- 20 miles west of Boulder
- 8 mile roundtrip
- 4 to 5 hours
- Trailhead Elevation:
- 9200 feet
- Elevation Change:
- -1800 feet
- June - October
From its lower end at the South Boulder Creek Trail #900, the Forest Lakes Trail cuts across the front of a steep ridge on an abandoned road for a half mile to meet up with Arapaho Creek. The creek crossings do not have bridges, and can be difficult to cross in the early summer. The trail follows the creek north/northwest on a gentle grade for a mile. At 1.5 miles from the South Boulder Creek Trail, the road ends in a meadow. The Arapaho Lakes Trail #818 turns to the left (west) and crosses the creek. Continuing north, the Forest Lakes Trail is very difficult to find for the next half mile to the lowest of the Forest Lakes. The last half mile from the lakes to the Forest Lakes TH is a well used trail.
Length: East Portal Trailhead (TH) to: Forest Lakes Trail - 1.2; Heart Lake - 4.2 miles; Rogers Pass - 4.6 miles; Crater Lake - 3 miles; Arapaho Lakes - 3 ½ miles; Forest Lakes - 4 miles. Forest Lakes TH to: Forest Lakes - 1/4 mile; Arapaho Lakes - 2 miles. DISTANCES ARE ONE-WAY.
Travelling south from Nederland, west of Boulder, on CO 119, go west out of Rollinsville on gravel County Road 16 (a.k.a. Moffat Road or Rollins Pass Road).
Drive 7 miles to the end of County Road 16 (Road 16 ends at a T-junction).
Go left 1 mile to park at the East Portal TH or, if you have a high-clearance vehicle, go right and drive an additional 11 miles on a native surface road, to park at the Forest Lakes TH.