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Blue Lake Trail

MODERATE 34 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Blue Lake Trail is a 5.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, CO that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from May until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.3 miles 830 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

There are a couple of Blue Lakes in the Colorado front range. This one is located in the Roosevelt National Forest north of Nederland, near the small community of Ward. It is a fabulous hike in which you will encounter two major lakes (Mitchell and Blu) and several other streams and small ponds. There is abundant wildlife and flowers that offer some of the best photographs I've taken. The view of the Continental Divide is also magnificent the closer you get to it. This is listed as a half day hike, but you could do it in 3 hours fairly easily.


2 days ago

hiking

Busy, but scenery made up for it. Relatively easy hike.


3 days ago


3 days ago

hiking

This hike is absolutely gorgeous! First time I have ever done this hike and I would highly recommend it. The elevation and rocky terrain does it make it more challenging, but worth every step.


4 days ago


9 days ago

hiking

Very beautiful hike! Starts in the forest and moves up above the tree line to reveal a stunning blue lake draped in August Snow. Waterfalls and creeks all over! The trail is pretty rocky and steep at times so definitely make sure you have some good shoes! We also took the dogs and let them splash around in the two lakes, they just have to be kept on leash. Beware, parking sucks! We were there at 8:30 on Sunday and had to roll between three different parking lots before we finally lucked out and got a spot on this trailhead (we were originally planning to do lake isabelle) but the ranger said its just a mud flat this time of year anyways.


20 days ago


23 days ago

hiking

Excellent hike. I miraculously snagged a parking spot at Mitchell TH, which made it nice a start. Gradual climb, firm trail. Loads of wildflowers, marmots, pika and stunning views. Came upon mountain lion tracks on descent to boot. Highly recommend getting over to west side of the lake, even if you opt not to continue to Little Blue. Cool views up close of waterfalls and looking back down the lake.


25 days ago

hiking

Great hike. Cool, sunny and shaded, rushing creeks, wild flowers galore, nice rock climb at the end. The extra 2 miles to/from the extended parking was a bit of a bummer.


28 days ago

hiking

loved it, wildflowers were beautiful. didn't realize there was a second smaller lake so have to go back. still steady traffic on a Tuesday morning so probably alot busier on the weekend.


1 month ago

hiking

The most beautiful hike! I would rate it as easy/moderate as there are some portions of rock you cannot charge through if you have short legs. ***HEADS UP!!! There is a $10 fee for parking if you don't have a parks pass CASH or CHECK ONLY***. Great terrain, very Swiss alps like/or shire. Yes, as in LOTR.. Or maybe never ending story. We're nerds. Anyhow! If you want a fun and gorgeous hike, hit this one up! We did arrive about 2:30 on a Sunday, and of course parking was limited, but hands down, the views are worth it. We saw a moose on the way back!


1 month ago


1 month ago

hiking

The hike to blue Lake was absolutely beautiful. The family will definitely be doing this again.


1 month ago

hiking

7/3. Arrived at the trailhead at 7:15am and the parking lot was already full (just a heads up to those looking to do this hike). We parked on the East side of Brainard Lake, which added a very easy .9 miles to the hike. I would actually recommend doing this. Great little section to warm up with. Also, 6 moose were hanging out near the lake, so that made it all the better.

The whole trip was amazing! Rivers to cross, snow to get through, and incredible views the entire way. The lake was still half covered in ice and the trail to the upper lake was hidden by snow, although a few people with crampons looked to be trying it anyway. We also saw a small family of yellow-bellied marmots on the north side of the lower blue lake.


1 month ago

hiking

The lakes were absolutely beautiful! The trail was a little hard to follow through some of the snow but it was completely worth it.


1 month ago

hiking

6/25. Road to the trailhead was closed so we parked at Brainard Lake, this added .9 miles to the trail but there is a well marked path to the trailhead once you cross the small bridge. Right off the bat there's a lot of mud, water flowing down the trail in some spots. Large piles of snow swallow the trail in spots, even with a fair amount of melt, so be prepared for some mashed potato snow as the day goes on. Elevation change is moderate, and you start at a good elevation already. Near the top the snow is more abundant, but also can be misleading. Be careful where you posthole, as the snow can conceal large trail rocks or water beneath you. Small snow caves have also formed near the top. The lake is still mostly covered in ice, but the banks are thawed, perfect place to chill down a beer. Be sure to check your map, we lost trail at one point and with backtracking and checking, plus the extra miles to the trailhead, we hiked about 8.9 miles total. Great trail, beautiful scenery of the surrounding mountains.


1 month ago

I absolutely loved this hike! It was a perfect half day hike. Not too easy and not overly challenging. There's still snow on the trail in some areas and part of the trail seems more like a stream so waterproof shoes were a plus.
The rode to the trail head isn't open so you have to walk almost a mile to the trail head, but even that was beautiful. The views were spectacular! It is a popular trail however so be prepared for traffic!


1 month ago

hiking

Hiking past Mitchell lake was definitely well worth it! Not much of an incline on this trail, which is nice. However, about a quarter/third of the trail is still pretty snow packed and a lot of places have muddy water. Went on a Sunday and it wasn't too busy compared to Brainard lake! We got lost two different times and one time we ended up having to walk through swamp waters- not fun. $10 for a day pass. Saw some marmots. The lake is mostly ice but the snow melt makes for some small pretty waterfalls.


1 month ago

Beautiful hike!


2 months ago

hiking

Bring lots of bug repellent in summer months. A fairly busy trail.


4 months ago

hiking