Mitchell Lake Trail

EASY 67 reviews
#18 of 108 trails in

Mitchell Lake Trail is a 1.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

1.9 miles
242 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running






wild flowers




Directions from Ward: Take Brainard Lake Road (CR #102) to the Mitchell Lake Trailhead. As of 2013, there is a $10 fee to enter the Brainard Lake Recreational Area.

17 days ago

FYI!!! June 2, 2018-We drove up today to Hike- But road is under construction and you can’t get to trailhead! Had to find another hike nearby!!

8 months ago

Pretty trail, fairly easy but we didn't get to finish due to thunderstorm.

9 months ago

Fun hike! Not busy on Monday morning. Marvelous views and easy trail.

9 months ago

This was a wonderful hike, especially with kids. The trail had a little bit of everything - wildflowers, water crossings/bridges, rock hopping, altitude and NICE people. The only down side was amount of dog poop bags left along the trail. At least the poop was bagged, but still...THERE IS NO POOP FAIRY who will magically pick-up dog waste for pet owners. PLEASE PACK IT IN AND PACK IT OUT FOLKS. I picked up four poop bags on the mile hike back to the parking lot and passed three unbagged piles.

10 months ago

Lovely quick and easy hike with young children. Beautiful, however; so many mosquitoes that you can't stand still for long to take in the have to keep moving! (end of July anyway)

10 months ago

11 months ago

What an awesome hike to take my mom to for her first elevation hike. She's from Ohio and has never done any kind of hiking out here. We started down at brainard lake and saw so many beautiful sites. It took her breath away. She was a little short of breath but really felt like she did a great hike and wasn't too easy that she felt like she was on a handicapped trail. Prob just over 2 miles round trip if you start down at brainard.

Bring bug spray!!! We got eaten alive. Bring a rain jacket, we got caught in some rain around 2pm.

11 months ago

Trail is currently very muddy from snowmelt. Wear waterproof shoes!

11 months ago

Great hike for little ones

11 months ago

Great easy hike even from the main parking lot. It's super muddy still from the melting snow packs which of course brings about mosquitoes so bring bug repellent. Otherwise we will definitely go again later in the summer.

11 months ago

I've been told this is a wonderful trail. I took a shot at it but there is still a lot of snow pack leading up to the lake. Proper shoes and hiking sticks necessary. The snow pack covers the trail after you cross the bridge so you need to know where you're going.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Did it last fall. Fairly easy hike to the beautiful lake. If you read, it says the area usually opens in mid June on their website.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Road closed

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Beautiful!!! Can't wait to hike up to little blue lake in the summer

Monday, October 31, 2016

This was a great hike and we even saw a couple of moose along the way.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pretty trail! Quick easy hike to get to Mitchel Lake! I recommend continuing on to blue lake!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Packed snow and ice early in day, slush and ice later, take yaktrax or similar this time of year . Busy trail, nice forest, good views at Lake.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pretty hike. Starts at Brainard lake which is beautiful in itself. I suggest going all the way up to Blue lake--not too much farther

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Unbelievably gorgeous and easy to moderate trail. Parking lot was packed on Wed after Labor day so recommend going earlier than later.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Great hike up to Blue Lake. The hike to Blue Lake is just short of 3 miles each way and truly moderate due to a rocky trail and a few decent inclines. However, BE WARNED, that the trail map is misleading. The trail from Blue Lake to Little Blue Lake is primarily very difficult scrambling on boulders, very steep incline and a very poorly marked trail. And that portion is an additional 1+ mile each way. The total round trip to Little Blue lake is a Difficult 8.4 miles

Monday, July 25, 2016

Fun, beautiful and pretty easy.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Well maintained. Good signage. Definitely an easier hike. Beautiful flowers around the streams feeding the lake.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Wonderful hike. Nice lakes and streams and wildflowers. It's a steady incline, but since it is spread out over 3 miles it is not bad. There are only a couple short steep segments. It is very rocky in some places, especially the top half, so I recommend good shoes and hiking poles for those that have problems with rocky terrain. Definitely will echo getting there early. I got their at 8am on a Saturday and the trail head lots were already full. Had to park in the day parking lots, which is almost a mile from the trail head. Also the fee into the park is cash or check only.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Wow! this hike is beautiful! It was rainy for part of the hike but that made it feel like I was in a rainforest. Totally a great hike. Oh and not to mention the lakes are awesome. Head to Blue Lake too.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Fantastic scenery and well maintained trail. Hiked in the summer so parking lot fills up quickly. Trail was not too crowded though. Lots of wildflowers in the summer! Make sure to hike past Mitchell Lake and go on to Blue Lake. It's absolutely gorgeous and well worth it.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Great hike saw two bull Moose at head of lake.

Monday, August 10, 2015

I love this hike, Mitchell lake is great but that is not were you should stop, go up to Blue Lake which is a lot better. After you pass Mitchell Lake the view get better and a lot greater chance of running into wild life. Well hiking up to Blue Lake we ran into two moose, which is just amazing to see in person in the wild. Highly recommend doing this trail but a lot better if you go to up and see everything that this trail has to offer, not just Mitchell Lake. I have added picture of Blue Lake the the views you will see going to you Blue Lake

Friday, July 31, 2015

Really enjoyed this hike. I went to Blue Lake which was a little less than 3 miles from the Mitchell Lake Trailhead (parking lot) round trip it was about 5.5 miles. I did this hike on a Thursday evening and was able to catch the sunset over the mountains while I was sitting at Blue Lake. Incredible views once you get over the tree line. Bring bug spray because the mosquitoes are pretty bad this time of year. I wore my Chacos and regretted it. Should of gone with my hiking boots. Lots of rocky terrain and creek crossing! Very fun and beautiful hike, would do it again!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Love the change in terrain through the whole hike.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A great day hike to Mitchell Lake and further on to Blue Lake, for a total of about 5 miles. I totally recommend this hike if you have already done the one to Lake Isabelle.

Trail Conditions today- plenty of muddy spots to plod through- be sure to bring your "big girl (or boy) boots". There is kinda a nasty creek crossing section that is a bit tricky. Don't want to loose your balance there. There are currently a lot of flowers out and about, but peak week won't be until next weekend or so. That sounds about right. It was a bit windy for my taste, but oh well. Saw two bull moose hangin' out near Brainard Lake. They were there yesterday morning as well. Awesome.

I got to the trailhead at about 7:15am and there were a few parking spaces open. Thank goodness this parking lot is bigger than the one for Long Lake.

Load More