Blue Lake Trail

MODERATE 58 reviews
#22 of 112 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
2,063 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.

1 day ago

The hike to the lake doesn’t have many views as it’s through the thick forest, but the views at the lake were beautiful and definitely worth it! We did see a moose, doggos got to tromp in a few inches of the lake and the area is very relaxing. We got there about 8:30am and only saw one other group until we began our descent.

6 days ago

Lots of flowers on the hike and a cool lake at the end. In my opinion it was a 4 star hike because it was not the coolest lake and it was a long hike through the forest, with minimal views, to get there. We were also disappointed, as another reviewer pointed out, that there was no real discernable trail that actually went around the lake. To get down to the lake we had to walk down one of the rocky stream beds on the far side of the lake. First two miles of the trail are wide and very easy, the past 3 and a half are more uphill and rocky but not difficult. I carried a 3 year old and my 8 year old son had no problems either. The only real challenging part were a couple of stream crossings on some logs that were wet, from the rain that was falling, and very slippery. Carrying my daughter I actually elected to walk through the water instead of risk falling off of the first one.

One of the most beautiful trails in Colorado! The Wild flowers were in full bloom. We came across a huge bull moose at the lake. Please keep your dogs on leash if you take them. One not very thoughtful hiker let her dog run wild at the moose and ended the enjoyment for each the moose and people.

21 days ago

We loved this hike. from 54 to 12 years old we all enjoyed every step, every stream crossing and especially the wild flowers. Wow! The lake was well worth the trip. Bring bug spray for the first two miles. We were hoping to see wildlife but saw none. So glad we did this hike. It is on my top 5 list!

1 month ago

Started at 11am and made it to Blue Lake in 2.5 hours. This trail is through a wooded forest which provided shade and a comfortable hike. The wild flowers were the stars of this trek and when we continued beyond Blue Lake we were treated to sweeping vistas of snow capped mountains! It never gets old! We continued to West Branch trail and felt amazing after our 13 mile hike! This did require 2 vehicles parked at each trailhead.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike! You mostly hike through lush green forest. There are many varieties of wildflowers. The hike is mostly easy, but there are a few stream crossings and mud. I suggest you bring some form of mosquito repellent. The first part of the trail was loaded with mosquitos you just have to keep moving. The lake is so beautiful and worth every mile!

hiking
1 month ago

This was a beautiful hike! The trail has many water crossings as snow is still melting. It’s not too challenging of a trial, just long. We hiked on a Tuesday 6-27 starting at 8 AM and just about had the entire trail to ourselves. The vegetation is so green and the lake is amazing.
We lost the trail going around the lake. It would be best to just go back the way you got to the lake.

backpacking
1 month ago

Tried to make it to the lake a few weeks ago but lost my way in the snow. Had to backtrack and camp out at a lower elevation - still a pleasant hike and the most isolation I’ve had in Colorado yet

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked this trail this morning to the lake. It was beautiful and fun. Gorgeous trees and flowers. There were several water crossings and snow to trek across. Definitely glad we got to the trailhead at 7:00-ish, the hike down was hot and a lot more crowded.

hiking
2 months ago

Only had a little time to hike a couple miles of the trail but it had nice views. Ran across somebody's trash and will have to bring a trash bag next time. They left beer bottles, muddy shoes, clothes, and general trash right by the river.

2 months ago

Decent hike. Not a ton of views of the nearby reservoirs. Mostly your walking through a pretty forested area. Still a lot of snow the last 2 miles or so. Lost the trail towards the end and ended up hiking to the end of Fall Creek. Which is SW of the end of the actual trail.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Did this hike on 5/18, still a good bit of snow and would definitely recommend snowshoes. Lost the trail about 1mi from the lake, so be prepared to find your own way. Still a very beautiful hike.

hiking
8 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
9 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
11 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
11 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
11 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
11 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
Thursday, August 03, 2017

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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

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
Sunday, June 11, 2017

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
Thursday, June 08, 2017

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
Tuesday, June 06, 2017

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
Monday, April 24, 2017

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

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