Mitchell Lake Trail

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Very Easy
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.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
2.9 km
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.
68 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Mitchell Lake Trail will guide visitors through the picturesque alpine forests toward awe-inspiring views of the lake and the Indian Peaks. Suitable for hikers of all skill levels and ages, this trail is a crowd favorite! As you progress along the path be on the lookout for wildlife as hikers often encounter moose in this area. Snap a few pictures but maintain a safe distance from these large creatures!

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Route Description for Mitchell Lake Trail

If you are looking for a relaxing day hike to get you outdoors, this is it! The Mitchell Lake Trail is a short trek through the forest before cresting to an amazing vantage point of Mitchell Lake. This trail has limited elevation gain and the terrain is unchallenging so children and novice hikers should be able to complete this effortlessly. Note this trail can get a bit muddy—avoid white sneakers. Although the lake itself is quite exposed, it is laden with mosquitos, so it's best to bring some bug spray!

From the Mitchell Lake Carpark, enter the Mitchell Lake Trail. Continue along the wooded trail navigating roots and downed trees. As you progress, the trail will turn west. Here, you will cross a small brook by bridge. Following the trail as it curves northwest, the terrain will get increasingly rocky as you begin a gradual ascent toward the lake. Once over the ridge, Mitchell Lake will appear—this is the trail's endpoint. Relax and enjoy the beautiful vista before retracing your steps back to the parking lot.

If you wish to extend your hike, don’t stop at the lake, instead head west continuing along the Mitchell Lake Trail. This extension will eventually bring you to Blue Lake. Note that this addition is lengthy and more strenuous, so only attempt it if you are craving a challenge.

Getting to the Mitchell Lake Trail Trailhead

Mitchell Lake Trail is located in the Brainard Lake Recreational Area. Parking permits are required and can be reserved online or purchased at the kiosk on site. The trailhead and car park are located at the end of Mitchell Lake Road. Here, you will also find bathroom facilities. Note that the Brainard Lake Recreational Area and the Brainard Lake Road close in late-October until mid-June. Off-season visitors will have to park outside the Gateway and hike in, adding to their excursion.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Pawnee Campground

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Mitchell Lake Trail Elevation Graph

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Mitchell Lake Trail Reviews

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