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Blue Lakes Trail

HARD 627 reviews

Blue Lakes Trail is a 7.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Ridgway, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, fly fishing, horses, and snowshoeing and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.9 miles Elevation Gain: 2,519 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

snowshoeing

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

The Blue Lakes are located in a glacial basin in southwest Colorado in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness. A gorgeous alpine hike with wildflower-filled meadows, and impressive views this trail is not to be missed. There are three lakes in the basin - the middle and upper have the best views. This is an easy day hike but the lowest lake has several campgrounds along the shore for those who wish to spend the night. Visitors can park at the Blue lake Trailhead off County Road 7.

icy
muddy
snow
25 days ago

hiked only to the first lake. Round trip 5 hours, but only 4 hours actually hiking. hiked with Yak Traks, definitely recommend.

recorded Blue Lakes Trail

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
25 days ago

Doable with yak trax. Uphill to the lake and downhill on the way back for the most part. Trekking poles may help. I never remember mine! Bear spray is recommended though I saw little wildlife in November.

hiking
icy
snow
1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Can see why it’s a classic. Plentiful water features and amazing views for the second half of the hike. There was a lot of snow but it was mostly pretty well packed. We took snow shoes but didn’t use them. Micro spikes are definitely necessary at this time, although conditions may change if warm weather melts some of the snow. One side note, the trail is listed as 8 miles out and back to the near side of the third lake, on my gps it was 4 miles just to the first lake. Because of this miscalculation we had to turn back before the second and third lakes. Still well worth it though, incredible hike.

hiking
icy
snow
1 month ago

Beautiful snowy trail . After about 2 miles of hiking we began to break trail as no other humans had been up there since the recent heavy snow . The chutes where avalanches had traveled through the valleys were like a super Highway for the elk and deer . There were tracks everywhere . We also saw fresh moose tracks but saw no animals . It took us just under 6 hours of heavy trekking through the snow to get up to the lower lake and back to the trailhead . Stopping for only about 20 minutes for a snack at the lake . Snow shoes would be very helpful and yak trax of some sort . We can’t wait to go back !

hiking
icy
snow
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent trail with beautiful scenery. I hiked it on 10/23/19 as a second leg (Silver Lake was the first). Thanks to the excellent recommendations and reconnaissance here on AllTrails, I was able to park easily one switchback shy of the power station above the falls, making both Silver Lake and Lower Blue Lake possible on the same day (I started late at 12:30 PM and finished just before 7 PM). Up and back to Blue Lake took just over three hours by my estimate. I went slow on the way back as it was nearing dusk and I wanted to enjoy it. Made quite a few photo stops. There is snow that I would consider mild. I went with poles and normal running shoes + yaktraks, which made the snow travel quite efficien and very enjoyable (ymmv).

hiking
rocky
snow
1 month ago

Tough trail. Snow the whole way to lower blue lakes (where we stopped). Plenty of hunters so be aware. Didn’t see any wildlife but birds - probably due to abundance of hunters. Lake was disappointing that it wasn’t the “blue” we had in mind from photos we’d seen online. About 2.5 hours up and much less on way back.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Trail is difficult the first mile or so as you’re walking at an incline and there are switchbacks. Only saw deer for wildlife. Took my friend and I 2.5 hours to get to the lower lake, hung out for an hour there, and took us 2 hours to get back to the trailhead. My friend and I walked a ways up the blue pass road (to the upper lake) to get better shots of the lower blue lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty trail, lower lake is by far the prettiest. Tough hike in some spots, but worth the trek. Fall colors have faded, but it’s still a beautiful trail. Slight snow dusting, only in the shady areas. Will definitely hike again!

hiking
2 months ago

Upper lakes aren’t worth the extra... the lower blue lake looks like our version of Lake Alberta in Banff. Incredible

hiking
2 months ago

I’ve done 50 some reviews. Four of them have rated 5 stars. The Grand Canyon, The Enchantments (twice) and Bryce Canyon. This is my fourth 5 star review. Why does it get the perfect rating? Simple. It has everything I look for in a day hike. Strenuous, but not requiring “skills,” no signs of civilization, incredible and unique views that you have to greedily earn by vertical gain and busting butt walking with an otherworldly combination of colors and depths that suck the breath out of you literally and figuratively. Not to get to Nike but if you are in this side of Colorado, Just do it.

hiking
2 months ago

got there around 10am. hiked up to the upper lakes and back in 6.5 hours. that's with multiple stops for photography and 30 minutes at the lower lake. trails are well kept. upper lakes were extremely windy and cold. County Road 7 is a dirt washboard road, I managed with my Chevy Malibu so it's not too bad. definitely recommend this for a full on day trip!

hiking
2 months ago

Backpacked to lower Blue and did the pass the next day. Beautiful day except for the high winds. Still some wildflowers. Very few people late September and mid week.

hiking
2 months ago

I loved this hike, however today was crazy windy. We heard two trees fall in the forest while we were hiking through. The lakes are amazing, and the upper lakes are worth the effort (even with the brutal wind). You have to cross the creek and take the trail on the left to pick up the correct trail.

hiking
2 months ago

My husband

hiking
2 months ago

The first 2 or 2.5 miles of trail aren’t overly interesting. A creek runs along the trail for the first part which is nice, but then it’s a steep walk through evergreen forest. It does look like there would be some nice wildflowers in some meadow areas during the summer. Closer to the lower Blue Lake there is a beautiful waterfall, definitely stop there for a look, you have to walk down off the trail a bit. Lower blue Lake is very pretty, a nice blue-green color. We stopped here for a snack and took lots of pictures. We attempted to find the continuation of the trail to hike up to Blue Lakes pass, but it was not well marked and we decided to head back after scrambling up and down a dead-end trail that was a lookout over the lower lake. Round trip it was about 9.5 miles just to the lower lake and back, including some walking around the lake.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the best Colorado jokes we’ve done

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

4 horses and riders plus my dog. Wonderful ride, stunning views. A few places on the trail were a little tricky but with our horses did a great job! Rode to first lake and back to trailer, 8 miles. I would not take a green horse or rider on this trail but if each are experienced, you'll have a marvelous time. There were streams along the way for the horses to drink and they enjoyed water and grass while we all rested at the lake before heading back down. Im looking forward to going back!

hiking
2 months ago

The view from above the first lake is probably the best view on the trail. The only relatively challenging part of the trail is if you get up to the second/third lakes. I logged mileage at 9.3 for what it's worth. Bring layers.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful day hike on a gorgeous day. Well worth the effort!

hiking
2 months ago

Perfect day for this trail yesterday (9/14). Beautiful, varied scenery throughout, including wooded walks, mountain meadows, stream crossings, waterfalls and alpine lakes at the end. Lower lake was the most beautiful color but the vistas along the trail to the upper two lakes were worth the climb. Take plenty of water and sustenance to enjoy a day in nature. Unfortunately for us the aspens hadn’t begun turning yet. Maybe next year on a different weekend. Absolutely a CO bucket list trail, though, for all the scenery box checks!

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

Loved this trail! It was awesome weather (~65 degrees), not too many people for a very popular trail. The lakes were amazing, although the first one was my personal favorite and best. I would rate it as moderate level; it might be difficult for the inexperienced. Check out my journey captured on video for a better idea! https://youtu.be/pHet8QTqHWM

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