Blue Lake Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1.5-2h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
6.0 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
195 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.8
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Read Reviews
Directions to Trailhead
Panoramic views from the Blue Lake Trail hike in Indian Peaks, Colorado

The Blue Lake Trail in Indian Peaks, Colorado, is an epichike that 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.

Guide-book quality info for over 8,000 trails

View Blue Lake Trail on Map

View Map

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

Route Description for Blue Lake Trail

Begin the Blue Lake 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 (12,979 ft) 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.

Hiking trail highlights

Blue Lake

Tucked away in the Indian Peaks Wilderness in Colorado, hikers can find a secret, dazzling blue lake. Bright turquoise in colour, the Blue Lake gets its colour due to the minerals of the surrounding mountains where it is located.

In the background, you’ll also get to take in the majestic Mt. Toll. The Blue Lake makes for a fantastic photo-op of this famed mountain. Well many hikers frequently try to swim here, it’s frowned upon and there are few accessible spots to actually enter the water.

Mitchell Lake

Surrounded by stunning alpine forests, Mitchell Lake is a pretty spot for some rest and relaxation. If you sit still long enough, you just might be lucky enough to spot a moose stopping by the watering hole for a drink.

The lake is surrounded by grassy meadows, with tall reeds that blow in the wind. During the springtime, the area becomes overrun by beautiful wildflowers—making the lake even more picturesque. From the lake, you’ll also spot a run off stream called Mitchell Stream, which provides a wonderful trickling ambiance sound to your visit.

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

Insider Hints for Blue Lake Trail

  • 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

Getting to the Blue Lake Trail Trailhead

To get to the start of the Blue Lake trail, 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.

Route Information

  • 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

Weather Forecast

Check Area Weather

Blue Lake Trail Reviews

Add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Nearby Trails

Nearby Regions

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

Tours

Routes

Blogs