Bluebird Lake Trail

HARD 91 reviews
#43 of 188 trails in

Bluebird Lake Trail is a 12.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Allenspark, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
12.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,657 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

forest

lake

river

views

snow

no dogs

Directions from Estes Park: Travel south on Hwy 7 to the turnoff to the Wild Basin Trailhead, between Meeker Park and Allenspark, to the west of the Highway. The Bluebird Lake Trail is located at the Wild Basin trailhead. Seasonal closures might effect parking. On such occasion optional parking is available down the road adding an extra mile walk to access trailhead.

2 months ago

My husband and I attempted this hike today, but the back half was too snow-packed. I’ll review what we did do:

The RMNP guard station was closed, but you are still able to drive through into the next parking lot, after that the road is closed, and it’s about a 1 mile walk on ice/packed snow to the trailhead (you pass the first set of trailheads and continue on to the large ranger station at Wild Basin trailhead, where you’ll see the sign for Bluebird Lake Trail, too. Note that you’ll follow the Ouzel trail past Ouzel Falls and Lake before you reach the actual Bluebird Lake Trail.

The walk from the parking lot to the trailhead is pretty miserable without YakTrax/MicroSpikes—we walked about halfway to the trailhead without, and I would consider YakTrax required! Once we started on the trail, it continued with hard-packed snow and ice at a relatively low incline for about 1.5 miles to the Falls, then after that there was an increasing amount of fresh powder accumulating, making it much more slow-going. Right at the halfway/3-mile Mark, the incline increased significantly, and there was about 1.5-2 feet of powder on top of the ice and snowpack. At this point, we continued on about 5 minutes before deciding to turn back. If you have snowshoes, you MIGHT be able to continue past this point, but it was actively snowing, covering our tracks and obscuring the trail. And it was really difficult to make any progress in the deep snow. If you try, make sure you plan for the trip to take twice as long, as it was very slow. Still beautiful and worth the trip to do the half that we were able, but don’t get stranded out there!

2 months ago

I hiked to Bluebird on Saturday. The last 2 miles were slow going because of snow. There was quite a bit of ice/snow pack on the trail to Ouzel Falls. Bluebird is already frozen over. If you have Microspikes throw them in your pack.
The road is closed to the back parking lot, it is about 1 mile to the trailhead from the winter gate.
Loved seeing the 3 male moose at the first lake!
I love the Bluebird Trail!!!

hiking
2 months ago

I love this trail. My favorite in the Rocky Mountain National Park thus far. Going at a slower pace (really taking in the views and having a bummed knee) it took my friend and I 8-9 hours total. We went during peak fall foliage at that altitude, which is around early to mid September, HIGHLY SUGGESTED. It made the trail even more beautiful. A good part of the trail is surrounded by smaller beautiful trees that change color for fall, while surrounded by mountain peaks. The trail passes by the Ouzel Falls and overlooks Ouzel Lake. The end is a scramble up some steep sloped rocks, where you should follow the little rock piles people made to mark the trail (I added to these as well). It's a beautiful lake and if you look in the opposite direction it's a beautiful view of the valley you just climbed up. If you get up there quickly and feel like you want to keep going, there are two more lakes you can scramble up to past Bluebird Lake. I don't think there is any paths leading up there though

3 months ago

Great trail. I didn’t see anyone for the middle 2.5 hours. Beautiful views, great wildlife.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike and great weather. There was about 2" of fresh powder near the lake but no snowpack. I saw a giant moose near the trailhead and saw tracks everywhere. Keep your eyes peeled. Almost every time I come to the Wild Basin area I see a moose or two. I started my hike at 7:15 and got to bluebird lake at 9:45 (2.5hrs). Round trip took me less than 4.5 hrs. I've hiked this trail many times and keep coming back. Great trail!

3 months ago

Amazing trail and hike. Well kept. Saw several moose. Was a perfect fall day.

hiking
3 months ago

We made it to Ouzel Creek - it was about 5 hours RT for us. Gradual incline, but the last mile was rough. That said, incredible vistas at every turn make for lots of little pay-offs before the finish. Recommend.

4 months ago

This was unexpected for me. I set out for Ozuel but hiked on to Bluebird and boy was I glad I did. Those final 3miles are tough though. Whew. 16.4 total miles from Wild Basin to Ozuel then Bluebird. I got there at 6:30am and I got back to my car at 12:30pm. I don’t know if that’s good or not but my legs are sore. 8.25.18

P.S. I’m Will. Thanks to Amber for loaning me her app.

5 months ago

Not pretty, not hard. Won’t be back.

5 months ago

Fantastic Rocky Mountain hike . This is my first hike in this area ! I am impressed !
It was hard trail to the lake but well worth!

hiking
5 months ago

8/11/18 - Hiked this amazing trail. My Inreach Exploer tracked 14.0 miles. The trail is well marked until the last .25 miles or so. The last .25-ish mile is traversing up rocks. Very step is well worth it. Love it - lots to see along the way. Beautiful wild flowers, water falls and more. The lake is stunning. I will do this hike again for sure.

5 months ago

Probably one of our favorite hikes ever! Beautiful trail from start to finish! Hiked on August 9, 2018.

hiking
5 months ago

Last minute plan to do some backpack camping and got into aspen knoll campsite nearby. Left from campsite at about 6am and made it back to camp at about 1pm. I didn't rush but kept a decent pace with a heavy load to test my endurance. Great variation throughout the trail. Lake was beautiful and very windy. Still a small bit of snow towards the end given it was the end of July.

hiking
5 months ago

This is an ambitious hike let me tell you. The beginning of this trail all the way to ouzel falls is amazing. The Copeland falls and calypso cascades are breathtaking. Ouzel falls was very nice, make sure to climb through some rocks and trees up the left side of the trail and you can find a couple different spots to see the falls in their entirety. I even saw people on top! You don’t get the full view of the 40ft falls from the main trail so be sure to get a closer look. After the falls, it thinned out as far as hikers and you get a few nice spots with overlooks. At the bluebird/ozuel lake split we went towards bluebird lake (2 more miles) it was a very tough stretch. We ended up going back about a half mile before the lake. The trail thins out at times but we felt we had missed it somehow, because the last 2 miles felt like 4 honestly. On our way back we did spot a bull moose sitting in the sun and that was worth the while hike. Also we saw overlooking views of ouzel lake and chickadee pond. It was very cool seeing them from above. Still a great hike even though we didn’t get to see Bluebird lake :-/ This was a tough one. Took us 9 hrs round trip with a lot of breaks. This was our 3rd hike in RMNP it was a challenge. Very hot for the second half of the hike. We started at 5:45am in July 8 Tuesday. Parking was not a problem. We want to go back some day and conquer this trail and see bluebird lake. We’ll be back to this one!

hiking
5 months ago

Loved this hike! I had been to Ouzel Falls dozens of times on my own over the years as I loved treating friends and family to this very scenic trail. Made it to Ouzel Lake only once and remembered that particular day was a tough one for me and my crew of three. But this time with intentions set for a few miles past these treasures, for Bluebird Lake, it became a reality. Slow and steady wins the race. :) Last big hike like that (for me) was Longs Peak, 25 years ago. So with the elevation gain on this, I’m realizing Longs shouldn’t be such a distant reality for me. ;-)
You will love it! Abundance of wildflowers, raspberries, rocks, peaks, blue sky!, animals, including a nice visit with a fawn, less than 10 feet from us on the trail! A real treat! We summited about 12:10 and only stayed about 10 more minutes, (bummer), but didn’t want to risk the weather and the few rolling clouds just coming in. to tease us. The day ended up being mostly clear! This will certainly will be in my to do list again! We took our time, and made it last about 8.5-9 hours. Truly amazing!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike. The first 3 miles are relatively easy and then once you start up towards Ouzel Lake there are some steep parts. At the sign to continue to Bluebird Lake (4.4miles), the terrain opens up. You pass two lakes on the left, one covered in lily pads. At this one we saw a bull moose just relaxing and eating some willow trees. He was super chill and maybe 25 yards from the trail just minding his own business. There are lots of wild raspberries on this stretch, yum! The last mile is pretty steep and challenging but it is worth it when you get to the top. The great thing about this hike is that it is a difficult 6.4miles up and an easy 6.4mile coast down. Make sure that you start early (7am) so that you have time to enjoy the lake and finish the trail before the thunderstorms roll in. It took us just about 6 hours (with a ~30min break at the lake and pictures along the way) and we weren't going slow. Enjoy!!

hiking
6 months ago

GORGEOUS! One of our top 10 favorite hikes that we've ever done! Amazingly beautiful trail and offers a little bit of everything: cascades, waterfalls, wildflowers, neat dead trees, views, wildlife, and lake! We hiked this trail on Saturday, July 14. We made it to the parking lot by 6:15am and it was full by about 7:30am that day although that didn't keep the crowds away. Many folks parked down the road and added a few miles to their hike. This hike is actually a total of 12.8 miles according to the national park sign. The trail starts as an easy one. There are neat rapids and waterfalls towards the beginning. You will encounter LOTS of people up to Ouzel Falls but after that, you won't see as many. There is a rustic "privy" pit toilet just beyond Calypso Cascades a few miles up. The privy has no door but some slatted wood panels on 3 sides. Above Ouzel Falls, there is more of an incline, then a more open area (from the 1978 fire) with lots of new growth trees and neat lightning struck trees. Then you'll go through an established forest and back into a more open area from the fire. You'll encounter this type of topography a few times before reaching a steeper section. After the split-off to Ouzel Lake, there are a variety of wildflowers and lots of raspberry bushes. There are more and more flowers the farther you go. The last half mile to the lake is the steepest and includes a steep, short rock section and large snowfield on an incline; both are definitely doable as you take your time. After some rain the day before, the mosquitoes were especially bad and relentless beginning around the split-off to Ouzel Lake to Bluebird Lake and definitely the worst at Bluebird Lake where there were the most mosquitoes we've encountered in Colorado. We had lots of chipmunk and marmot sightings and only saw a half dozen people at Bluebird Lake, definitely a much different wilderness experience than at the beginning of the trail. Solitude and amazing scenery at the lake.

6 months ago

Amazing hike. My brother and I hiked Bluebird this past June. About 12 people we had passed told us to turn back because it was too snowy. We ended up hitting some snags but we ended up doing some rock climbing and sledding to get there and back but we made it. Hiking turned into Mountaineering but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Well worth the risks!

6 months ago

I wish I could give this hike more than a five star. AMAZING hike! One of my all time favorite hikes. Great mountain vistas and lush green meadows along the trail. Great wildflowers and saw some wildlife. Must do in RMNP!

6 months ago

Great trail

hiking
6 months ago

I love lake hikes! Did this on a week day took off from the trail head at 7 am. The first part of the hike is beautiful but super buggy- bring bug spray you’ll need it! After the ouzel lake split the trail opens up to views of Ouzel from above. I ran into two bull moose on the trail. I gave them time and space and let them mosey on down to the lake ~ 15 minutes worth. Then ran into a momma deer with two babies. It was probably the time of day, but be aware of the wild life. Made it to the lake and back in 5.5 hours. No snow on the trail, nice hike. Minimal people after the Ouzel lake split. Would consider a moderate hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful trail! Very crowded until after ouzel falls then there was almost no one.

hiking
6 months ago

Parking lot was full at 10a on a tues, but there was parking about 0.7 miles from the trailhead. Plenty of people until after ouzel falls and not so many after which was great.

Clear of snow except for a patch about 100yards long just below the lake.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked 6/22. Beautiful trail. Follows the rushing creek for the first couple of miles. Very lush and green. You’ll see Copeland Falls and Calypso Cascades (the latter was especially amazing - pictures don’t do it justice). Continues on to Ouzel Falls - be sure to take the side trail and get right up next to the falls. The water is absolutely gushing right now. Trail later opens up to great mountain views and is lined with wildflowers. You’ll come to a stretch that’s almost like a foresty meadow with lots of downed trees (maybe from a microburst?). This area is so green and beautiful. Lots of wildflowers Saw some deer and marmots here. Trail then climbs into some woods, crosses streams, etc. You’ll come out of the woods and have the last uphill push to the lake. There was still a small uphill snowfield to cross, but I had no trouble without poles or traction. The lake itself was stunning - again, pictures don’t do it justice. In all, the hike took around 5.5 hours. One of the prettiest hikes I’ve done in the park.

hiking
6 months ago

Went up to Bluebird lake on Father's day the 17th and the trail was clear of snow for almost the entire hike. There were a few patches of snow that we had to go up on the final pitch to the lake. negotiated no problem with boots and poles. The hike was awesome and the lake was quite beautiful. I highly recommend if you have the stamina to do the whole 12.5 mile hike.

hiking
7 months ago

Tried to get to Bluebird Lake yesterday (5/25) but about one mile past turnoff from Ouzel Lake, trail was completely snow covered in the pine forest. Difficult to follow the trail, even with footprints, and frequently sunk in to my hips. Turned back when completely lost the trail and snow was very deep. However, hike was still amazing and gorgeous with blue skies and views almost the whole way. Would highly recommend and will return in a few months to get all the way to the lake!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Really gorgeous trail with a pluthra of amazing views. The first 5 miles of the trail are not difficult by any means, but the last mile has around 700-1000 feet of the elevation gain in the hike. And was strenuous. Especially for my friend who had hurt his knee earlier.

However, I would recommend hiking this. The views are great, and you'll feel rewarded afterwards. (Your legs might not though).

hiking
Sunday, August 13, 2017

This is the Ouzel Lake trail all the way until about a half mile from Ouzel Lake then splits off, Bluebird is two miles from there. There is a couple of boulder fields you cross over. One of them the trail is pretty visible, the other you cant really tell but just keep walking and you'll see the dirt trail when you get to the end of the boulder field. The last mile of this hike is pretty tough, but the best views in my opinion, the water falls, lots of flowers, all the surrounding mountains. It was awesome. When you get close to the top you will see the snow field, if you look to the right of it you will see a cairn showing you another trail with no snow. I didn't see that trail until I was coming down. If you don't happen to find it just know I made it through the snow with no poles, I was just really careful. Beautiful lake and surroundings.

hiking
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Trails conditions were still as described in previous reviews. Used trekking poles (up) and micro-spikes (down) on the final snowfield, but I'm unusually clumsy on the snow and was playing it safe. Wife only used trekking poles on the way down. Cloud cover and a slight breeze made for a delightful hike up. Encountered a moose just after the cutoff for Ouzel Lake approx. 4 miles in. Long hike but definitely recommended!

hiking
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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