Blue Lake and Little Blue Lake Via Mitchell Lake Trail

MODERATE 103 reviews
#3 of 109 trails in

Blue Lake and Little Blue Lake Via Mitchell Lake Trail is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1469 feet
ROUTE TYPE
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 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. You will need to pay $10 for a day pass to park at the trailhead.

hiking
1 day ago

Gorgeous hike with some amazing views! The trail is still at least 75% snow-covered, and the trail is very difficult to find once you cross the bridge over Mitchell Creek. We did manage to find a portion that wasn't snow covered, and managed to make our way to Mitchell Lake by following footprints and looking for brief portions of un-covered trail. It was difficult to find the trail once arriving at Mitchell Lake, but by heading due west we found the lake inlet pretty easily and continued from there. Definitely bring good water-resistant/proof hiking shoes. Overall a great hike!

3 days ago

Still lots of snow! Such a beautiful area. Didn't make it to blue lake but Mitchell was very fulfilling

hiking
4 days ago

I've been told this is a wonderful trail. I took a shot at it but there is still a lot of snow pack leading up to the lakes. Proper shoes and hiking sticks necessary. The snow pack covers the trail after you cross the bridge so you need to know where you're going.

7 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike, however once we got to Mitchell Lake the trail was very hard to find with all the snow. It was still pretty easy to figure out the right direction but just something to be prepared for.

hiking
11 days ago

17 days ago

29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Has anyone done this recently? Want to know the trail conditions

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

What a stunning and beautiful hike. Being from Chicago I don't get to see things as beautiful as I did here. All of the lakes, the forest, and most of all the silence. It was one of the most stunning and peaceful experiences in my life. We hiked this back in September '16 and saw four moose out near a lake and walking back up the meadow. We didn't get to finish the trail because of the moose but that's ok. To see them in the wild was enough of a treat. Hoping to do this again in June!

1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Went in June last year. Road was closed from Brainard lake, which meant a long asphalt hike to get to the trailhead. We encountered some trouble about a mile in -- we weren't able to find the next blaze, and there weren't a clear set of footprints in the snow to follow, so we had to turn back. Would like to go back later in the year when snow has melted and trail is no longer buried.

2 months ago

2 months ago

It's a pretty hard trail and the high elevation near Blue Lake makes it VERY cold up there. You need great shoes, lots of supplies, and a good jacket. Also windy at the top. We were there early September.

hiking
5 months ago

This was an awesome hike! We are not hikers at all - but try to do a hike on our yearly visits to Colorado. The hike to the first lake was pretty easy and we ended up leaving my father in law there to fish while we went ahead to Blue Lake - it was much harder as we got to the top, but ended up finishing just fine and did some fishing up there too. Even saw three large moose cross the trail about 30 feet in front of us!

hiking
7 months ago

This is a pretty nice, and not difficult, trail. It is easy on the knees both directions, but does get much windier towards the top. Big blue lake at the end is absolutely gorgeous, be sure to spend some time there. It is moderately trafficked, and parking is $10. I would love to go back and try different, longer trail.

7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

8 months ago

One of my favorite hikes!