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Arapaho National Forest

Mountain views, meadows, and wildlife are abundant along the trails of the National Forest Land. With over 442,000 acres in Grand County, there are many hiking opportunities available.  

MONARCH LAKE

Level of Difficulty:  Easy 
Length:  3.9 Mile Loop

Located 6 miles north on Hwy. 34 from the town of Granby, turn east on County Road 6 (Arapaho Bay) and proceed 10 miles to Monarch Lake parking lot.  This is a nice trail for the family which follows the perimeter of the lake.  The trail is diverse and offers opportunities to see wildlife, such as moose, deer, bear and elk.  There is also fishing at this lake.  Please note, you will need to purchase a Daily Pass for this hike which can be obtained in the first parking (located on the left) once you turn onto County Road 6.

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JIM CREEK  

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate
Length:  3.6 Miles One-Way

The trailhead is located on US Hwy. 40 across from the main entrance of the Winter Park Ski Resort and starts at the Discovery Trail.  Cross the boardwalk over Jim Creek and then walk parallel to Jim Creek along the canyon.  This trail will take you through a diverse forest environment with a variety of mountain flowers.  This trail ends as the canyon narrows at the base of the waterfalls.

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BYER’S PEAK  

Level of Difficulty:  Difficult
Length:  4.5 Miles One-Way

Turn south onto County Road 72 from the traffic light in Fraser.  Follow this road for .3 miles and then turn right on Fraser Valley Parkway for .8 miles.  Turn left on County Road 73 for 7 miles and make a sharp turn right and follow the Byer’s Peak Trail Road for 3 miles to the gate at the parking area.

Grand County is surrounded by large mountain ranges but Byer’s Peak is a noticeable peak throughout most of the county.  This trail starts by following the old road to the original trailhead marker.  This hike has a fairly steep grade through a lush subalpine forest to timberline.  The trail then proceeds along the ridge to the summit of Byer’s Peak.  From the summit there are outstanding views in all directions.

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