Waldrop North Trail from Gateway Trailhead, Sourdough Trail to South St. Vrain Trail Loop, Niwot Mountain Summit Route via Left Hand Reservoir Road, Blue Lake and Little Blue Lake via Mitchell Lake Trail. Located in the Brainard Lake Recreational Area (west of Nederland, CO in the Indian Peaks Wilderness), this gem isn’t exactly a well-kept secret, but it has all the … Worth your time and effort ", "This is one of my favorite hikes. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); You can contact ProTrails directly through our Facebook or Instagram accounts. Audubon to the north, the glacier gouged BLRA consists of a group of five beautiful alpine lakes. Was planning on Lake Isabelle but was closed due to a recovery operation. ", "Any information on the conditions on Blue Lake Trail yet this summer? ", "Absolutely Gorgeous. Even then, I was pretty Route Description for Blue Lake Trail Begin this hike at the Mitchell Lake Trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area inside Indian Peaks Wilderness. Image of alpine, park, recreation - 96497111 Beautiful place. Hosted by Jim Blue Lake sits at 11,355’, in a rocky glacial cirque framed by four peaks – Pawnee Peak to my left (SW) followed by conical Mount Toll to the West, and then two 13ers – Paiute Peak to the NW and finally Mount Audubon to the NE. Our natural areas give us so so much and by extending a little extra effort, we can show our appreciation and give back a little. ", "Is fishing allowed? Search for other Garbage Collection in … ", "Any recent trail reports for this hike? Unmaintained routes continue on to Upper Blue Lake, Mt Toll and Paiute Peak: The Mitchell Lake Trail rises gently to the Indian Peaks Wilderness boundary (.45 miles : 10,646') and Mitchell Lake, which occupies a broad, marshy flat at the base of Mt Audubon (.85 miles : 10,725'). We made our way up to Blue Lake. We didn't have the $11 cash to enter the park so we parked at the Lake Brainard trailhead. This was a hike I did with the Boulder Hiker Chicks, a local women’s hiking group. Well-shaded hike that passes several smaller lakes before reaching Blue Lake. Several terrific viewing spots at the lake. Lots of wildflowers on the way up and several smaller, pretty lakes--- but definitely don't stop until you make it to Blue Lake. Strenuous and potentially technical routes continue on to Little Pawnee Peak, Mt Toll and Paiute Peak. The trail cleared treeline, then crested the east shore of Blue Lake. The northern of the two valleys holds Mitchell and Blue Lakes, while the southern valley holds Long Lake and Lake Isabelle. Dogs must be leashed at all times on trails within the Indian Peaks Wilderness and Brainard Lake Recreation Area. Starting from the Mitchell Lake Trailhead, hikers will pass by the trail's namesake lake before continuing on to the rugged, serenely aqua-hued Blue Lake. The hike to Blue Lake begins in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, a popular hiking destination in Colorado. ", "Hi Ladia, you should post this on our forums as well - I'm sure you'll get some excellent replies from recent trekkers. Fairly heavily travelled for a weekday. Campfires are prohibited on the east side of the Continental. Many other more scenic options. beautiful place, each time, you will find Blue Lake from Gateway Trailhead is a 12 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Ward, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. There's an $11 fee to enter the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. You can see my pics on my facebook page at Dizmang Photography. ", "Wonderful half day hike. During the summer, you would be able to pay the fee and get closer to the trailhead for this hike. Nice to be able to pass through another parking lot about halfway through with a bathroom. each time you go, remind yourself that you are new when you visit with this During the winter the road through Brainard Lake Recreation Area is closed. So, it was packed. Comments. Beautiful views throughout! Pls. Brainard Lake Road circles Brainard Lake and leads to Pawnee Campground. Trail Map I went on saturday. Only used to identify you to ProTrails. WONDERFUL trail! The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round. I know the high country has been getting snow lately. The open shore offers room to explore and a complete view of the upper valley including Little Pawnee Peak (12,466'), Mt Toll (12,979'), Paiute Peak (13,088'), and Mt Audubon (13,223'. Pretty gentle for the most part with wide open beautiful views. Little help with GPS, found the lake. The rest of the trail is quite average. Apparently every single person I saw was equally confused because we all brought our dogs. Parking at the trailhead is limited. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Mostly slow and steady incline except for a few steeper stretches to achieve the elevation gain. We backpacked up our 14 month-old grandson who enjoyed getting out and the meadows along Mitchell Lake. Trail Map | Photo Gallery There were some steep parts and some narrow areas but all in all this hike was moderate and enjoyable. Blue Lake Brainard Recreation Area Roosevelt National Forrest. If i had, this hike would have been closer to 13-15 miles and i just didn’t have that much energy for it. Parking lots closed by 8:00am had to hike from the Ranger Station to Blue Lakes. Well worth the moderate effort required. 10,525' - 11,355' (11,371' max elevation), +830' net elevation gain (+905' total roundtrip elevation gain), "Beautiful hike and lake. ", " We saw 3 moose at Brainard Lake on the way up- great way to start the day. I suggest any one who is adventurous to take some out of there life and go include your self in the beauty of this out standing lake talk about uplifting ur self ! Blue Lake in the Brainard Lake Area. Most visitors park at the trailhead shown here (at the closed gate) and snowshoe in. Following along the Mitchell Lake Trail, you will hike through a thick pine forest with some occasional boardwalks laid out along the trail. Mitchell was fully thawed and beautiful! The northern of the two valleys holds Mitchell and Blue Lakes, while the southern valley holds Long Lake and Lake Isabelle. It continues on a good trail for 0.5 miles to Mitchell Lake and crosses a bridge over the inlet. the early eighties. Blue Lake is pristine and ice cold. Hike up to blue warm and perfect. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until October. ", "Absolutely stunning hike, my favorite scenic one I've ever been on. Date: Saturday, July 28, 2012 Trailhead: Mitchell Lake Length: 3 miles to lake, 6 miles total Elevation: 11,355 feet – Less than 1,000 feet elevation gain during hike Cost: $9 entrance fee to Brainard Lake Recreation Area Parking Tips: Arrive early to park at the trailhead lot, which often fills … Any trail beta is much appreciated. The moose were pretty active, too, which was great to be able to see! ", "My son was born yesterday and there are pictures all over the hospital of this lake and that area and 2 of my buddies and I did this hike starting from monarch couple months ago it was beautiful and amazing grAt hike a lil rainy but worth it amazing place to be, a lake on top of the continental divide at 11,000 feet we filtered water from blue lake and it felt amazing to be ingesting amazing energy in that spot I felt so powerd up after the lake beverage ", "The trail above the Mitchell Lake is in a bad shape, apparently due to heavy foot traffic. Fees, Parking, Pet, Camping and Trespassing regulations are strictly enforced. Blue Lake, Trail Map, Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, Colorado. Spectacular colors on Brainard Lake Road. Blue Lake – Brainard Lake Recreation Area of the Indian Peaks Wilderness – Ward, CO. Got to the trailhead around 8:30 or so- parking was running out but we snagged a spot. The trail undulates through patchy krummholz with a good look at Mt Toll's conical summit. However, I disagree with the noted distance. Central City. Follow the cairns (rock piles) near the top where there are boulders and be very mindful of staying on the designated trail rather than all the off-shoots (giving them a chance to recover) Especially above tree line/tundra please please please STAY ON THE TRAIL - tundra is incredibly fragile & takes hundreds of years to recover from abuse. The trail was dry, and it wasn't very crowded, only passed a handful of groups on our way up. Heavy usage, get to parking lot early. ", "Beautiful hike, perfect conditions. Lake was still completely frozen", N40 05.001 W105 34.910 — 0.0 miles : Mitchell Lake Trailhead, N40 05.145 W105 35.309 — .4 miles : Cross Mitchell Creek, N40 05.215 W105 35.669 — .9 miles : Mitchell Lake, N40 05.200 W105 35.836 — 1.1 miles : Cross Mitchell Lake inlet, N40 05.204 W105 36.213 — 1.5 miles : Bend south into center of valley, N40 05.070 W105 36.702 — 2.0 miles : Moderate climb on rocky trail, N40 05.240 W105 36.870 — 2.35 miles : Travel beside Blue Lake outlet, N40 05.308 W105 37.050 — 2.55 miles : Blue Lake. Trail Description Trail Photos Print this Trail Trip Reports. Nice to avoid paying the fee but this adds a little less 6 miles if you are trying to go to Blue Lake. They continued Tuesday on horseback and with a search dog until just before noon, when personal belongings were found on the shore of Blue Lake. Observed a bull moose close to Blue Lake. During the winter, it's a fairly long hike from the winter parking lot but the solitude and views are well worth the effort. I recorded 14.5 miles round trip. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. STOP and step to the side of a wider part of the trail to let them pass. Four of the five - Blue Lake, Mitchell Lake, Long Lake and Lake Isabelle - can only be reached on foot. Will definitely be visiting again! Print Trail don't keep hiking and stepping on the side vegetation to give them room. GPS Coordinates :: Download Coordinates. It is listed as moderate but the elevation starts at 10,472 ft and gain 1000 ft by the time you get to blue lake. Blue Lake's outlet pools up in several places along the way forming a string of large ponds that are worth exploring. A bit rugged, lots of rocks in the trail. Blue Lake Trail in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. ", "Family of 4 moose at Brainerd. Worth every blister on my feet. 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