This is a breathtaking trail all the way. The Arapaho Pass Trail to Diamond Lake begins in shady woods at the Fourth of July trailhead.
It gradually winds its way up through the canyon at a steady climb. The scenery is fantastic with wildflowers, alpine meadows, babbling streams, waterfalls (near and far), snow fields, trees, rocks, and gorges.
Arapaho Pass Trail has it all! Including an intense waterfall crossing about halfway (1.5 mi.) along the trail to the lake. It’s a tricky place to keep your feet dry (it’s best to have waterproof hiking boots for this trail but regular hikers will do).
There are wooden planks crossing over areas of creek runoff and since there is a lot of water and snow in the area, it is best to hike this trail beginning in mid summer to avoid mud and water on the trail.
Diamond Lake is 2.5 miles from the trailhead and sits at the foot of the Continental Divide with beautiful views of the water, meadow and snowy mountains.
The trail is well traveled and maintained. Opportunities for fishing and camping at the lake are available.
The moderate hike is well worth all the pains of getting there.
The Fourth of July Trailhead is located at the end of Fourth of July Rd (Co Hwy 111) at the Buckingham Campground.
The road is narrow, very rocky and crowded with cars. A high clearance vehicle is best, but our mini van did make it despite the rocks and ruts in the road.
It is best to hike this trail very early on a weekend morning or on a weekday to avoid crowds and to ensure you get a parking place. Restrooms available at campground.
Photos courtesy of Tony Parker