Explore Leadville - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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I would say this is more moderate hard. the last mile or so was kind of difficult. the top is definitely worth it tho and there is another lake if you keep going. saw some mountain goats as well. cool waterfalls along the way. you can park right up by the trailhead which I recommend otherwise the first two miles is hiking along a dirt road.

Second time up this trail. Beautiful hike with lots of things to see. Saw two mountain goats near the top this time. Lake is worth the extra hike to the top but is the most challenging stretch. Not much traffic on way up around 7am but pretty heavy coming down.

Loved this! I’d agree with the moderate description—trail is well marked though. There are quite a few large rocks and tree roots along the way so just take care, especially if it starts to rain. Views at the top are gorgeous though. Didn’t make it to the second lake due to weather but will for sure be back to finish!

hiking
5 days ago

Reviews are a bit confusing - there is the scenic gravel road, but also unmaintained forest service trails above the dam. we hiked around for about 2.5 miles on these and were rewarded with beautiful views, wildflowers, marmots, pikas, chipmunks, and even mountain goats! beautiful alpine streams and scenic overlooks. altitude was rough for a Floridian's first day in CO but definitely a good choice for an early hike! not too steep but still gorgeous, and not crazy crowded at 8 am. be sure to keep driving past where the GPS tells you to go to the upper trailhead on the right side of the dam.

Beautiful hike, but super busy (of course, for a Saturday). We went beyond the lake to the upper lake, which doesn't show an official trail on the map. Lots of scrambling and hard to breathe above treeline. The second lake is pretty, but the first one is better. Another group saw some mountain goats beyond the second lake, but they had run off so we didn't attempt to go further. One note on the trail - wear sturdy boots because there is a lot of traversing over rocks and lots of tree roots. And on a hot day, bring lots of water.

The 2K feet of gain was pretty gradual and easy on this hike. I agree that the better view is before you start descending to the lake than at the lake itself. Fun easy jaunt, took about 3 hours with a 15 min break at the lake!

Super nice hike! Only went to the first lake and the waterfalls. Overall, well marked trail, few stretches over boulders that were a bit harder to negotiate, well shaded for lots of the way, quite a few hikers. Parking is a challenge (only 3 spots at trailhead) but road parking farther down. Scenery is beautiful. Good for intermediate hikers.

Great option to Mohawk Lakes, which we do every year. Was very similar, but everyone in our group actually liked this one better! Beautiful falls and lake at the top!

The views are beautiful, but I didn't enjoy this hike that much. As an older (but not that old) and generally uncoordinated hiker, I felt like this hike was a sprained ankle waiting to happen. Luckily it didn't happen, but I spend a lot of time watching my feet and watching my dog's paws as we hiked over rocks and roots. What was interesting about this trail was the variety! It was like four trails in one: it started with a walk on a road, then through shady forest trails, after the lake and waterfalls the trail was narrow, steep and challenging, and then a relatively level trail through tundra under the shadow of Quandary.

Amazing Hike! Day 2 in Breck and we all felt well enough to take on a hike. This one was worth it! Take your time and make it to the lake at the end of the trail. Venture just a bit further up some of the smaller hills around the lake and you will have made it 12k+ in elevation. Best thing is it sits under Quandry one of the well know 14ers. On the list of hikes of conquer. Great place to rest, soak in some sun and enjoy the beautiful views. Only took the teenagers 20 mins to get down! Didn't think it was crowded, parking was easy when we arrived at 11am. Worth the trip!

Today was a great hike. We went to the waterfall just before the second lake and took a lovely catnap on the rocks for 10 minutes. The cabin and streams in the way up were a great surprise.

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful hike!! Not too hard and goes through several types of terrain.

hiking
11 days ago

Great hike! All kinds of terrain. Beautiful views!Made it up to the waterfall and to the first lake. Took off my shoes to feel the water! Wow was it cold but it felt great! Love hiking with my wonderful family!

Beautiful Trail with challenging terrain. Will definitely like to do again and visit the upper lakes when I have more time.

Beautiful, challenging trail. Best to start early. Heavy traffic late morning.

One of my all time favorites! Loved the wildflowers today.

Good hike, parking on side of road. Beautiful waterfall and lake.

One of my favorite hikes from our vacation. Great waterfall views. You can climb on the rocks toward the top of the waterfall. Amazingly pretty lake above the waterfall too. Much of the hike is forested. Wished we had brought bug spray. Uphill much of the way to the lake. Great hike.

Incredible views after the hike breaks the tree line. The hike is easy-to-moderate as far as the first lake, which is spectacular enough to make the hike worthwhile. Persevere for the third lake if you’re feeling energetic - it’s stunning, as is the flatland that leads up to it. Marmots galore. We started early - about 7.30am - and had the place pretty much to ourselves. By the time we were headed down, there was some pretty heavy traffic going up. Took us 4 hours at a fairly leisurely pace.

Great nature walk. Moderate climbing, easier than Mohawk. 10’ temp change at the first lake. Park well past Quandary’s trail head ( 1.5miles past).

Lake is gorgeous and refreshing! Easy hike and worth circling the lake.

Really enjoyed this hike, and would do it again. It was a challenge for my 6 year old, who didn’t consider it moderate. We made about 5 miles round trip— all the way to the first lake where we saw pockets of snow, but not to the second or third lake (didn’t know those existed!) An employee at Patagonia told us about this hike, and it was definitely popular— very crowded in the first mile or so.

on Blue Lakes Trail

hiking
16 days ago

Just beware when you click “directions” from the app, it tries to take you on an unnecessary side road (Monte Cristo) that is too rocky. Stay on Blue Lakes road to get to parking.
Take the downhill trail to the waterfall. Then back to parking and either drive or hike to the dam.

Didn’t bother doing the “hike” when you can see everything from where you park. We strolled down and checked out the cable car house and abandoned mine! That was awesome. The lake itself and the wildflowers were beautiful too. Lots of pika in the rocks. Very easy stroll. We ended up just staying about 45 minutes. Probably a one time visit for us. We parked at the trail head, not the dam though. Sounds like a better hike from the dam.

hiking
17 days ago

Slightly disappointed in this one. We were expecting a little more of a hike but it pretty much dead ends at the waterfall. We drove up to the road and walked up to the top. Cool views from the lake.

Great first day hike with goats and wild flowers. Park up at the dam.

Beautiful, scenic hike. Kids and the dog enjoyed it as well.

Great hike with beautiful wildflowers, a good balance of open space and trees, and a decent sized lake at the end of the trail. Only saw about 5 different parties of people on the whole excursion. Started the hike around 9AM and took our time getting to the lake, arrived around 11:30AM. We ate lunch by the lake where there are TONS of mosquitos, but we did have bug spray with us and left almost unscathed. When we hiked up out of the valley where the lake is located we got back to the massive open space where the 14ers surround you from almost all sides. The second we stepped foot in that high meadow we heard rumbles of thunder. Needless to say we knew we had to leave quickly and get to the other side of the trail asap. It was a little scary as the thunder got louder and louder. It rained a bit, but not a heavy amount, on our decent to the parking lot.

Note of caution: Definitely start your hike earlier than you think, especially in summer. We were at the open space before 1PM and we could hear rumbles of thunder. Definitely a hike we'll never forget.

We have done this twice and I am pouting that we will not get to do it again on this trip. The first third is a standard forest trail but once you get past that part, the views make the hike a true joy. Definitely push past the first lake and explore the second two. The trail is hard to see past the second lake, but cairns show the way. Eventually you get to a big meadow with a lake at the end. Go dip your toes in before you get hailed on! We've seen goats grazing up there several times and it really feels like you are in a special place. Wear good grippy shoes and bring poles if you plan to go past the first lake; once it rains the rocks will be slippery.

Wonderful hike with my family. Great views, even the kids enjoyed it!

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