Blue Lake and Little Blue Lake Via Mitchell Lake Trail

MODERATE 214 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

Road to the trailhead is closed for the season. I walked down the road to get to the trailhead. Trail was great, with minimal snow patches, we were able to get through with regular hiking boots. Hiked up to blue lake, which was gorgeous. Pretty windy conditions up there. Never made it to upper blue lake. Saw three moose right off the trail.

hiking
7 days ago

Did this trail right after the snow storm and was the first one up. The trail didn’t exist so I got a bit lost and post holed my way up to the top. Saw a moose though.

hiking
8 days ago

11 days ago

Ryan must have done this the day before the snow storm., because now postholing started getting bad less than 1.5 miles in. Making it to Mitchell lake is easy though. Saw the biggest moose of my life with a calf in the brush along the river before mitchell lake. Got tf out of there quick.

hiking
13 days ago

Trail gets lost around the 2 mile mark, roughly .2 miles
Before the first blue lake. Be prepared for postholes and bushwhacked trails through marshy area and shallow pines. Might be best to wait until the snow firms and the trail can be re-established.

hiking
21 days ago

Little Blue Lake is worth the extra effort. You're not there until you gain the last 300' elevation either via the tough-to-follow official trail or a (more fun) boulder scree scramble. Views to the east on a clear day are amazing--a 30-mile horizon?

hiking
21 days ago

Stunning views, amazing hike, watch out for the weather, got a little windy and soft tiny hail started coming down, but wasn't very wet, a little snow on the trail sides, but just a dusting, some sections snow covered but packed down, a little slushy, was about 40º at 3PM.

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23 days ago

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29 days ago

1 month ago

very gradual uphill. rewarding view

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

Great, short hike and wasn't too crowded. It was fairly easy, I'm guessing rated moderate because the trail was fairly rocky so somewhat technical at points.

1 month ago

great day hike near boulder! it was snowy today so having waterproof boiits with good traction was important. I also appreciated having my trekking poles, especially between Mitchell lake and blue lake. got there around 730am and parking was easy at the Mitchell lake trailhead.

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

The most rewarding trail near Boulder, CO