Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Mount Audubon Trail

HARD 280 reviews
#5 of 22 trails in

Mount Audubon Trail is a 7.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Ward, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.4 miles Elevation Gain: 2,670 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

fee

Although this hike is mostly in the Indian Peaks Wilderness (Roosevelt National Forest), it starts in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. There is a $12 fee (cash only) to enter this area. From mid-October to mid-June the road to this trailhead is closed. Visitors may park just outside the closed gate for free at the Gateway Trailhead. Parking at this trailhead would add several miles to this hike roundtrip.

hiking
2 days ago

Hiked it 10/14 - parked at Mitchell Lake TH. Windy and gusty right out of the tree line, and progressively more windy all the way to the summit. Some snow, but didn’t need micro spikes (brought them along in case). Be careful going through the two spots where snow is across the trail - it appeared that someone had stepped through a gap in the rocks that had been covered by snow...looked like it could be a painful result. Temp was about 30, but wind was howling at the summit, making it far colder. Went with day pack, base layer, North Face mid layer, face mask, and trucker hat. Well marked with cairns after the tree line. Incredible views on every side of summit. Overall great hike - my first thirteener.

hiking
2 days ago

Hiked this on 10/15/19 and the road the main trailhead was closed. I parked in the winter lot and walked to the regular trailhead which added about 6-7 miles total to the hike round trip (so instead of an 8 mile hike it was a 14-15 mile hike). Overall not too difficult of a hike just very long with the added mileage. The trail itself is plainly obvious with lots of cairns except on the final pitch to the summit (which is pretty much just a giant talus slope) it’s kind of confusing where the trail is from where the cairns are placed. However the talus slope is almost all stable so if you get off trail then you just need to head straight up until you see another cairn. Once you get above treeline expect it to be extremely windy the whole time and even worse at the summit. The views from the summit are incredible, but I could only stay up there 10-15 mins because it was so cold even in the wind shelters. There were about 5 other cars in the winter parking lot, but only saw one other group in the very beginning, but not a single person on the actual summit trail. Overall very fun and not too difficult hike, but I would probably only do it again in the summer because the extra mileage is killer.

hiking
12 days ago

9/6/19: loved this easy summit. Great trail throughout, amazing views, and not crowded at all. Recommend driving north of Brainard Lake to some of the side of the road parking spots up there (the TH parking lot fills up by 730 am on weekends). Windy summit but had great shelters!

hiking
scramble
17 days ago

Clocked in closer to 10 miles. Took my slow hiking self about 8 hours. Lots of of pine trees during the first half but no aspen. Not a spectacular fall specific hike. It lost a star because the scree in the top half mile made the trail difficult to follow & sketchy. It was encouraging to be able to look up and see how close I was to the summit. Gorgeous views. Fun to walk through the clouds. Tips: bring layers, extra food/water, trekking poles, sunscreen & sunhat (maybe even a beanie too). Don't skip it for this hike.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
19 days ago

I arrived at the parking lot at 7:30am and there were many open spots. The parking lot and road is very well maintained and restrooms are available. The trail is very well marked and I never once was confused where to go. Close to the peak the trail becomes very rocky but their are cairns that make it easy to know the way. There is significant snow the last half mile. The scramble to summit it difficult but so worth it and about a quarter mile. There was little wind today, more at summit but not too strong. Saw probably about 12/14 people total the entire hike. Took about 4 hours total - took the descent slow and careful due to snow and ice.

hiking
19 days ago

Great hike in beautiful weather with little wind. I was in minimalist footwear and not used to wearing them on granite, so bagged the final 1/4 mile summit scramble due to sore feet. Great views of fall color and fresh snow on the Indian Peaks. Most of the insufferable Boulderite dog mommies and daddies that make Brainard Lake area trails a carnival of barks and poop avoid this hike because of its difficulty. Less than 20 people and one dog during the whole day on the mountain. Highly recommended!

hiking
fee
no shade
rocky
scramble
22 days ago

7 hours slower paced trail is in great shape. awesome views. winds at top were about 70 to 80. could not stand up. the last leg is a rough steep rock scramble up the summit cone. there are rock shelters at the top to sit in and get out of the wind. YouTube video search Rick camarata.

hiking
scramble
23 days ago

9/23 started around 0830. Not many people for a Monday. VERY windy for the majority of the hike which made it feel much cooler but I was clothed appropriately. The trail is not difficult to follow until you get to the saddle before the final summit attempt. There are cairns to follow but just be careful about the route you choose. Amazing views atop the peak.

hiking
1 month ago

Wind was brutal today. Got to Mitchell Lake parking lot at 7:20am and it was practically empty. Should have know it was going to be a bad day when I drove through Ward, CO and it was pretty windy there.Got above treeline around 8am (1.4 miles from trailhead) and the ferocious head wind was unrelenting. It was 48 degrees and I was dressed for the conditions but I have seldom encountered such a strong headwind on a trial. If it had been a side-wind, probably would have continued but gave up after 2-miles under the category of "there will always be another day" as the headwind and the cloudy skies made the hike very unpleasant. Parking lot was still pretty empty when I got back around 9:15am. Did a short hike up to Isabelle Lake afterwards and swung back through the Mitchell Lake parking lot around to see the availability status - still pretty of openings.By 12pm the sun cam out but the wind never seemed to fade too much.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views!!! The wind was bad on the summit and a small portion of the hike up, but it calmed down quite a bit and made for a pretty spectacular day! The toughest part is in the last 1/4 mile going up to the summit, but that is short and really not bad. Those views though

hiking
1 month ago

This clocked in around 10 miles (a little more the AllTrails estimate) round trip and was absolutely perfect on 9/16. I originally attempted this hike on 9/12 and the winds were so uncomfortable, cold and strong that I turned around 2.5 miles in. Great hike, just check the wind speeds beforehand and plan accordingly.

hiking
1 month ago

So windy! These two Colorado girls have decided that our attempt at Mt. Audubon was a bit too late in the season here on 9/12/19. Our first clue should have been the full winter gear on the guy we paid $12 to drive into Indian Peaks Wilderness. When we pulled into the base parking lot around 7:30, it was 35 degrees. We rummaged through the car and put on all the clothes we could find (thank you gloves and random Costco puffy vest) and set out. It is a beautifully maintained trail with lots of wildflowers for the first mile or so and then we got into the frozen tundra. By 2 miles in, there were 60 mph winds and no cover but we passed some hikers from NJ and a pretty snowfield so we soldiered on. By 3 miles in, the trail had snow and the surrounding grasses were covered in frost. By 3.5 miles in, we were in a dense cloud and could not see the summit so turned around for the coldest and windiest downhill hike of our lives. We may not have made it this time, but we’ll be back for you, Mt. Audubon (earlier in the summer next time). My hands are still numb as I write this review...

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked late August, a real gem!! The weather was remarkably mellow, quite unusual for this peak. Wonderful awesome views. All hikers should be prepared for dramatic weather changes, even in the summer!

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Arrived at 8am on Labor Day with plenty of spaces in the lower lot - It did add another 2 miles round trip, our total distance was right around 10 for the day. Beautiful views the entire way. Lots of chipmunks, Pikas, and marmots running around in the rocks throughout. There was some wind at the top and it was cool (a windbreaker was necessary), but it was HOT on the way down. Dress in layers and be ready for a big temp change between start and finish.

hiking
1 month ago

What an amazing hike! This 13er less than an hour from Boulder has everything from a nice, gradual shady portion to a really steep scree and boulder field that makes you earn the summit. Very similar hike to some of the easier 14ers such as Bierstadt and Grays but you start at 10-something and end at 13,223 rather than starting at 11-something and ending up over 14k. It’s definitely the highest — or close to the highest —mountain for miles so you can see forever with amazing views in all directions from the summit, including most of the Boulder Valley. Take it seriously when people say to get there early. We arrived just after 8am. The Mitchell Lake lot was full and had to park in the day lot, adding about 2 miles to our RT. In total we did 9.8 miles in about 5 1/2 hours — about 2:50 up, a stop on top and 2:30 down. Would definitely do this again!

hiking
1 month ago

Such a cool hike! My sister and I hit this trail on Aug 30th, we started at 7:00am and got to the top around 11:00am. You climb above the tree line fairly quick so be prepared to be exposed to the sun. The views from the top are incredible but the wind was insane, prepare accordingly. I recommend this hike to anyone looking for a good workout and good views.

hiking
1 month ago

Incredible views of several mountain ranges in the last mile. It’s definitely a long scramble (about .3 miles) to the top with the trail disappearing at times, but nothing too challenging for someone familiar with scrambling.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Hiked 8/27/19 and had beautiful weather, albeit lots of wind, which seemed to be settling down by the time I was heading down (9am). Audubon’s location gives it some of the best views around - over Blue Lake, the Isabelle Cirque, Niwot Ridge, and Rocky Mountain NP with Longs Peak. Pretty gradual climb until the final pitch/scramble. Lots of time in the sun above tree line, so be sure to bring some sun screen :). Enjoy!

running
rocky
1 month ago

Attempted a trail run on Aug 26. Wind was so strong (I would guess 80+ mph) and the terrain sufficiently difficult that I had to abandon running about 1.5 miles before summit. I don't recommend this as a trail run as the cold temps, high wind and loose rock make it ill suited to fast and light movement. But, the views are amazing for those that are properly prepared!

hiking
1 month ago

WINDIEST HIKE IN THE WOLRD. Definitely be prepared for all types of weather and tons of wind! Hiking poles are also recommended.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail was easy to follow and in good shape. Just below the summit the trail turns into a mini scramble. Fun trail!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

A fantastic day hike in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. Remarkably not windy and not very cold on the peak this past Wednesday. Fantastic panoramic views. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Very very rocky, a bit achy on the feet, but worth every step!

Load More

Featured Trails