Monarch Lake is one of the prettiest natural lakes in Grand County that you don’t have to hike for miles to enjoy. It is easy enough to take smaller children on, yet it has the feel of a real alpine adventure. Check out our photo of Monarch Lake to the right.
To get there, you have to drive 35-40 minutes from Winter Park, but it is well worth it. Follow Hwy 40 through Winter Park and Fraser toward Granby. Shortly after you pass through Granby, take a right on Hwy 34 towards Grand Lake. About 5 miles down, take a right on County Road 6 that takes you to Lake Granby. Follow CR 6 about 10 miles until you get to the Monarch Lake parking area. From the parking area, you will go through a gate towards the lake. You can go either direction to follow the trail all the way around the lake.
If you are looking for a longer or more strenuous hike, start the Monarch Trail on the left side going clockwise, and at the junction to go back towards the other side of the lake and the Cascade Creek/Falls trail, continue going straight for another 3 miles to see some spectacular waterfalls.