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Bluebird Lake Trail is a 12.1 mile moderately 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 backpacking and is best used from March until November.

Length 12.1 mi Elevation gain 2,657 ft Route type Out & Back

Backpacking

Hiking

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Rocky

Snow

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Reservations to enter the park will go on sale through Recreation.gov at 8 a.m. Mountain Time on Thursday, May 28. Reservations will be available to enter the park from June 4 through July 31. The next release will be on July 1, for the month of August and any remaining days that have not been booked for July. On August 1, reservations will be available for the month of September and any remaining days that have not been booked for August. On September 1, reservations will be available for the month of October and any remaining days in September that have not been booked. Permits issued using the reservation system will allow park visitors to enter the park within two-hour windows of availability between 6 a.m. through 5 p.m. This process will facilitate advance payment of entrance fees, minimize contact between park entrance station staff and visitors and limit congestion in parking lots. The permit system will apply to all areas of the park. In the initial opening phase, the park will open approximately 60 percent of the park’s maximum parking capacity or 4,800 vehicles (13,500 visitors) per day. A diverse path to an alpine lake that retains some hints of an old dam. Departs from Wild Basin trailhead (fee) (winter closure adds about 2 miles). Alternative to the standard route to Bluebird Lake avoids the more crowded section by Ouzel Falls while having the same trail distance. Trail leaves the Wild Basin trailhead following the North Fork of the St. Vrain River. Passing Copeland Falls, trail rises gently through spruce-fir forest until ~1.5 miles from the start, where a trail to the right is signed for several campsites (this is just before bridge over the North Fork). Take this trail (stock not allowed), which rises steeply along the North Fork in dense forest before topping out near a minor lookout on the left. Trail continues more gently through forest before steepening up a second time before reaching a junction (again) with the Wild Basin (horse) trail, where you turn left back towards the ranger station. About 0.3 mile look for the trail to Ouzel and Bluebird Lakes on your right (the sign will be behind a tree from this direction). This trail rises up a steep switchback to gain the moraine crest north of Ouzel Creek. Wonderful views of the surrounding peaks are accompanied by wildflowers or yellow aspens depending on the time of year. After a gentle section along the moraine and then onto the canyon wall the trail splits about 1.4 miles from the Wild Basin trail; the righthand trail leads to Bluebird Lake. The trail traverses along the west canyon wall, rising and occasionally falling through very open country before entering evergreen forest. Crossing a few side streams, the trail crosses a couple very open rocky stretches before passing the Upper Ouzel Creek campsite, which is the farthest point for horses. The trail crosses Ouzel Creek and then rises more steeply along a rock rib. It then enters a narrow gulch that often holds snow until late in the season. The trail crests just above this with views over the lake to Ouzel Peak. Return as you came or turn right at the Wild Basin trail to pass by Ouzel Falls and Calypso Cascades.

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

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.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (179)
Photos (1735)
Recordings (103)
Completed (368)
Carrie Sanders-Hartley
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Running

My daughter and I ran this trail on August 11. Got to the lot around 545am and dozed for 20-30 min before heading out. I've been to Ouzel Falls a couple times and it's quite a lovely hike, but truthfully Ouzel Falls is a bit disappointing because the trail up is already so pretty. Anyway, I've never been much further past the falls until this time, but let me tell you, the best is ahead. The trail continues through the forest and a meadow. There's also a small snowfield just before Bluebird Lake. Everything was spectacular. The views, the wild flowers, the peaks and the solitude at this crystal clear mountain lake were well worth the early morning effort. It seems not many people venture very far on this trail because we only saw about 6 people headed up to the lake as we were descending. The crowds are down low. This is a fine RMNP trail.

Jean Farmer
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HikingGreat!
Jenny Zichterman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2020
Hiking

Bluebird Lake is gorgeous! Once you pass the Ouzel lake cutoff, the flowers start to appear and the scenery is amazing. The trail is harder after Ouzel Lake, but I thought it was the fund kind of hard, not the "please let this interminable steep uphill climb end" kind of hard. Climbing over boulders, snow field, etc. I hit the trail at 5:45 on a Tuesday and had no problem parking and saw few people until I hit Ouzel Falls on the way down. I saw a momma and baby moose on the trail (near the burn site from the 70's) and many people saw a bull near the trailhead, so keep your wits about you.

Tony H.
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Hiking
View Tony's Recording
Emily Grippin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
Hiking

Arrived at the trailhead around 5AM and there were only a few other cars. Hiked up to Ouzel Lake, then took a shortcut up through Chickadee Pond and connected back with the Bluebird Lake Trail, this shaved off a mile or so. Bluebird Lake was absolutely gorgeous and well worth the trip. There were hardly any people around the ouzel Lake and bluebird lake area - we didn’t encounter much foot traffic until our return trip around Ouzel Falls. The trail is moderate until the last mile until Bluebird then the elevation ramps up and there is snow but we were able to walk over it without reaction. Definitely come early as the parking lot fills up fast. Highly recommend, can’t wait to be in this area again.

David Spates
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Hiking
View David's Recording
Shelby Halligan
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HikingGreat!ScrambleSnow

Started at 5am on Saturday, August 1st. Not very busy until the journey back, but still only a handful of people. This was our first hike of our trip & hard to beat! We did not plan on going all the way out to Bluebird Lake, but after hiking to Ouzel Lake we decided to continue on. This was a very difficult hike past Ouzel Lake. The elevation gain is pretty dramatic for the two additional miles out to Bluebird & the trail involves a good amount of scrambling as well as climbing a snowfield, but the view from the top is spectacular. On our way back down to the trailhead we encountered two bull moose! Overall, a spectacular hike, but make sure you’re acclimated to the altitude and ready to climb.

Amanda Auen
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Hiking
View Amanda's Recording
Sam Sinkhorn
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HikingFeeRockySnow

The wildflowers were just stunning today (8/1/20) and the early morning temps were just right. This is an absolutely gorgeous trail with some variety. It also wasn’t very busy at all, especially hiking all the way to Bluebird. Here’s some logistics if helpful: Got to the trail just before 530 am and there were still quite a few parking spots. Saw only ~5 groups heading to Bluebird. I needed a headlamp for about the first 15 minutes of my hike. This hike is long so be prepared for that. My Garmin tracked about 14 miles total. Most of the elevation gain is near the end when reaching Bluebird but it’s nothing too difficult. The snowfield just before the lake was pretty slushy so I’m glad I had poles to help with stability. There is a bit of route finding involved but just look for the Cairns or check your map. I was back at my car by 1 pm and got rained on for the last half mile of the hike. Be on the lookout for moose! We saw a big guy enjoying is breakfast right on the trail. If you get to the entrance before 6 am you don’t need a timed reservation, but I’m assuming you still need a pass of some sort (I’m an annual NP pass holder so I just displayed that on my rear-view mirror.)

Katie Kosmerl
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Hiking

Started just before 6am and finished at 1:30pm. Stopped a few times to enjoy the scenery. Beautiful hike, just very long and quite challenging towards the top. We saw 2 bull moose feeding right off the trail!

Michael B
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HikingGreat!Snow

Exceptionally beautiful trail that, through the first 4 miles, is closer to an easy hike with outstanding scenery. It has some of the more beautiful waterfalls and serenity that I've experienced on area trails, which should be surprising given its location. Arrived at the trailhead at 5:30 on the dot and didn't see one person (after the parking area) until I met a gentleman descending in the final two miles to the lake. Once you reach the fork and begin the ascent up to Bluebird Lake, the trail does become progressively more difficult in terms of incline and overall difficulty, but the views are never short of amazing. The snow field, just below the lake, was still present as of July 21st and made it difficult to descend, in particular, but it was well worth the challenge. Just be careful on the descent as, in addition to the snow, the trail is fairly wet and slick on in the first .5 miles from the lake. Very near a perfect mixture of challenge and beauty, and undoubtedly, one of the truly hidden gems in RMNP.

Oliver Allgeier
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Hiking

This trail is a great long distance beginner. It’s a decent length but the majority of the trail is flat and shaded with many beautiful waterfalls along the way!

Sven Henderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 13, 2020
HikingRockySnow

Absolutely stunning trail. At the bottom I saw a couple moose munching on lunch and some llamas out for a hike. The higher up you go the more beautiful and more difficult it becomes. There was a patch of snow near the the top but wasn’t icy and was firm enough to walk on.

View Sven's Recording
Sarah Stevelinck
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HikingMuddyRockyScrambleSnow

Amazing hike!! Some of the best views in Rocky Mountain. A very long, but very rewarding hike. The lake is gorgeous and the trail is in great shape. There is some snow at the top which makes the views even better. I tracked about 15 miles in the day. I would definitely recommend this hike if you are looking for a beautiful and challenging hike. (completed on July 10, 2020)

Joshua Septimus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2020
HikingRockySnow

Wild basin is a little remote, but helped avoid the crowds at Bear Lake. With the restrictions, this is the least busy the Ouzel Falls has ever been (3 times). The hike to the falls is relaxing, gentle, well graded. Past the falls we decided to go all the way to Bluebird Lake. It was a grueling hike because of length (over six miles) combined with elevation gain (2600 feet); but huge payoff. Towards the end there is snow / ice; but very doable. Easy to lose the trail, so look for cairns. We did the trail with 4 teenagers. Parts are very exposed, and towards the end there was thunder. So come prepared for summer Rocky Mountain thunder storms.

Alaina G.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScrambleSnow

If you get to the park before 6am, you don’t need to purchase a pass. We started a little after 6am and were up to Bluebird by 9:30 and back to the parking lot by noon (6/27/20). Some lengthy snow fields in the last mile before Bluebird, but we were able to complete with good hiking shoes and poles. Look for cairns on the last stretch as the trail can be hard to locate because of the snow. This is definitely one of my most favorite hikes now! You can’t beat the view of Long’s Peak and other mountains the entire way up, as well as all of the falls you will pass. The trail is moderate until the split off of Ouzel and Bluebird (only 2 mi left until bluebird) and then the trail requires some scrambling. Overall, great and tiring day!!

Anamaria Popescu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike! Could not make it to Bluebird Lake due to the snow fields but great hiking up to Ozule lake, start early by 7 am, less crowded and not as hot.

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