off road driving
Incredible hike. Not just for the fantastic payoff at the end (we stuck to the lower lake for our destination because the clouds were rolling in), but it seems like every 15 minutes we'd come across a new meadow, mountain view, or waterfall. It's got a good mix of shade and sun. The first third was really tough for us; you are climbing at about a 10% grade for what feels like forever. We camped near the trailhead and started the hike around 9:30am and it took us a few hours with plenty of rest stops along the way, with maybe an hour to get back (we started jogging once the rain looked imminent because we forgot to put the fly on our tent when we set out. Good thing because it started hailing within minutes of getting the fly on).
Good hike. Great views after mile 3 In the talus field. Then great views of Wilson Peak and Sunshine Mountain. Pay attention to the map because it's easy to get sidetracked if you follow the bike tracks. (I ended up over a mile SW because I didn't prepare)
Outstanding but steep hike. Not for the faint of heart - I did get butterflies in a few spots. Gorgeous views all the way to the top. Stopped and made hot coffee with the jetboil just past the first building and simply enjoyed the wonderful view of Ouray and the mountains. Garmin logged 5.13 miles roundtrip and 2,663 elevation gain.
Beautiful view at the end and throughout! Spectacular! Had a horrible time finding trailhead. These directions are wrong. Need to take county road 7 out of Ridgeway and take it for a long time. Also this hike is Blue Lakes, there is a Blues Lake hike right out of telluride so it can be confusing. Once you find it it is a great hike!
I started by driving up from Telluride to Bridal Falls by the power plant. Once the road stopped, I hiked up about 3 mi to Blue Lakes -- although, it was starting to get cloudy and cold (on the verge of raining) once I got up there. The trail up was great weather (long sleeves) and moderate, as it's all uphill. The way down I got rained on (and a little hail), but passed after 10 minutes and led to beautiful, sunny weather. It's worth it for the views of Telluride and the wildflowers! The road up though was a bit difficult but steady, controlled driving (and a 4WD SUV) is all you need.