Arapaho Glacier Trail (east) is a hiking trail in Boulder County, Colorado. It is within Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and Roosevelt National Forest. It is 5.4 miles long and begins at 10,003 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 10.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,076 feet. The 15., 12, 14, 10, and 11 camp sites are near the trailhead. The 16 camp site can be seen along the trail.
Arapaho Glacier Trail (east) Professional Reviews and Guides
"Abundant wildflowers, alpine lakes, and spectacular views of Arapaho Peak and Arapaho Glacier are the highlights of this long day hike, which has considerable elevation gain and loss. If you can arrange a shuttle, have one party park at Rainbow Lakes Campground and the other at Buckingham Campground at the Fourth of July Trailhead. Trail conditions: The trail sees a lot of use and is well maintained."
--Bob D'Antonio, Hiking Colorado's Indian Peaks Wilderness (Falcon Guides).
"You can enjoy a wildflower-studded hike to stunning views of Neva and Jasper peaks and Dorothy and Diamond Lakes. It is a nonstop Rocky Mountain panorama on a gradually ascending trail. You can also visit the ruins of the Fourth of July Mine at 11,245 feet. If you are ambitious, you can take this trail across the Continental Divide and into the Grand Valley. You can also summit Mount Neva (12,814 feet) from Caribou Pass, but it is an exposed, difficult rock route."
--Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh, Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park (Wilderness Press).
"Although it’s size today is scarcely a shadow of its former mass, Arapaho Glacier still retains the distinction of being Colorado’s largest glacier. It is only about a quarter-mile long, a half-mile wide, and 200 feet thick-tiny by world standards. Nevertheless, it really is a glacier and not just a snowfield. Geologists from the University of Colorado have confirmed that it is still moving, ever so slowly, so it is classified as a true glacier. Arapaho is also one of the state’s most easily accessible glaciers. It is situated only 3.5 miles from the Fourth of July Trailhead, and there is an excellent viewpoint high above its southern slopes in a shallow pass between Caribou Peak and South Arapaho Peak."
--David Day, Colorado's Incredible Backcountry Trails (Rincon Publishing).
"This is a fantastic day hike up to Lake Dorothy via the Arapaho Pass Trail, one of the best trails in the wilderness area for viewing wildflowers. Trail conditions: The lower section of the Arapaho Pass Trail is extremely popular during the summer months and sees heavy traffic on the weekends. The lower section of the trail stays wet early in the season; the upper section is rocky up to Arapaho Pass."
"Nestled in a high alpine cirque in the south end of the Indian Peaks Wilderness, Arapaho Glacier is one of only a few glaciers still found in Colorado. Although geologists are not quite sure whether these permanent ice fields are left over from the last ice age or if they formed within the last few thousand years, they do show signs of movement characteristic of glaciers. Because Arapaho Glacier falls within land set aside by the City of Boulder for its water supply, it is off-limits to hikers. It is possible, however, to hike to the south ridge of South Arapaho Peak for a good look at the geologic anomaly."
--Scott S. Warren, 100 Classic Hikes in Colorado (The Mountaineers Books).
"Arapaho Glacier is the most southerly glacier in the Rocky Mountains. The Arapaho Glacier Trailhead begins at the entrance to Rainbow Lakes Campground.Arapaho Glacier Trail, which climbs to unsurpassed alpine tundra views, coincidentally wanders back and forth between watershed and Indian Peaks Wilderness, and from which hikers constantly are reminded not to stray."
--Kent Dannen, Best Hikes Colorado's Indian Peaks Wilderness (Falcon Guides).
"Archeological speculation suggests Native American use of this pass for some 4,000 years, but the Arapaho did not show up until the late 1700s.At 11,906 feet, well above tree line, Arapaho Pass seems inaccurately described as a low point on the Continental Divide in Indian Peaks. Rather, it is the least high point over which to pass from Middle Park on the West Slope to Denver and Boulder on the East Slope."
"As you walk up the Arapaho Glacier Trail past treeline, a spectacular sight unfolds before your eyes. Jagged peaks on the spine of the Continental Divide suddenly appear above the rounded curve of the alpine tundra. Far below to the right is Boulder’s beautiful Silver Lake Watershed, with its string of pristine lakes. The alpine tundra, rich with colorful wild?owers, stretches to the horizon. At the 2.5-mile viewpoint turnaround, you catch a glimpse of the remains of the Arapaho Glacier. Two additional options are o?ered here, depending on the weather and your preference."
--Sandy Heise and Maryann Gaug, Best Hikes Near Denver and Boulder (Falcon Guides).
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