Top 5 Hikes In Granby

Top 5 Hikes In Granby

Hiking in Granby offers beautiful scenery and a wonderful way to spend your day. Trails range from beginner to advanced, providing something for everyone. Opt for a short hike or head out into the backcountry for some time in the wilderness. Whatever your preference, here are some nearby options:

 

1) Monarch Lake Trail

Distance: 4.2 miles, loop 

Difficulty: Easy

 

Photo by Julie Hay

Fit for all hikers and families wanting to spend some time outdoors, Monarch Lake is a great place to take a walk. This trail is considered to be one of the most popular hikes in the area, so be prepared to possibly encounter crowds. Monarch Lake is tucked away off of Arapaho Bay, and during the summer months, you can  drive or bike right up to the start of the trailhead. Monarch Lake offers beautiful views of the continental divide and consists of a wonderful loop that allows you to walk on the edge of the forest. Even if you just spend an hour, the picturesque beauty of this wilderness area is not one to miss. There is a US Forest Service station at the trailhead so you can ask the rangers everything you want to know about the area!

 

2) Fraser to Granby Trail

Distance: 16.1 miles, out and back

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

 

The Fraser to Granby trail offers very easy terrain and is a great way to spend some time enjoying the scenery of the Fraser River Valley. This trail is great for commuters who want to bike from town to town and can also be used as a way to get outside for some relaxing outdoor recreation. This trail is best used for hiking, biking, and even offers cross country skiing during the snowy months. The trail is mostly flat, but loses elevation near Tabernash and then starts climbing back uphill once you get closer to the town of Fraser. Parts of this trail are somewhat paved while other parts consist of packed dirt and rocks. This trail is recommended to anyone who wants to be outdoors without having to worry about getting lost or the terrain becoming too intense.

 

3) Pole Creek Falls

Distance: 2.2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

 

Pole Creek Falls is technically located in Tabernash, but getting there is a very short drive from Granby. The trailhead is located on the property of Snow Mountain Ranch, the YMCA of the Rockies, and is best used for hiking from June – October. Due to the property being owned by the YMCA, there is a fee to use this area. The cost of admission includes access to day-use of the trails as well as the other amenities that the YMCA has to offer.

 

Parking is located off of County Road 53. You will end up near some picnic tables and bathrooms. Park here, then follow signs for the trail that takes you to the falls. This is an easy hike fit for all ages and skill levels. The trail is mostly flat and consists of packed gravel. When you make it to a fork in the trail, continue hiking right and it will bring you to Pole Creek Falls. The falls are rushing all summer, but we think best observed from late spring until early summer.

 

4) Doe Creek Trail

Distance: 7.3 miles, loop

Difficulty: Moderate

 

Doe Creek Trail is another great spot located off Arapaho Bay. This is a perfect afternoon hike no matter the time of year. The trail offers beautiful scenery during the spring, summer, and early fall months. I would recommend bringing snowshoes or cross-country skis if you plan to visit this area during the winter. Doe Creek is a split loop trail so there is no right or wrong direction to begin hiking once you make it to the initial split. The trail is mostly flat until it climbs up into the trees just past the meadow. From here, the incline gets much steeper before reaching the high point. This area is a little confusing and there are a lot of signs marking various trails so be sure to have a good sense of direction.

 

5) Watanga Lake via Roaring Fork

Distance: 7.96 miles, out and back

Difficulty: Hard

This trail is very steep and rocky, but offers incredible views and great physical reward if you choose to hike all the way to Watanga Lake. Due to snow and a very steep grade, the route to Watanga Lake as well as all of the Roaring Fork Trail is usually best accessed from early June to late September. This trail is no easy walk in the park as it gains around 2,500 feet of elevation from the parking lot to the lake. Although this hike can be done in one day, the area offers great backpacking and backcountry recreation during the summer. These trails are located in the Indian Peaks Wilderness so be sure to have the proper backcountry permits during the required months. The Forest Service limits the amount of backpacking permits each day to ensure that this area continues to be preserved, well taken care of, and to keep large crowds off of the trail.