Blue Lake Trail

MODERATE 38 reviews
#21 of 111 trails in

Blue Lake Trail is a 11.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
11.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2063 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

trail running

lake

snow

Directions from Fort Collins: Travel west on Hwy 14 for 62 miles. The Trailhead is located about 2 miles east of Joe Wright Reservoir. Parking is available at the trailhead.

hiking
4 months ago

Just attempted this hike on 12/3. 90% of the trail was packed snow but the final 10% was deep snow with no visible trail. Will be back with snowshoes next time!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful and tiring hike. There was quite a bit of snow when we completed this trail a few weeks ago and it only gets more and more intense as you ascend. Although we weren't necessarily prepared for the depth of snow that we encountered, it was a beautiful hike, even with some wet feet. Out pup did great too! We ended up going off trail by accident because the trail at one point was difficult to find. But it wasn't to hard to find our way. There is a teaser lake just before blue lake so make sure you keep pushing, you aren't that far. The lake itself is absolutely beautiful, especially in the snow, and there was even a dry, snowless, patch for us to rest and whip up a hot lunch. This trail definitely has a good amount of incline and distance so pace yourself and enjoy the work! The whole trip took us about 6 hours.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail. A few steeper spots, but most of the trail is more of a gradual incline. That first view of the lake makes the trek more than worth it. Unfortunately, due to weather, we didn't get to spend much time at the lake or hike up to Hang Lake. Definitely be back to do this one again.

hiking
7 months ago

Gorgeous trail! Most of the trail is through the woods and is shaded, so it was great for my two dogs- even in the heat of the day. We were out there on labor day weekend and didn't see nearly as many people as I expected. The trail, like some others have said here, is steep in some spots, but overall the incline is gradual. The elevation will take a lot of energy out of you if you aren't used to it (and maybe even if you are), so make sure you pack several liters of water and a lot of food!

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing trail! The hike was beautiful! Tons of meadows, flowers, and creeks.
The hike is a little long and hard in some spots but when you reach blue lake it's all worth it. Bring good shoes and bring lots of water. LOTS.
It is heavily trafficked but only on the trail.
Once you get to blue lake, you will see a trail that runs up the side of the mountain. If you take that trail up there is another lake above blue lake. It is so clear and beautiful. If you have the time, and energy, I suggest taking the extra 30-40 mins to hike up the slope and see another amazing lake. I've done this trail twice and plan on going back several times.
Have fun! Happy hiking!!!

hiking
8 months ago

Awesome trail! Difficult in spots, but you're rewarded with beauty the whole way up and Blue Lake is stunning. We even saw a moose on the trail the day we hiked it. A word of advice - come prepared with layers!. The wind at the lake was brutal and we were treated to a brief hailstorm.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice trail. Difficult in spots. Wild flowers near Blue Lake are spectacular. Lake was beautiful.

9 months ago

This trail is perfect right now. We passed very few hikers and had the lake completely to ourselves. The hike itself is woody, quiet, lots of stream-jumping, a good combo of easy-but-long, with an absolutely stunning payoff. Tons of wildflowers and very green and sunny this time of year. Little patches of snow at the lake but it felt warm out. Had to take off our shoes and rinse in the mountain runoff due to some intense gravelly mud at the lake but the rest of the trail was dry. A few downed trees to climb under and over along the way.

Gorgeous. We will definitely be back soon.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful snow melt flow in the crossings during the trail, creates a cool breeze that is refreshing once you step out of the sun. Lots of downed trees from the storm and super muddy as there is still lots of snow near the top. Wear waterproof boots!

hiking
10 months ago

Hike through the woods with limited views until the last 1/2 mile or so where it opens up beautifully. Unable to make it the upper lake due to snow but will be back to get there.

hiking
10 months ago

When up there over the weekend 6/4/17. Snow mix the first 1/2 of the trail with some areas being difficult to cross. The second half of the trip the trail disappeared completely with 4-6ft of snow in most parts. The lake was frozen outside of rim where you could see some signs of melt.

hiking
11 months ago

Went up there yesterday, 04/23/17. Still a LOT of snow. We didn't have snow shoes and had a rough go of it. We made it to the small boulder field about 1/2 mile below the lake and turned around. Unless you like plodding through snow you might wait for the melt. It was beautiful and peaceful. I'm looking forward to going back up in June to see the lake!

hiking
Sunday, October 16, 2016

Good hike! Be prepared for change in weather at the lake.

hiking
Friday, September 23, 2016

Good day hike. It is in the forest until you get to the lake. It is a gradual ascent and a good chance to see moose. Head west above the lake to get another lake view.

hiking
Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thought it was a very good trail only reason it is difficult is to reach either summit and get back to the car you must be prepared to hike 12-14 miles.
Beautiful views of blue lake at the saddle

hiking
Sunday, August 07, 2016

Well maintained trail.

hiking
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

It's a good hike from the trail head to the lake, but it doesn't really open up until the last mile or so. A good hike if you are going in the hot summer. If you like to fish, take a rod, Blue Lake has some nice cutthroat trout hiding in it. We also spotted a radio-collared cow moose with a calf which was cool to see. We encountered no snow on the trail.

backpacking
Monday, June 20, 2016

WE JUST WENT THIS PAST WEEKEND (6/28/2016 - 6/19/2016) NEAR THE TOP OF THE TRAIL THERE WAS STILL A LOT OF SNOW. BEAUTIFUL HIKE THOUGH. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. A MOOSE WALKED RIGHT THROUGH OUR CAMP THE NEXT MORNING!!!! THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE TRIP

hiking
Monday, June 06, 2016

Hiked in about 2 miles on June 5 but turned back due to snow and time. The hike was wet but gorgeous and I can't wait to come back after some more melt off. My dog was not a fan of the log bridge for one of the water crossings but that's not the trails fault.

hiking
Sunday, June 05, 2016

Trail head states this is 5.1 miles to the lake, but I wouldn't know for sure because I couldn't hike all the way out there. Snow still several feet deep in spots. Trail alternates from clear to snowy and I had to turn back after about 2-3 miles.

hiking
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Me and a buddy did this trail in April, on a trip to climb Clark peak, the mountain on the south west rim of the lake. Despite it being early spring there was probably 5 feet of snow, and we had to snowshoe all the way up. The trail only had tracks about a mile, and after that it was all fresh powder. About a mile and a half in we lost the trail and just followed the valley floor up towards the lake. The day was warm for the time of year, and the snow began to melt, sticking to our snowshoes and weighing them down. 5 miles through untouched snow, as it sticks to you was one of the hardest hikes I've done. We reached blue lake, crossed its frozen surface, and climbed up the steep valley wall to the saddle between Clark peak and Cameron peak. We set up our winter tent, and had to build a snow brick wall around it because the wind was vicious. We didn't bring much to protect our faces and we both got awful windburn. I wound up wrapping a bandage around my nose and my mouth as protection from the wind. After the fact my buddy got blisters that leaked puss from the whole ordeal. After a night with little sleep due to the loud wind we got up at sunrise and hiked up towards the ridge of Clark. Avalanche danger was pretty high to the left and right but we followed a stone protrusion and did alright. Once we reached the ridge, it was 2 miles through howling wind along the ridge to the peak. The conditions were pretty unlucky, but the view from the top of all the surrounding mountains was stunning. Overcoming this mountain was a very changing journey.

hiking
Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Great hike with water crossings, view of Chambers lake on way up. Can be accessed from hwy14 in upper Poudre Canyon. Went on Labor day but didn't feel that busy. Good dog hike, but keep them on the leash even though this trail is in a wilderness area. Good calorie burn...1600 out and back for 5'11" female at 160#.

hiking
Friday, July 13, 2012

One of our favorite Indian Peaks hikes. If you go in early summer, the trail is sloppy and you will be scrambling over the last of the snow. Also, there is a creek you must cross that can flow pretty fast in the early summer. I have not been there for a few years, but it used to be that you had to cross the creek using deadfall and water soaked trees. Not impossible, just take it easy. Once you reach that impossibly blue lake and sit in a semi circle of 12K and 13K peaks, you won't want to leave.

hiking
Friday, April 20, 2012

Great trail. Beautiful views. Lots of people. Trailhead parking lot will always be full on the weekend for this popular hike. Try to get up there on a weekday.

hiking
Monday, November 21, 2011

Easy trail with a great lake at the top.

cross country skiing
1 month ago

snowshoeing
2 months ago

snowshoeing
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

8 months ago

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