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Blue Lake and Little Blue Lake Via Mitchell Lake Trail

MODERATE 58 reviews

Blue Lake and Little Blue Lake Via Mitchell 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



nature trips

trail running


horseback riding






wild flowers




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 Blue) and several other streams and small ponds. There is abundant wildlife and flowers that offer some of the best photographs. 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.

1 day ago

Beautiful! Exactly what we came to Colorado to find.

1 day ago

Wonderful hike and not too difficult. The water is gorgeous. I highly suggest it.

2 days ago

This was a great hike. One of my favorites so far this year. The scenery is beautiful, we saw several people on the trail later in the morning, but it was quiet early. We did run into several moose in the upper ponds before the lake at the top.
Would recommend a sturdy hiking show because of the rockiness, but I would agree that it is a moderate hike, not hard. It took us about 2.5-3 hours round trip. We did linger to watch the moose for some time.

4 days ago

4 days ago

6 days ago

8 days ago

What an amazing hike. We didn't quite make it to blue lake, we went about three miles. Buy we did see four wild moose. They ended up walking into the brush next to the path and we opted not to get that close and turned around. It was an amazing hike with a bunch of beautiful views.

8 days ago

Gorgeous hike! If you are looking for a quick, dog friendly hike, this is the one for you!
A couple things to note:
*A FEE IS REQUIRED to get to the hike ($10 for a day pass and I believe $90 for the year)
*If you like solitude, come early! I arrived around 7:30am and was the first car there. I had the trail to myself all the way up to blue lake, but I saw at least 15 people on the way down. I got back to the parking lot around 11am and it was packed.
*Be vigilant as to where the trail is when you come near Blue Lake. There was one area quite close the lake that threw me for a moment, but once you get past it, there is a clear path right to the lake.
*Lastly, there are bathrooms at the trailhead, YAY!

Overall, a wonderful and scenic hike!

10 days ago

10 days ago

Such a great hike! Very photogenic and beautiful!! It was longer than expected, but so worth it! Enjoy!

12 days ago

Absolutely beautiful! Definitely check this hike out!!

13 days ago

Just did this hike and it was one of my favorite all season. The trail is really easy, but you see countless ponds, streams, and three lakes (not counting Brainard). In an incredible mountain setting.

The plants are changing right now, so there is tons of red, purple, and yellow mixed in the greenery. The rocks have a gorgeous array of colors too.

You won't be disappointed.

FYI- you have to pay to park near the trailhead.

16 days ago

18 days ago


20 days ago

Great hike and a great drive up to the trailhead. Trail was not too busy and we saw we great creeks, deer and a family of moose.

A bit rocky toward the end hiking boots would have been helpful!

20 days ago

24 days ago

A spectacular hike. Beautiful views. Towering peaks, Many lakes and streams. And so peaceful, perhaps only came across 20 people all day. At many times we stopped and listened to absolute silence. What a great and rare experience.

24 days ago

24 days ago

Great hike. Saw 3 moose. Fun to see snow in late August.