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    Monarch Lake Hike

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    Very Easy
    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.
    6.4 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.
    85 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Monarch Lake Hike is simple and enjoyable. The easy hike up to the lake does not mean that it won’t deliver amazing sights. This family friendly trail passes through shaded aspen forests, over creeks and along the shoreline of the lake. Be sure to pack a swimsuit on a warm day, as the lake is quite refreshing! If you prefer winter outings, the Monarch Lake Hike is a great option for a snowshoe and cross-country skiing excursion!

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    Route Description for Monarch Lake Hike

    Ready for a one-of-a-kind hike? Bordering the Indian Peaks Wilderness, the Monarch Lake Trail delivers exceptional vistas of the surrounding Colorado peaks without steep elevation gain or course terrain. This easy-going trail guides you through woodlands, alongside babbling brooks and curves around the scenic lake. This trail is a crowd favorite, so be sure to arrive early to snag a parking spot at the trailhead!

    This loop can be completed in either direction, but we recommend going clockwise. At the Monarch Lake trailhead off the parking lot, head left onto Cascade Creek Trail. Continue along the trail as it weaves you through the forest and along the lake’s shore. Feel free to explore the shoreline and soak your toes along the way. As you follow this path back into the woods, you will eventually confront a junction, turn right and follow Arapaho Pass Spur Trail south for a few kilometers. As you hike, the path will begin to curve as it brings you to the east side of the lake. At the next intersection turn right and head west on Arapaho Pass Trail. This trail will return you to the Monarch Lake shoreline. Nestled among the Indian Peaks, the lake provides an exceptional vantage point of the bordering mountains. On a calm day the lake mirrors these ranges revealing a sight that will take your breath away!

    Take your time and revel in the beauty of Monarch Lake and the Indian Peaks. When you are ready to continue, head west along the Arapaho Pass Trail, directing you back to the parking lot.

    Getting to the Monarch Lake Hike Trailhead

    Monarch Lake Hike is in the Arapaho National Recreation Area off Country Road 6. Passes are required and can be purchased online or on-site.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Arapaho Camping

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type


    Monarch Lake Hike Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Monarch Lake Hike Reviews

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