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4th of July Trail: Nederland’s Gem (Arapaho Pass + Lake Dorothy)

Written By: Noel Krasomil

The 4th of July Trail is just a short drive from my hometown, yet I’d never experienced its staggering beauty until my recent hike exploring its wide-open spaces. Hiking the trail’s breathtaking Arapaho Pass to the pristine Lake Dorothy blew my mind at every single turn. It was worth the 32-year-long wait.

Nestled in the heart of Indian Peaks Wilderness outside of Nederland, Colorado, this 7.2-mile out-and-back trail winds through the Roosevelt National Forest and reads like a backcountry explorer’s dream.

Sparkling fields of bright wildflowers dot the landscape. Chirping marmots scurry about the alpine forest. Birds of prey soar through the bright blue skies above. Remnants of an abandoned 19th-century gold mine collect rust at 11,000 feet. Towering mountain peaks nudge their way into the clouds. Rugged hiking trails move towards potential backcountry adventures on the horizon.

Want to learn more about the 4th of July Trail? Keep reading. I’ll tell you everything you need to know to plan an idyllic Rocky Mountain adventure of your own here.

LAST UPDATED

May 6, 2022

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The Packable Life

Media Mentions from The Packable Life

Hello, world. I’m Noel Krasomil, the guy behind The Packable Life. I’m a trail-seeking, deal-finding, street food-devouring, blog-obsessed 30-something from Colorado, U.S.A. I have been a full-time travel writer for over a year, with no end in sight.

I created The Packable Life to inspire others to travel, hike, and blog with purpose — to grow stronger, more focused, and more inspired every day on the road. I want to challenge you to pack lighter, travel longer, hike farther, and blog smarter.

MEDIA MENTIONS

While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere

MEDIA MENTIONS

SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team