Blue Lake Hike
The Blue Lake Hike in the Roosevelt National Forest is a wonderful woodland hike. Hike through the Rocky Mountain wilderness on a lush, forested path to a crystalline, blue-hued, alpine lake. This is a wonderful day hike through the Front Range’s forested environment, and we couldn’t recommend it more.
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- Map Data: ©OpenStreetMap
- Tiles: ©CyclOSM
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Route Description for Blue Lake Hike
Cross running streams, past small waterfalls and walk along the soft forest floor before ascending the Blue Lake’s rocky ridge. The Blue Lake Hike’s gradual elevation gain and the manageable terrain labels this trail a great, family-friendly hike. Be wary that this adventure is lengthy, so pack plenty of snacks to keep young ones motivated. If you want to break this excursion up, consider camping along the trails edge or near Blue Lake. Be sure to follow the wilderness rules and regulations for dispersed camping in the area.
Inevitably, you will have to ascend the timberline before culminating at the picturesque alpine lake. As you hike through the forest, the path gradually ascends in elevation up to the lake. The rearmost section of the trail, and Blue Lake are exposed to the elements. A windbreaker and another layer are good insurance against variable weather.
*Note that due to a wildfire in 2020, some of the forested sections of the trail are burned, resulting in less tree coverage and more exposure.
Hike along the soft forest floor, through spruce and fir trees, and along wildflower meadows all before culminating at the star of the show. I mean, sounds pretty great right? The Blue Lake Hike is a surreal adventure up to an idyllic blue lake hemmed by impressive craggy peaks painted with alpine forests. We would love to say this trail is a hidden gem, but the crowds that flock the trail on the weekend would discredit that.
Embark on your excursion to Blue Lake from the Blue Lake Parking Lot. Find the trailhead at the west end of the parking lot. Take the Blue Lake Trail as it immediately guides you north.
Shortly after departing the parking lot, you will encounter an intersection. Venture left and cross a small footbridge over a babbling brook. Continue along the Blue Lake Trail as you become immersed in the verdant alpine forest. Walk along the root ridden, soft forest trail. Follow the path and you will encounter another small log bridge over a creek.
The trail is constantly climbing as you hike through the woods. Cross another valley creek and notice sights of Chambers Lake between the trees before the trail diverts you west. The path will follow along the curves of “Fall Creek” as you begin your ascent to Blue Lake. Continue along the forested path and you will eventually intersect with Fall Creek. At this point, the terrain will become increasingly rocky as you ascend the timberline.
Hike above the treeline and navigate the rocky ridge up to Blue Lake. Summit the trail and bask in the expansive alpine lake and rocky mountain views. Once you see this lake and the flanking Rocky Mountains, you will completely understand why we, and so many other adventurers, love this trail.
In the northeast you will be rewarded with an up close and personal panorama of Cameron Peak. This peak and its rocky ridges hem Blue Lake. The often snow-dusted summit is dotted with green vegetation, and it will leave you dumbfounded. In the south, you will get a distant vista of Clark Mountain, another impressive craggy Front Range peak. Enjoy the sights, and if you’re brave enough, dunk in the chilly alpine lake, the blue-hue will surely tempt you.
If you are all set to head back, simply retrace your steps all the way back down the trail.
Cameron Peak is a 3,696 m mountain located in the Rawah Wilderness. This mountain flanks the shores of Blue Lake and sits in the northeast of Clark Peak. Cameron Peak is a popular hiking and skiing mountain in the Front Range, but unfortunately it was enveloped by wildfire in 2020. The Cameron Peak wildfire marks the largest wildfire in Colorado State history. The Blue Lake Trail and surrounding wilderness were charred.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I fish in Blue Lake?
Yes, you can fish in the Blue Lake if you have a valid Colorado fishing licence.
Is the Blue Lake Hike open?
Yes, the Blue Lake Hike is now open. After wildfires damaged parts of the trail and surrounding area in the 2020 Cameron Peak Fire, the hike was closed for clean-up. The trial reopened in the summer of 2021.
Are dogs permitted on the Blue Lake Hike?
Yes, dogs are permitted on the Blue Lake Hike, just be sure to keep them on-leash.
Getting to the Blue Lake Hike Trailhead
The Blue Lake Hike is off of Highway 14. Find the Blue Lake Trailhead in the parking lot.
Blue Lake Hike Elevation Graph
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Blue Lake Hike Reviews
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