Explore the most popular birding trails near Nederland with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We did this trail last December. Ended up being about 13 miles round trip from where we had to park, but totally worth it. Gorgeous in the summer, but if you can brave it and don't mind the wind, do this in December-March. The snow makes the hike a good bit harder, but provides an unbelievable view once you reach the lake. Doing this again on 09/23 with the doggos this time!!

beautiful hike with gentle terrain.

Three of us hiked up to Blue Lake, then two of us made our way up to Little Blue Lake using the directions from AllTrails... Well we sort of lost the non-existent trail for a little bit...

The map, and the descriptions takes you through a fun but quite precarious boulder field. You would need to have great mobility to make that trip... Or perhaps there was an easier route we missed when we veered off course a tad.

On the return, we found a far easier way up/down following a cut-off which I will try to show in my labeled photo (the one with all the arrows). If you take the tiny trail up, you can zig-zag your way up and across terrain that is far easier to traverse than the boulder field.

It was magnificent, and while there were a fair few people on trail at 10am on that Saturday, it was far from crowded feeling. There was only one person that adventured all the way to Little Blue Lake while we were up there, so that was as serene as can be!

One moose was spotted nearish the trail towards the trailhead.

Loved this hike! Great workout, beautiful views. We went from brainard lake, to Mitchell lake, to blue lake. We even saw a moose family along the way!

took the family (Wife daughter 5 son 3) for their first hike. we had a great time. the waterfall is dried up at the moment but the lake was beautiful.

We entered from CR 125 and 123–the latter a dirt road with lots of ruts and rocks as we neared the trailhead sign. Be advised that there are at least two different access points and that one may be easier than the other. The trail descended steeply over rocky scree before reaching the creek which it followed through a mountain meadow. The ascent from the meadow to the lake was fairly steep. Although the signage listed the distance to the lake as 1.2 miles,it seemed longer to us.

The lake itself is lovely and remote. We discovered a party of campers who had pitched tents and brought in a kayak. Yes, some of them were swimming!

High clearance four wheel drive vehicles are strongly suggested for accessing trailhead.

Beautiful hike. Limited parking, we arrived at approx 10am and were lucky to find a spot, I recommend going early. Lots of loose rock for nearly the entire trail. Great views, short and sweet.

Arrived 7:15am on a Monday in September. Only 3-4 other cars in the lot and saw no one else on the trail until we hit Isabelle. Water level is low (drained)but it was still a worthwhile hike and there’s still a decent amount of water left. A lot more foot traffic heading up to the lake when we were heading out. Back at the parking lot at 10:30am and lot was full with cars circling to find a spot. Easy hike-the elevation gain comes right before the lake.

We only hiked about 4.5 miles of this trail since we got on the road a little later than expected. Still a beautiful hike, is mostly a steep incline for the first couple miles so I would recommend being prepared for that. There’s a really pretty waterfall around mile 2(ish) off to the side. Would definitely like to go back and go backpacking!

Had a wonderful hike but lots of people. The fall colors were amazing and I’m sure everyone had the same idea to view them. Parking is awful so get there early in the morning or later in the day around 2pm. Hike isn’t long so totally doable

What an amazing hike! Its really easy with a bit of a strong incline right before blue lake. Super dog and kid friendly plus there is plenty of space at the lake to hang out.

Amazing hike with 360 views almost the whole way . Beautiful scenery and definitely a diamond in the rough . We didn’t see many people out on the trail and the parking lot is small. The road to the trail is definitely bumpy.. slow going for sure. But don’t let it keep you from going . I wasn’t expecting such an amazing hike . We didn’t get to spend as much time as we wanted at the top because it starting storming and lightening. But the view at the top - AMAZING... half the trail is dirt and some is nothing but rocks. The hike isn’t too strenuous and we only got to check out Lake Dorothy but I would definitely love to go back and explore the rest of the trail .

hiking
5 days ago

Great hike - semi quiet going up around 8:30am - lots of good flat parts with few rocky areas. Good forest, mountain and lake views. Parking near trailhead was full so parked at the Brainard Lake lot (past the pay area) so overall mileage out and back was closer to 7.3-7.5 miles.

Hiked this today on a beautiful cloud free, warm fall day. We didn't get to hike around the lake but we went to it to take a peek. We had to make it back in time for the final shuttle of the day!

Pros:
1. The trail is shaded for much of the hike which is nice on warm sunny days.
2. Didn't see any rattlesnakes (my biggest fear since moving to CO) only one smaller snake that slithered away from the trail
3. Moderately challenging steepness (for most people - im not in CO hiking shape yet!) so this was a good middle level challenging hike for me that was a good mileage.
4. A few small waterfalls (unless we missed bigger ones) which were pretty. We werent able to stop and enjoy them too long because we had limited time but they were nice. you pass a handful of creeks on this trail.
5. Busy trail - i prefer this because the more people the less snakes (i assume haha) but i like that people are hiking the trail so you know if anything happens or you get hurt someone will cross your path at some point.
6. We saw a moose!! It was on the ride back to the parking area but still, super cool that there is some good wildlife in the area.

Cons:
1. Parking! Which many people expressed. We went today on a Saturday afternoon, and we drove around for a while and wasted a lotttt of time, before deciding to take the shuttle which is about 15 min from the trailhead so we wasted an hour trying to figure out where to park and what to do with that.
2. Only two major scenic areas, from a view perspective, one open area that has a view of some mountains and a sky resort towards the middle of the hike, and the lost lake, otherwise its mostly a wooded rocky trail with not much scenic views. Still pretty, dont get me wrong, but i like mountains, and lots of em!
3. Some rock was really lose - it was tough on the way down for me so wear hiking boots (I fell going down and hit my knee because of the loose rock - and i was even wearing good hiking boots).

Fantastic hike with gorgeous pay off. beautiful the whole way.

Fantastic hike with great views. Decently strenuous with nearly the entire trail at an incline. Some rockier parts, definitely bring proper hiking boots. Fantastic views, especially after the treeline. Camping is possible. To get to the lake, take the Caribou Pass trail and it will be on your left. Get to the parking area early!!! It will be full by 8AM or so.

Good hike to get acclimated to the higher elevation. We took the shuttle from the Nederland Ride-and-Park, which worked very well to avoid the limited parking situation at the trailhead. Lovely views along the trail of mountain vistas, waterfalls, golden aspen, and clear Lost Lake. Really appreciated the shade along portions of the trail on a sunny day like today.

Beautiful, scenic trail! After parking and walking around the lake, it came to 7.3 miles on my Apple Watch. Very busy trail.

Trail was beautiful. Had some friends from out of town so we didn’t go to Little Blue Lake, but Mitchell and Blue Lake were amazing. Lots of little lakes in between them as well. Top parking lot was full even on a Monday morning, so get there early or prepare to hike from a lower lot.

hiking
9 days ago

This is an absolutely beautiful trail. Lake Isabelle was really low, but it didn't matter at all. It felt like we were on a movie set. It was a great, easy hike. Definitely go during the week. We had no issues parking or with overcrowding. Coming from Texas, the heat doesn't bother us. We got there around 3P. It's very shaded so the sun wasn't an issue.

Great trail with scenic views! We hiked counterclockwise and camped one night at Devils Thumb Lake. You have to have a permit durning the summer months up until Sept 15th. We camped on 9/7 and the temperature at night got down to around 30 - 31 degrees so make sure you have the correct gear even in early September. The first part of the trail going counter clockwise with a 35lb - 40lb pack can be difficult on some of the climbs in elevation, take breaks and drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine. There are plenty of water opportunities on the trail, so accessing water isn’t an issue for the most part. The ascend up from Devils Thumb Lake to the High Lonesome Trail has some great views you climb about 1,000 feet over approx a 1/2 - 3/4 mile. The rest of the trail after you come down off the High Lonesome Trail by King Lake you’ll be going down in elevation the remainder of the time. The overall trail is marked “ok” but recommend having a map or gps as back up, I would not rely on the trail markers only when hiking this trail. Great 15 + mile trail with beautiful views......go get some!!

Great views and some challenging terrain! Super packed. Get here early or you'll add about two miles to your trek because the upper lot is usually full and you have to hike another mile to the trail head. Overall a nice easy/ moderate trail.

hiking
11 days ago

I thought the crowds would thin after Labor Day. I was wrong. This is a beautiful hike just be prepared to fight the hoards. We had to park up the road which added two miles to the hike and kept us from going all the way to the glacier. Despite the crowds the views are spectacular. Fairly easy hike with only a couple of steep spots. Lots of water throughout. This is a great one if you don't mind all the people.

Beautiful day! Glad we arrived early and beat the crowds!

Nice, easy trail, and great scenery.

While at a decently high altitude, it is only moderately challenging given the gentle (but consistent) upward slope. Lots of shade, but enough sun to warrant sunscreen!
Great picnic spots by the lake. Took us one hour up and 45 mins down with breaks to give water to the pups. Loved the hike!

Good hike today- trees were changing and lake was quiet and calm. We hit the lake around 10;30 and crowd was increasing on the way down. Parked at the trailhead. Very glad we got there early.

backpacking
12 days ago

Gorgeous trail! So many different types of terrain. Loved the open meadow entering into Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. We got a permit and camped overnight at Jasper Lake - it was rainy and windy, but campsite 3 is pretty protected. Used our bear canister as recommended - didn't run into any wildlife other than squirrels and chipmunks. The lake is rather low, but the views were still pretty and the aspens are chainging for a beautiful, colorful site.

No waterfall action, but the reservoir was beautiful!

This a nice trail without too many rocky parts. My GPS shows 12.8 miles. Did this hike on a Saturday starting at 8:20am. Very few people on this trail but saw a lot of fishermen at Betty lake.

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