From the Fourth of July Trailhead, head northwest on Arapaho Pass Trail toward a basin below Quarter to 5 Peak. After the 1.4-mile climb, which features 1,000 feet of vertical, you’ll reach the dilapidated remains of the Fourth of July Mine. At the junction with the Arapaho Glacier Trail, bear left to continue west toward Arapahoe Pass. Upon hitting the pass (11,906 feet), follow the trail east before breaking toward the picturesque Lake Dorothy. Look west for spectacular panoramas of Neva’s craggy crown perched behind the lake’s boulder-strewn far shoreline. If weather permits and you’re up for the challenge, push north past Dorothy’s eastern shore to begin the ascent to Mount Neva.
Upon gaining the ridgeline, you’ll head south along the jagged spine of the Continental Divide: exercise extreme caution. Take in aerial views of Lake Dorothy to the east and Lake Columbine to the west before cresting Neva’s sky-scraping summit (12,814 feet). Continue south to begin your return descent to Fourth of July Mine. From the ridgeline holding the Continental Divide, tackle a steep descent down a snow-covered, east-facing slope ideal for glacading. After passing between two ice-shrouded lakes, follow the North Fork Middle Boulder Creek back towards the mine, turning around along the way for picture-perfect panoramas of Neva looming majestically to the west. Upon reaching the mine, reconnect with the Arapaho Pass Trail to return to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Chris Hood