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Shadow Mountain

Intermediate
 4.1 (9) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A west-side hike that rewards with stellar views of the divide, Grand and Shadow Mountain Lakes.


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Map Key

9.9

Miles

15.9

KM

Out and Back

9,861' 3,006 m

High

8,311' 2,533 m

Low

1,798' 548 m

Up

1,798' 548 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

37%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Visit an early fire lookout resting near the summit of Shadow Mountain and experience a fantastic view of Shadow Mountain Lake, Grand Lake, and Lake Granby. This hike can
be accessed from either the Grand Lake or Shadow Mountain Dam trailheads for
the East Shore Trail.

Need to Know

A small fee is required for parking in the Arapaho National Recreation Area.

Description

Follow the East Inlet Trail to the south along the eastern shore of Shadow Mountain Lake. This is a mostly flat trail that offers serene views across the lake. Just under two miles from the TH, you'll reach a junction with the Shadow Mountain Trail. Turn left and start up the Shadow Mountain Trail. The trail contours up the western flank of Shadow Mountain at a very manageable grade. Fairly continuous dense forest make this a trail with with fairly limited views. Every so often, you'll catch a glimpse of Grand or Shadow Mountain Lake through the canopy.

Eventually, you'll reach a sign that directs you to the fire tower. Follow the trail to the fire tower and climb the tower for stunning panoramic views. To the west, the Never Summer Range dominates the horizon. You'll also have great views of Grand, Shadow Mountain and Granby Lakes from the tower.

From here, retrace your steps back to the TH.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 9 votes

#3

in West Side

#2644

Overall
  4.1 from 9 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
44%
3 Star
22%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#3

in West Side

#364

in Colorado

#2,644

Overall
203 Views Last Month
4,658 Since Jan 30, 2015
Intermediate

11%
0%
56%
11%
22%
0%

Photos

Shadow Mountain and Granby from the Lookout with permission from Hobbes7714 Photo Credit: Andrew Wahr  Link: https://twitter.com/WahrAndrew
Jan 15, 2015 near Grand Lake, CO
Trees and Sun up to the Lookout with permission from Hobbes7714 Photo Credit: Andrew Wahr  Link: https://twitter.com/WahrAndrew
Jan 14, 2015 near Grand Lake, CO
Shadow Mountain Fire Lookout
Nov 23, 2017 near Grand Lake, CO
Along the shoreline of East Shore Trail.
Jul 9, 2020 near Grand Lake, CO
Summer's view over Shadow and Granby. with permission from Hobbes7714 Photo Credit: Andrew Wahr  Link: https://twitter.com/WahrAndrew
Aug 15, 2016 near Grand Lake, CO

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 57 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jul 28, 2020
Erin Andersen
Counted 77 downed trees on the route: RMNP has some serious cleaning up to do! That added quite a few obstacles. 10.1mi — 4h 31m
Jun 14, 2020
Rachel Pierstorff
Counted 51 trees down. Windy enough that we kept our eyes up on the dead and unstable pines. 9.9mi
Jul 14, 2019
Vincent Chiu
Tried coming back via Range Meadows trail but it was flooded partway. Also confirmed my new sunglasses are too tight above the ears and exacerbatin… 10.5mi — 5h 30m
Dec 27, 2018
Mike G
Staring temp. at trailhead was 4 deg. My insulated water hose was freezing. Did not come across a single person. Glorious.
Sep 22, 2018
David Parrott
Great day - 30 minutes on top for relaxed lunch, sitting in the sun. Many deadfall blocking trail early on, but volunteers were cleaning them up! 9.6mi — 6h 30m
Sep 15, 2018
Brandon D’Acquisto
Jul 24, 2018
Genevieve D'Acquisto
May 13, 2018
David Higgins
Lots of fallen trees, but an otherwise easy day on the mountain