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    Mount Audubon Hike

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    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.
    11.9 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.
    814 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Mount Audubon Hike is one of the most picturesque adventures to one of Colorado’s 13ers. Challenging, but not impossible, this trail is one of the most popular in the Brainard Lake Recreational Area. The awe-inspiring panoramic views of the Continental Divide and surrounding Front Range compensate for the rugged, rocky terrain to the summit. This trail is a great introduction to the Colorado peaks, but do not expect it to be easy!

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    Route Description for Mount Audubon Hike

    The Mount Audubon Hike will get your blood pumping, and by the time you reach the summit, your legs will be burning! This trail gives no mercy, continuously gaining elevation until you reach the summit, be sure to bring plenty of water! As hikers approach the last segment of the hike the terrain becomes rocky and steep. The rocky talus field will require you to scramble until the summit, be sure to wear appropriate footwear. The extreme elevation of the peak presents the challenge of inclement weather, check the forecast before heading out and be prepared for windy conditions above the timberline.

    Starting from the Mitchell Lake Carpark, head north on the Beaver Creek Trail. The initial section of this hike will guide you through the lush woodlands. As you continue along this trail, the incline increases as you exit the alpine forest and surmount the treeline. It will be quite windy here! Follow the path until you encounter a junction. Turn left, heading west onto the Mount Audubon Trail. Shortly after the intersection you will meet the saddle, where the developed part of the trail ends. Don’t worry, rock cairns mark the remainder of the hike. At this point you will have to navigate a boulder field. Be mindful of your footing as you scramble up the talus, following the cairns until you summit Mount Audubon. The peak will reward hikers with 360-degree views of the picturesque alpine landscape and neighboring snow-covered craggy peaks.

    At the summit there are plenty of rock shelters to shield you from the wind, consider bringing lunch and hunkering down before your descent! After exploring the peak, begin maneuvering the talus field back to the trail. Retrace your steps, staying right at the intersection onto Beaver Creek Trail. Follow this path back to the parking lot.

    Getting to the Mount Audubon Hike Trailhead

    The Mount Audubon Trail is located in the Brainard Lake Recreational Area. Visitors require a pass—these can be reserved online or purchased on-site. This hike begins at the Mitchell Lake Trailhead off the car park. Note that the Brainard Lake Recreational Area closes seasonally from mid-October until mid-June. Winter visitors will have to park at the Gateway Trailhead and walk in, adding onto their excursion.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Pawnee Campground

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Mount Audubon Hike Elevation Graph

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    Mount Audubon Hike Reviews

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