack and camping at the designated camping spots along the lake’s shore. Nestled among Colorado’s craggy peaks, Caribou Lake delivers amazing sights of the Continental Divide and alpine landscape. Make sure you are well prepared for this hike as it is very steep and demanding in some areas. Wear appropriate footwear and bring water!

    The Caribou Lake via Arapaho Pass Hike departs from the Fourth of July car park. Set out on the Arapaho Pass Trail through the woodlands. Continue along this path as it guides you past a cascading waterfall and up to a switchback. The trail will continuously gain elevation and the terrain will get rocky as you venture on. Stay right at the first junction, following the same trail. The forested path will steepen as you approach the Fourth of July Mine. The hike will be exposed at this point. At the next intersection, continue straight, heading northwest. This segment of the hike is windy and unshaded as you navigate the trail over the continental divide, so mind your footing. At the last junction, turn right, heading northeast. Here you will crest a rocky ridge before descending into Caribou Lake.

    Stay the night at the designated campsites along Caribou Lake or retrace your steps back to the parking lot. Either way, be sure to enjoy the stunning vista and dip your tired feet in the lake before heading back to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Caribou Lake via Arapaho Pass Hike Trailhead

    Find the Caribou Lake via Arapaho Pass Trail at the end of the Fourth of July Road. The parking lot at the end of the road has limited parking, so arrive early to secure a spot.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Yes, permits required.

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Caribou Lake via Arapaho Pass Hike Elevation Graph

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    Caribou Lake via Arapaho Pass Hike Reviews

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