Blue Lake Trail

Indian Peaks
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Blue Lake Trail

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

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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.

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.

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


Elevation


Detailed Description

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.

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.

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