High Lonesome Trail
High Lonesome trail can be accessed from the Arapaho Pass trail on the north,
the Corona trail on the south, and the Junco Lake trailhead in the middle.
The trail runs north - south for about 9.8 miles. Only about 2 miles of the
trail is in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The trail climbs from 8,365 feet
at its northern end to over 10,400 in the first two to three miles. It follows
Arapaho Creek for about a mile and then makes steep switchbacks up along Mill
Creek. After intersecting the Strawberry Lake Trail, the High Lonesome Trail
crosses Mill Creek and continues to follow the creek, making a moderate climb.
You soon leave the wilderness and climb through a lodgepole pine forest to
the top of a ridge. From here the trail descends to an old logging road through
an old clearcut that has been reseeded. The trees are 15 to 20 feet tall now.
The trail follows the road to the southeast. Orange colored rock cairns mark
the way. The trail shortly leaves the road and heads west up the ridge. Follow
the Continental Divide Trail markers down the west side of the ridge, through
lodgepole pine and wet meadows toward Meadow Creek Reservoir and the Junco
The rest of the trail is relatively level with a slight descent near the southern
end. The trail travels along side some large grassy meadows and through stretches
of lodgepole pine. It parallels Hamilton Creek for about a mile near the end
of the trail, crossing it several times. The trail ends with its intersection
with the Corona Trail. Turning left will take you to Devils Thumb Pass while
turning right takes you a trailhead just east of Forest Road 128.
Hiking is easy from the Junco Lake trailhead in both directions for many miles.
The trail is well marked with tree blazes and rock cairns. This is an excellent
horse trail offering ample grass and water. Mountain biking is permitted on
sections outside of the wilderness.
Camping, livestock, and open campfires are permitted in the areas traversed
by this trail. Fishing for rainbow and brook trout are available in Meadow
Creek Reservoir near the middle portion of the trail. Use of this trail is
low and hiking is of low to moderate difficulty.
||9.8 miles (15.8 kilometers)
||8,365' - 10,453'
||July 1 - Sept 15
||Easy - Moderate
||Monarch Lake, East Portal
||Monarch Lake, Junco Lake
||Pets must be on a leash
|Suitable for mountain bikes:
||Yes (only that portion outside of the
|Suitable for horses:
High Lonesome Trail traverses both the Indian Peaks Wilderness and the Arapaho
National Recreation Area. It can be reached from the Monarch Lake Trailhead
on the north and the Junco Lake Trailhead midway along its path. From Granby
take Highway 34 north to the entrance to the Arapaho National Recreation Area.
Travel east on Forest Road 125 for about 10 miles to the Monarch Lake Trailhead.
Take the trail around the south side of the lake to its intersection with the
High Lonesome Trail.
reach the Junco Lake Trailhead take Highway 40 south from Granby to County Road
83 (at Tabernash). Turn left on CR83 then left on CR84. After about a half mile
turn left on Forest Road 129. Travel north for about 11 miles to Meadow Creek
Reservoir. Continue around the reservoir to the trailhead.
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