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Mitchell Lake Trail

EASY 180 reviews
#7 of 22 trails in

Mitchell Lake Trail is a 1.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.9 miles Elevation Gain: 242 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

fee

Although this trail is almost entirely in the Indian Peaks Wilderness (Roosevelt National Forest), it starts in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. There is a $11 fee to enter this area. From mid-October to mid-June the gate to the Brainard Lake Recreation Area is closed. To do this trail, you would have to start at the Gateway Trailhead, outside of the closed gate. That adds 2.5 miles one-way to the hike. If you start outside of the gate, you do not need to pay the fee.

hiking
2 months ago

Great short hike with beautiful woods and stream. It was wonderful. This was only my 5th hike in Colorado, so haven’t a lot of experience to compare, but we really enjoyed it with our 11 yr old dog. It wasn’t too challenging for her.

hiking
2 months ago

It is only about a mile from Long Lake trailhead to Mitchell Lake, the 1.9 must include going out and back. It took me 20 minutes to get there from the parking lot and I am 58 years old hiking at a moderate pace. Beautiful hike though..

hiking
2 months ago

Lovely enjoyable trail. Kid and dog friendly. Many nice stops to relax on boulders and next to a creek. Mitchell Lake has slightly marshy area to spend some time. Best views at Mitchell. Mostly wooded trail with plenty of protection from high winds.

hiking
2 months ago

There are several trails and lakes within the Indian Peaks Wilderness. I would recommend hiking Long Lake instead.

hiking
2 months ago

Not official trail but still wonderful. Be ready for the wind!

hiking
2 months ago

This is a really nice woodsy mountain trail and the lake is beautiful. This area is gorgeous and a bit off the beaten path if you are looking for a nice place to get away from the crowds at ROMO.

hiking
3 months ago

A nice easy trail from the parking lot and campground. Lots of streams, wildflowers, vistas, and wildlife. Hiked in late August, we saw a mature female moose and her young calf.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was pretty good. Lots of good views of wildflowers!

hiking
3 months ago

This trail seemed longer than 1.9 miles. Our Fitbit registered 5.6 out and back. Trails conditions were great. No mud or snow on trail. We saw four moose!! Steep climb for this Va girl!!

hiking
3 months ago

awesome trail! This is actually the first half of the blue lakes trail and I encourage all to go beyond this lake. Hiking shoes/boots are a must, this trail can be extremely muddy

hiking
4 months ago

Completed trail on 7-30-19. As everyone stated in other comments, the bugs were kinda unreal. Bring bug spray. There was still snow at the lake. Great pics - see attached.

hiking
bugs
rocky
snow
4 months ago

We hiked to Mitchell lake, then continued on to Blue Lake. Lots of water, snow and mud on the trail, but the icy lake was spectacular. Highly recommend!

hiking
4 months ago

The parking lot at the trailhead was closed last week so add an extra mile each way to your hike.

hiking
scramble
snow
5 months ago

As previous reviews note, after the first bridge the trail gets a little sketchy. I had micro spikes which definitely helped but still post holing and basically lost the trail. Turned on the GPS with all trails part way through to figure out which way to go, but be prepared to forge your own trail until you find some footprints. Gorgeous vistas at Mitchell lake, but decided to stop torturing my dog and we turned around instead of continuing on to blue lake. Posted some pics of the snow for reference.

hiking
snow
5 months ago

Beautiful area. Visited 6/29/19. First mile (to the bridge) still has small amounts of snow and some visible ground. Trail is marked and easy to follow. After entering the Indian Peaks Wilderness area, there are no markers and the snow was several feet deep. We were able to walk on top of the snow in most areas, following trails of footprints, but be prepared for postholing all the way to the lake. Lake was beautiful and worth the effort.

hiking
6 months ago

This trail is gorgeous in the summer. I would wait a little while to try and hike this. There was snow completely filled throughout the trail pretty hard packed. The road is also closed so you will have to walk up where you would typically drive.

hiking
6 months ago

Did this 6/1 at about 4pm. Gates still closed throughout and you have to park at the Winter Lot which is what we did. Motorcycles could easily get past the gate and get all the way to Brainard Lake and shave 4-5 roundtrip miles off the total route. There are no rangers patrolling that area. You walk on completely clear road all the way to Pawnee Campground. We went around the south side of the lake and finally started running into snow. Snow was hardpacked from everyone else doing this. I think the slush/softpack was starting to calm down/solidify as we started hiking. Anyway, we got all the way to Mitchell Lake with only microspikes and gaiters and had a late evening lunch. We were pretty slow and having fun so it took us about 5 hours to go from the Winter Lot to Mitchell Lake and back. Got back at dark about 9:15.

Wed Sep 26 2018

If you don’t have much time, but want to get out and do something active, this trail is perfect.

hiking
Wed Aug 15 2018

Wonderful views. The trail was great for the kids (ages 6 and 9). Bring your bug repellant of choice. Lots of mosquitos near the lake. Soo beautiful!

Sun Jul 15 2018

easy trail, pretty lake and tons O' bugs. Keep on going to Blue lake.

hiking
Sat Jul 07 2018

Such an beautiful hike! Loved it!

Fri Jul 06 2018

Great easy hike with beautiful scenery!

hiking
Fri Jul 06 2018

Nice choice if you're looking for a mild, quicker hike with gorgeous views! We got to the trailhead at about 6 am and it was already pretty full (it was the fourth, so not surprising it was really busy) but the trail was gorgeous. Streams, lakes, super green scenery, beautiful weather...can't ask for more. We ALMOST saw a moose (saw its hind legs disappearing behind some trees), apparently we had just missed a mom and her calf...was pretty bummed we didn't see them but oh well! I would highly suggest continuing up to Blue Lake after Mitchell, its a little more of a hike but nothing difficult and the views are just as great if not better. Really love this area, just try to schedule around crowds as its been really busy every time Ive been up here.

Sat Jun 02 2018

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!!

Thu Sep 21 2017

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

hiking
Tue Sep 12 2017

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

hiking
Sun Aug 27 2017

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.

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