The Spirit of the Rockies
Hike Profiles for Rocky Mountain National Park and Surrounding Areas
Arapaho Pass
Arapaho Pass lies on
the Continental Divide
between South Arapaho
Peak and Mount Neva.

The trail passes through an
area of dense summer
wildflowers, past the
long-abandoned Fourth of
July Mine, then above
timberline to a fantastic
vantage point at the pass.
Distance: 3.2 miles one-way

Pass elevation: 11,906 feet

Trailhead elevation: 10,120 feet

Net elevation gain: 1,786 feet

Fourth of July Trailhead

Indian Peaks Wilderness
Looking north from Arapaho Pass
Major Trail Landmarks
Junction of Arapaho Pass and Diamond Lake Trails (1.0 mile one-way from trailhead)
Fourth of July Mine (2.0 miles one-way from trailhead)
Junction of Arapaho Pass and Arapaho Glacier Trails (2.0 miles one-way from trailhead)
Principal Destinations Near Arapaho Pass
Diamond Lake (2.0 miles one-way from trailhead) - via Diamond Lake Trail
Lake Dorothy (3.5 miles one-way from trailhead) - via unmaintained route beyond Arapaho Pass
Arapaho Glacier Overlook (3.5 miles one-way from trailhead) - via Arapaho Glacier Trail
Caribou Pass (4.0 miles one-way from trailhead) - via unmaintained route beyond Arapaho Pass
Backcountry Campsites Near Arapaho Pass
Information on Indian Peaks Wilderness camping regulations, backcountry zones, and obtaining a permit
is available through this link:

This trailhead is located in the southeast portion of the Indian Peaks Wilderness, west of Nederland.
From Nederland, turn west at the south end of town and follow signs toward the Eldora Ski Area. Pass
Nederland High School and then through the town of Eldora, bypassing the ski area turnoff. After the
pavement ends, bypass the Hessie trailhead parking area, and continue on the right-hand fork of the road
as it heads west for a rough 4 miles to the Buckingham Campground/Fourth of July Trailhead parking area.

From the trailhead, follow marked signs toward Arapaho Pass as the trail maintains a western heading for
3.3 miles. Bypass spur trails at the Diamond Lake Trail Junction and the Arapaho Glacier Trail Junction
and continue on the trail toward Arapaho Pass. A considerable portion of this hike is above timberline,
so hikers should be prepared for harsh weather conditions that can set in at these altitudes.
Leashed pets are welcome on the Arapaho Pass Trail
Sample photographs of the hike to Arapaho Pass
Wildflowers on the Arapaho Pass Trail
Arapaho Pass Trail
Satanta Peak, Caribou Lake from the pass
Arapaho Pass, Continental Divide
Arapaho Pass topographic map
Principal summer trail marked by solid red line; unmaintained trail or route marked by dashed red line.
Map is oriented with north to the top of the map
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All photographs are property of Mike Amfahr and are protected by copyright laws.
Topographic map is property of and copyrighted by Maps a la carte, Inc., and is used on this site with permission.