Blue Lake Trail hike

Indian Peaks
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Blue Lake Trail hike

Distance: 3.7mi
Elevation: 640ft
Time: 2-3h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

This awesome hike takes you through some of the best alpine meadows in the region. We hope you like wildflowers because in the summer this trail has them in spades. To top it off, the grand finale of this trek is the beautiful Blue Lake with Mount Toll sitting in the background.

Blue Lake Trail hike Map

Getting there

Drive through the town of Ward to the end of Lefthand Canyon Dr. Turn right on CO-72 then quickly turn left onto Brainard Lake Rd. go through pay gate, and head to Long Lake Trailhead.

I’ve done this 8 people have done this
I want to do this 16 want to do this route


When to do

Early June to Late September

Backcountry Campsites

Camping at Pawnee Campground



Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back

Blue Lake Trail
Elevation Graph

Route Description for Blue Lake Trail hike

Begin this hike at the Mitchell Lake Trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area inside Indian Peaks Wilderness. Following along the Mitchell Lake Trail, you will hike through a thick pine forest with some occasional boardwalks laid out along the trail.

The hike quickly takes you to the shore of Mitchell Lake, a small alpine lake surrounded by wildflowers (depending on the season). The trail begins to gain elevation after Mitchell Lake before leveling out again in a beautiful alpine meadow. Keep an eye out for moose in this area!

The closer you get to reaching Blue Lake, the more impressive the views of the Indian Peaks become. One more uphill section with mild elevation gain brings you to a stunning view of Blue Lake with Mt. Toll (12979ft) as a backdrop.

When you’ve had your fill of this charming lake, head back down the trail on the same path you came in on.

Insider Hints

  • National Park Annual Pass is accepted at the gate, otherwise Brainard Lake Recreation Area is Cash Only ($11 per Passenger Vehicle).

  • Gate Fees can be found here.


BlueMountains 4 months ago

Cool hike, beautiful scenery, relaxing walk.

8.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Terrynosaurus 5 months ago

The Blue Lake trail was really awesome. Did not even notice how 3 hours have passed. It wasn't difficult at all. There's no need to carry a lot. Just a bit of water and sunblock if you're out on a sunny day.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
3h 00m Time Taken
Tim Charlton 5 months ago

The Blue lake trail was an amazing discovery. We improvised going on a random hike and luckily it was this one. MAde our day.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
3h 00m Time Taken
Ramiro G. 5 months ago

Kids loved it! Sea of the flowers, beautiful lake, what else you can ask for

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
2h 00m Time Taken
SJ 5 months ago

Hiking Blue Lake Trail was really amazing with all of the wildflowers!

8.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

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