Fourth of July Trail is the gateway to beautiful Diamond Lakes, Arapaho Glacier Trails, and Arapaho Pass. With old mines, alpine lakes, and sensational views hiking here is unsurpassed.

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We arrived a bit early in the season (late May), and upon reaching the turn to Diamond Lake, it became a snow-filled post-holing adventure, needing > snowshoes and > trekking poles. We are unprepared; however not disappointed. It was a great hike and a beautiful day!

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The views alone made this short trek a treat early in the summer. Gorgeous and thrilling at this elevation! Excited just to be here. It’s been a long winter this year in Colorado. 

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There is snow, dry areas with lots of rocks, and snow mounds to maneuver up and over; kind of an obstacle course. I broke my > traction device on one boot with the varying terrain. In snow and ice conditions, they work great, yet rocks, not so much. 


Early summer is unpredictable but unbeatable at higher elevations, with fewer hikers, snow-capped peak views, and warm sunshine. The conditions are always a mystery and make for an adventure!

Come prepared for trail and weather conditions on all trails in Colorado’s mountains  > Day Hiker Checklist

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The snow is soft and deep at the turn to Diamond Lake. Others with snowshoes took off, but we turned back as the snow sank to our thighs, hiking further. Even though we did not reach our destination, it was a glorious start to summer!

Another hike, > Hessie Trailhead to Lost Lake is just before heading up Fourth of July Road. We did this one too that day and reached our destination! Much lower in elevation and primarily dry with snowmelt, waterfalls, and an alpine lake. We loved it!

Fourth of July Trailhead is the gateway to sensational hiking options.

NOTABLE: It is located on five miles of a rough, two-wheel-drive road. It is extremely popular, and parking is limited, especially on summer weekends.


> Camping at Fourth of July Trailhead

> Map of all the trails within Indian Peaks Wilderness


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