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Boulder, CO: Arapahoe Glacier Trail

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Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 11.6 miles


From coniferous forests to intimate alpine lakes to views of the Continental Divide, this 12-miler offers classic Rocky Mountain scenery.
  • Glacier Rim Trailhead
  • Boulder County and the surrounding mountains
  • Views to the South
  • Fallen Trees
  • Breaking through the tree cover
  • Above Treeline
  • Island and Silver Lakes
  • Goose Lake and its headwaters
  • Trail up the mountain
  • The Saddle
  • Eagle soaring past the saddle
  • En route to the lookout
  • Easternmost mountain at Arapahoe Glacier Lookout
  • South Arapahoe Peak
  • North Arapahoe Peak

A strenuous trek into the heart of Indian Peaks Wilderness, the Arapahoe Glacier Trail is a 6-mile-long sustained climb through spruce and pine stands and mountaintop tundra that culminates with a 12,800-foot-high lookout next to the Continental Divide.

The first half of this heart-pounder is a shady, tree-covered journey with occasional views of Boulder County’s forested mountains. After climbing nearly 2,000 feet over 3 miles, 360-degree views reward the weary traveler. The deep blue waters of Island and Silver lakes lap up against Arapahoe Moraine’s green slopes. Goose Lake and its headwaters reach the base of the Continental Divide. Continue up rounded mountains on crushed granite singletrack. The trail switchbacks to a 12,000-foot saddle where hikers can enjoy 100-mile views of the Rockies. Follow the increasingly rocky trail for another 2 miles to Arapahoe Glacier Lookout, then retraces steps back to the trailhead.

-Mapped by MacKenzie Ryan and Chelise Simmons

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