Panoramic views from the Blue Lake Trail hike in Indian Peaks, Colorado

Blue Lake Trail

Indian Peaks Wilderness
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Blue Lake Trail

Distance: 6.0km
Elevation: 195m
Time: 2-3h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.3 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 35 people have done this
I want to do this 49 want to do this route

About

When to do

Early June to Late September

Backcountry Campsites

Camping at Pawnee Campground

Toilets

Yes

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Out and back


Blue Lake Trail
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Blue Lake Trail

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 (3956m) 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.

If you want to find other great hikes in Indian Peaks Wilderness, check out the Lone Eagle Peak hike, Lake Isabelle trail, Rainbow Lakes trail or the Arapaho Glacier Trail.

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.

Comments

rosevalley 4 weeks ago

We enjoyed the remarkable views of the alpine meadows and the blue lake.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
2h 30m Time Taken
Suzy TQ 2 months ago

Can't believe this place is real! It is a challenging hike but worth it. We hiked all the way up to the 3rd lake and every one was just as breathtaking as the other. Such an amazing reward!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
3h 00m Time Taken
Tiffany Swift 2 months ago

Gives a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and the color if the lake looks even better.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Jane Lewitt 2 months ago

The views along the way will keep you occupied. You'll see why this is named Blue Lake. Beautiful!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
will-perry 3 months ago

It was an easy trek that goes with lots of amazing views!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
liwei 3 months ago

Perfect combination of mountain, lakes and aspen forest.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Mary Lou 1 year ago

The highlight of the trip was blue lake itself.There are few things to see along the way.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
mendel 1 year ago

It was an awesome experience! We're able to spot some wild moose too!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
BlueMountains 1 year ago

Cool hike, beautiful scenery, relaxing walk.

8.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Terrynosaurus 1 year 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
13 Comments Show all

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