A gorgeous natural lake in Grand County, Monarch Lake is located around forty minutes away from Winter Park, though it’s well-worth the trip. Find out more details on what a trip to Monarch Lake Trail can add to your vacation in Winter Park below!
An Easy, Yet Beautiful Lakeside Hike
You’ll find Monarch Lake after following Highway 40 from Winter Park and through Fraser toward Granby, after which you can take a right on Highway 34 toward Grand Lake. Follow this road for five miles, then turn right onto County Road 6, which leads to Lake Granby. Keep going on CR 6 for ten miles, at which point you’ll reach the Monarch Lake Colorado parking area. Go through the gate toward the lake and you’ll find the trailhead.
In total, the Monarch Lake Loop Trail is a little over four miles and is moderate in difficulty. A variety of activities can be enjoyed on the trail, with trail access open year-round. Dogs are also permitted on the trail, as long as they remain on a leash. There are easier and more difficult portions of the trail. The easy portion of the trail goes along Monarch Lake and into the woods, crossing Buchanan Creek and Arapaho Creek. You’ll want to keep a map in front of you so that you don’t accidently end up on a more difficult trail. The trailhead is also great for fishing and picnicking.
For a more challenging adventure, take the Monarch Trail starting from the left hand side, following the trail clockwise until you reach the junction. At the junction, you can go around the other side of the lake until you reach the Cascade Creek and Falls Trail, following that trail for three miles until you reach the incredible waterfalls.