Explore To Hike - 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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Didn’t get up to area until 10:30am, on a Monday however no trouble parking at brainard lake parking. Beautiful lakes, meandering paths until you reach Mitchell lake then it is rocky path up to blue lake which is not difficult to navigate. Trails very well marked. Did not attempt little blue, however, it must be beautiful. I can only imagine. It must be a very steep rocky ascent. It wasn’t overly crowded however once at blue lake you certainly see and hear others. I can’t imagine it with more people. We did have a moose sighting which was a gift. This hike is now one of my must dos during my annual visit Home to Boulder

I do like this hike but would rather do echo.

Great beginner hike if you're getting into hiking.

2 days ago

Helpful info: go early! At 5:30 am there was a locked gate 1.2 miles before the parking lot. Not sure what time they open it every day but I still got to the trailhead by 5:50 and the walk was spectacular in August. You’ll be in the shade of the mountain the whole way up. Views are awesome.

Awesome hike. Well marked unless you're myself on the way down. Definitely for more experienced hikers or more driven people in general. Beautiful views of wildlife and the city.

So this hike I’ve been on several times growing up and definitely a hike to go on in the late winter or spring to see the waterfalls. Which in the past have seen up to three climaxing with the third in the canyon. I enjoy the difficulty especially because it keeps it relatively quiet of lazy hikers and people who leave trash behind. They seem to avoid harder trails which is great for the rest of us. Beautiful views and water keeps me coming back every year!

Beautiful hike on August 6, 2018.

Challenging trail. I loved it.

Really cool view of all the city lights at night. There are lots of people in the evening still but make sure you bring a flashlight!

A great, moderate hike. My wife and I didn't make it up to Little Blue Lake, and by the time we made it to Blue Lake, it looked like it was going to storm on the day we visited, 8-5-18. Blue Lake was still a great spot eat lunch and take some pictures. It ended up not storming, so we'll be back soon to do a complete circuit.

There were still plenty of wildflowers in bloom, and we arrived shortly after a lengthy bout of rain, so some of the streams were overflowing and added to scenery and enjoyment. We missed sighting a moose with her 2 calves by just a few minutes, but saw plenty of birds and rodents. The route was well maintained and not densely trafficked while visiting on a Sunday morning and in fact we had about a quarter mile stretch on the way back where it was just the two of us. Excellent photography opportunities along the way. I look forward to returning

Good hike with lots of nature to take in. Beautiful views at the top! As a visitor to Arizona, I found this to be a perfect hiking trail! Went early in the morning to beat the heat and got to take in a sunrise at the top.

A dramatic backdrop, wildflowers, wildlife, multiple lakes and waterfalls... this trail really does have it all! (and has quickly moved up my list of favorite hikes to do in Colorado). Echoing the reviews already posted, yes definitely get there early... I arrived at 7 AM on a rainy Sunday and the parking lot was still filling up pretty quickly. Also, the rocky scramble up to Little Blue Lake is pretty challenging and not very well marked... beautiful up there, but certainly not for all skill sets. Blue Lake alone is still well worth the trip though!

great hike,views are amazing. and wild life everywhere.

Easy hike to Blue Lake. Great for an inflatable boat.

After reading many reviews here, we got to the trailhead at 6:30am (on a Thursday) and there were only a few cars in the lot. Hardly anyone on the trail at that time. Around 7:45-8am we nearly ran into two bull moose eating right on the trail! We had just come to the top of a steep hill and couldn’t see them until we got to the top. Very cool though- maybe 50 yards from us. We also saw two big buck closer to the lake. The views are spectacular and have everything you’d want to see/ views, wildflowers were still in bloom (8/2/18), waterfalls, wildlife etc. The entire trail is pretty rocky so it slowed us down a bit.. but we did also stop a lot to take pictures. Coming down the trail around 9:30-10:30 we passed tons of people. If you want to see wildlife I’d definitely go early morning or late afternoon.

Very beautiful lake views! This is the only lake I’ve been to that has a waterfall flowing into it, or better yet down an enormous mountain!
I didn’t go to the little blue lake as the trail got extremely rocky and steep. But the view of the bigger one was worth it!

I enjoy this hike year after year, but parking has become a problem. We were at the park entrance at 8:15 and had to park at Brainard Lake because the Mitchell Lake trailhead parking lot was already full! This adds about a mile in each direction to the hike.
The wildflowers were pretty spent, but the three male moose we saw made up for it.
I recommend this hike, but plan to get there early.

Beautiful hike. Lots of wildflowers, several moose, overall great scenery. The pup also loved it. Parking at the Mitchell Lake trailhead was full, but you can still park at Brainard and there’s a trail that brings you up.

a nice, easy hike. good for a trail run, for sure and very pretty.

Incredibly beautiful trail. Late July show of color with many types of wildflowers. The terrain is very diverse as you rise past many small lakes on your way to Blue Lake. That final point is worth the effort!!! Gorgeous!
We were coming down the trail around 4:00 and saw 5 moose near mid hike lakes.
Nice parking and bathroom facility at trailhead

Great hike. Great workout. Great views from the lookout. Definitely steep and rocky the last mile so where boots if you have them.

Love this hike... pushes you! In training for R2R next month! great workout!

I made it half way up on my first try and they aren't joking when they say Steep and Bring Gallons of water but the view even from halfway up is stunning

This hike is super well marked and highly trafficked. I tried getting to the top twice but the part where you essentially have to rock-climb freaked me out a little so I turned around. If you have anxiety / fear of heights the ascent to the top may not be your jam - but you can always turn around before that (there’s a helicopter landing area which makes a nice turnaround) while still getting the amazing views.

It’s a great hike, you really do get a full work out. When I first read the comments and the level of difficulty, I was skeptical but man was I wrong! It’s hard and not for beginners. Make sure to bring plenty of water and good shoes. The view is extremely rewarding. People here are super nice, this guy greeted me with cheers as I reached the top and others motivate you as you hike up. There’s a lot of stairs and I mean a lot but you can do it!!

One of our absolute favorite hikes in the Prescott Area!

Did this today and got to the parking lot at Mitchell Lake some time after 1pm. I think I got lucky bc I only saw one space, which I took. I passed a lot of people coming back, so there was traffic on the trail for sure, but I basically had the last mile of the trail to myself and my dog, which was really nice. I didn’t venture all the way to Little Blue Lake due to time, but this is definitely a return trip. I saw a huge bull moose across the last huge pond before you get to Blue Lake on the way back to the lot. I basically had the trail to myself all the way back, at this point. I would highly recommend this trail on a weekday, super early or later like I went. Good incline all the way up, not too steep and gradual, plus there was plenty of shade along the way.

Long but easy, good for a run

I did this hike last Sunday (7/22), and I would have given it a 5 out of 5 stars if there was more parking near the trailhead and I didn't have to walk close to a mile on a paved road. Having said that, this was an absolutely incredible hike that reminded me a lot of Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain Park.

I started my trek around 8 am and returned to the parking lot around 12 pm. I probably could have completed it in a quicker fashion had it not been for all of the people on the trail. This is another reason I like to hike during the week as opposed to the weekends when I can avoid the crowds.

It was a very gradual climb to Blue Lake, and I even continued on to Little Blue Lake and then even further to the base of Palute Peak. I found solitude here as no one that I could see ventured quite as far as I did on the trail.

The route up to Little Blue Lake could be considered somewhat treacherous for some, as there are a few scrambles across small water features and a little boulder field to climb up to reach the lake. However, it was nothing in comparison to the scramble up the snow field, large boulder field and scree that it took to reach the base of Palute Peak. I would recommend this to the experienced hiker who is looking for a challenge and to escape the masses.

All in all, this was a beautifully challenging hike that I would definitely do again. I will most certainly be returning to do Lake Isabelle some time in the near future.

Tip: Make sure you start at Mitchell Lake Trailhead and NOT Long Lake Trailhead, which goes to Lake Isabelle.

Some very modest hills, but otherwise a flat walk (or run) up Penesquitos Canyon. A small waterfall at the mid point provides some scrambling opportunities as well as a place to cool your feet. A fairly easy hike, but little to no breeze in the canyon, so not a good option on hot days.

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