Fourth of July Trailhead to Arapaho Pass, October 19, 2002

I arose early this morning, leaving my hotel at 5:40am. It took a full two hours to reach the Fourth of July Trailhead. The weather was cool but clear - perfect autumn hiking weather! I hiked about 3.5 miles to Arapaho Pass (elevation 11,906) and Lake Dorothy (elevation 12,061.) It was a great day!
Yours truly at the Fourth of July Trailhead. To get to the trailhead, follow the signs from Nederland to Eldora. Continue past Eldora for about 4 bumpy miles on a dirt road to the trailhead, elevation 10,100.
The first half mile of this hike is the worst. After that, there are virtually no switchbacks. It is a straight and steady climb to Arapaho Pass.
Looking back down the canyon towards the trailhead.
Yours truly at a prominent rock outcropping with a spectacular view.
Same outcropping and same view for those who would prefer to see it without me!
Ruins at Fourth of July mine, about two miles from the trailhead.
More ruins at Fourth of July mine. How did they get this thing up here?
There are many pikas on the trail after Fourth of July mine. Inquisitive but cautious. This part of the trail is really a road that never was finished. It is perhaps ten feet wide in some places, only three feet wide in others.
The trail to the pass. The nice thing about this trail is that there are no "false summits".
Me at Arapaho Pass, elevation 11,906. It is windy and cold, as always seems to be the case at the passes.
I met William McGehee at the pass, hiking with his mother Maggie. Pretty cool, huh?
Caribou Lake as seen from Arapaho Pass. Look at the shore - it is beginning to freeze already.
Caribou Pass trail as seen from Arapaho Pass. I would like to have hiked this trail, but it didn't look safe. Too icy. I talked to another hiker who had just gone over it and he said he was scared to death.
My first view of Lake Dorothy, elevation 12,061, which is located about one quarter mile above Arapaho Pass. There is no trail sign - I suspect many people go to Arapaho Pass without ever seeing Lake Dorothy. I had a map so I knew to look for it. It was breathtaking.
Lake Dorothy. I stayed here for an hour. I saw no one in that time.
Lake Dorothy.
Self-portrait at Lake Dorothy. It was hard to leave. But at least it would be downhill all the way back to the car!
Copyright © 2002 by Bill Qualls. Last updated October 19, 2002.
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