South Arapaho Peak

Eldora
Drivetime
1Hr 30Min
FROM DENVER
DIFFICULTY
Challenging
3,230 ft Gain
LENGTH
8.2 Miles
Out & Back
TAKE ME TO THE TRAILHEAD
NEW YORK WEATHER
WHAT YOU'LL SEE
Forests
Forests
Peaks
Peaks
Rapids/Creeks
Rapids/Creeks
Wildflowers
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Wildlife
THINGS TO DO

Gorgeous Views While Summiting a 13er!

The trail up South Arapaho Peak is absolutely stunning and is a perfect trail for someone looking to summit a high peak without a ton of traffic, and catch some spectacular views! South Arapaho is a prominent peak in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, at 13,397 feet above sea level.

This trail really has it all, from fields of wildflowers, to raging creek crossings, to an exhilarating class 2 scramble to the prominent peak and incredible 360 degree views. This is an adventure not to be missed!

You'll want to start this hike from the Fourth of July Trailhead. This lies about 4 miles up a rough, rocky road past the popular Hessie Trailhead. You will certainly want a vehicle with high clearance to make it up to the trailhead.

You'll begin on the Arapaho Pass Trail, climbing through some beautiful forest, ripe with wildflowers in the summer. Passing a large creek, you will climb up to the Fourth of July Mine where you will go right onto the Arapaho Glacier Trail.

You will wind up a marshy path, be prepared to get your feet a bit wet. As you begin some switchbacks climbing the mountainside, the prominent summit will come into view. Be sure to stop at the glacier overlook on the way up, and catch some wild views!

There is no real path up to the summit, but it is an easy at most class 2 scramble. Stunning 360 views await at the summit, along with a cool old marker that points out each of the other tall peaks you can see and how far away they are from you.

THINGS TO DO

Summit a 13er!

Being a fairly easy class 2 trek to summit, South Arapaho is a perfect trail to train for 14ers and get used to summiting some of the tallest peaks in Colorado. And like most 13ers, it is way less populated than 14ers!

Photograpghy

Bring your camera on this one, you will get some absurdly gorgeous views on this hike!

Traverse to North Arapaho on a Class 4 Scramble!

If you are an experienced mountaineer (comfortable with class 3-4 scrambles), looking for a fun, fast scramble, take on the traverse to North Arapaho Peak. Its is a little over a half mile traverse, and a super fun climb. There are some orange arrows on the mountain to keep you on track.

Camping

The Buckingham Campground is right at the trailhead. It is a first come, first served campsite without any real amenities. There are 10 sites, and there are toilets at the trailhead as well. The Fourth of July trailhead is also an access point for some spectacular backpacking trips into the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Just make sure to have a permit if backpacking in the summer. You can get your backpacking permits HERE.

Leave No Trace Bigfoot Sign
It is of the upmost importance that you always remember to take care of our precious outdoor spaces, and preserve them for future generations. Be as invisible as bigfoot and practice Leave No Trace Principles. For more info on how to be an environmentally conscious adventurer, click HERE!
GETTING THERE

You will start this hike at the 4th of July Trailhead. It requires a high clearance vehicle, as you will take the small rocky road up past the Hessie Trailhead to get to the Fourth of July Trailhead.

Mountain landscape

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