Explore the most popular horseback riding 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.

As of 10/16 the gate was closed before the fee station which adds about 5 miles RT to any hike you plan to do. The road has some snow/ice but also has large dry stretches. Once you get near the Mitchell Lake TH you will be on snow the whole time. The trail is packed down for most of the way. I brought microspikes and snowshoes. Never put the spikes on, but snowshoes were very helpful once I got about 1/4 mile below Blue Lake. Was glad to have gaiters and waterproof boots. Beautiful hike.

Incredible experience! Dress warm and wear shoes for winter conditions. $11 FEE. This hike is full of captivating views of towering mountains and frozen lakes. 4.9/5!

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Beautiful hike with small waterfalls along the way. Make sure to bundle up and wear spikes if you’ have them. The lake is picturesque. Pack a lunch and stay awhile...you’ll be glad you did!

Microspikes are pretty much necessary as of 10/13/18. Fun trail and beautiful lake!

Moderate to easy hike, Blue lake is gorgeous! Snow and ice on much of the trail now. Cold and windy at top, but worth the work.

Solid hike, not too hard and great views.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail can get crowded on weekends, but if you're able to get up here on a weekday it's easily a 5/5 hike.

This was a great hike!
I tried to reach little blue lake but I could not find the trail for the life of me. After about 1mile of pushing on towards little blue lake I gave up, my dog was not happy with all the small boulders and snow causing us to fall a lot.
Otherwise I would do it again in the spring when everything is green

Beautiful trail, the Aspens were bright gold. Some of the trail was heavily trafficked but it was never a problem. I am not a very seasoned hiker but I would not rate this trail as Hard. The first two miles are nice wide paths with a slight incline. The last mile to the Crater Lakes is steep, but not difficult.

Beautiful little trail, moderate until the little bit of scrambling at the end. The lakes are lovely. And it was not crowded at all, only saw one group of 4 backpackers and a couple the entire day.

there were some good views. once I got to the lake, that was the best. the trail itself felt more like walking along a 4x4 road. very busy and parking was scarce by 0700. for a quick easy 4 mile hike it wasnt bad but I won't do it again. many better trails in Indian Peaks to go back to.

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!

Beautiful hike through dense, lush forest. The lakes are a lovely ending. The hike was enough to get the blood flowing, but certainly not strenuous.

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.

I'm guessing the hard rating is based on the minor scrambling required to get to the upper lakes. Overall a great hike with 4 gorgeous lakes. Saw some people braving the cold water and had wished I packed some extra clothes to jump in as well. Even though there's a decent amount of traffic on the trail, it didn't feel overly crowded and everyone I encountered was friendly and courteous.

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.

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).

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.

Great trail. Not hard until you start up to the upper lake. I would note that there are two trails up to the upper lake. If you go between the lakes and up, it’s pretty steep and you will end up climbing a lot of boulders. You will not follow the trail on all trails. You’ll end up to the left of the trail but will still reach the lake. You have to go around the lower big lake a bit to reach the actual trail (the one you find on all trails). It’s steep (maybe not as bad as the other way). Both trails have been travels a bunch so marked.

Trail was pretty but not sure I would do it again. Long dirt rocky road to get to the trail. Don’t not necessarily need a high clearance vehicle or 4wd. HUGE parking lot so you don’t have to worry about getting a spot. Probably holds 50 cars.

Beautiful hike worth the climb to the upper
Lake. Great hike to break for lunch at the halfway point.

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.

Travel about 7 miles on the East Portal Inlet/Tolland dirt road out of Rollinsville, CO to the Moffat Tunnel. The road is a bit rough in spots, but easily traveled with a 2WD vehicle. This is a cool tunnel that cuts through the Continental Divide for about 6 miles and ends up on the other side in Winter Park. Once you make it up to the two lakes, by climbing up the steep talus and dirt trail to the upper Crater Lake, you get a beautiful view of this section of the Divide and the lake which has a deep green tint reflecting the peaks above. We saw quite a few marmots in the talus field on the way back down to the lower Crater Lakes and a beautiful panoramic view of that area below and the surrounding mountains. Take your time with this easy scramble because of the scree and loose rock. Our retrievers made the up and down just fine. We camped at the east lake and filtered water from there. It’s crowded for the hike up from the trailhead, but most are day hikers. The Saturday night we camped, there were probably about 3-4 other groups camping overnight along with us in other camp areas. You can pick your own campsite, but it’s encouraged to use a place already camped before obviously. The trail is rated as Hard, but I would say that would be for the upper lake trek where it’s much steeper, but a fun scramble, than the hike up to the two lower Crater Lakes. I really enjoyed this trail especially since you don’t need a permit for an overnight. At this time of year several of the streams were dry under the bridge crossings, but there still is a waterfall, and another good running stream on the way up besides the lake for water. The aspens were changing colors making for a beautiful hike. I’ll do this one again!

One of my favorite hikes! It’s been said before, but the last mile or so is difficult if you take the steep route. We had to take quite a few breaks along that stretch.

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

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.

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