Blue Lake Trail
- Physical DifficultyThis 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.
- Technical DifficultyThis 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.
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.
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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
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.
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.
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.
Blue Lake Trail Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
Blue Lake Trail Reviews
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