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

5 hours ago

Left the TH @ 7am and was able to summit at about 8:50. Incredibly windy, foggy and chilly at the summit for mid August but that made it a gorgeous hike in its own sense. Brought my pup, he did well for the last .5-1mi being mostly class 2 scrambling on boulders.

8/18/18 hiked today (Saturday) - arrived at the parking lot around 8:20 and there was plenty of parking available (maybe because it was a little cloudy). Hike was lovely, really windy near the top approaching blue lake, but some incredible views of the mountains and lots of streams and ponds along the way. Saw people fishing in Mitchell lake, lots of hikers with dogs and kids, and a few trail runners. Overall great hike!!

Did Audubon today with the 6 kids ages 7 to 16. everyone loved it. That final push is tough but worth it. The views are outstanding. The marmots are entertaining. Views down to upper Coney lake are mind blowing and that drop is humbling.

Beautiful trail. The hike to Coney Lake was pleasant and never too steep, saw a mama and baby moose near the 4WD trailhead. Lots of used toilet paper at the trailhead too, so please try to be a decent human if you're going to visit these places and PACK IT OUT.
One thing to note. Getting to upper Coney Lake was a nightmare because I followed internet advice which told me to try to follow the inlet stream. Do not do this. The willows are terrible. If you want to go to upper Coney Lake (and you should - it's beautiful!) stick to the talus on your left and you can rock hop all the way there and back without too much willow bashing.

paradise on earth

Amazing hike!! The trailhead was full (on a Wednesday, but we got a late start and didn’t get there til about 10am), so we started from the west side of Brainer Lake, went all the way up to the glacier and my GPS clocked us at 11.2 miles round trip. Pretty mellow, easy and well-maintained trail until you get up around Lake Isabelle, then you’re dealing with a lot of boulder fields, loose rock and it gets pretty steep. Well worth it though! The view from the glacier is fantastic and makes it all worthwhile. The terrain varies a lot from deep in the woods to exposed boulder fields, above treeline, with lakes, rivers, waterfalls and even some snow at the glacier. Colorado is magical and I love my home :)

7/8/18 7:30am and the parking lot was getting full. The drive was nice and was winding, littered with bicyclists. There was a bike race from 7-10am. $11 entrance fee. Lake Isabelle was our intended hike but due to a death the day before it was closed off. So, Blue Lake it was! 6mi round trip hike. 1mi to Mitchell Lake and 2mi to Blue Lake. The trail was easy to navigate. There were tons of people at Blue Lake hanging out and sunbathing. We encountered several groups on the way up and even more on our way back. There were also a bunch of dogs on the hike. Everyone was great and had them on leash. We ran into 2 park rangers, one of which thanked us for keeping our dogs on leash. The views throughout the hike were spectacular! Wild flowers were abundant and hearing the sound of water nearby was relaxing. All in all, this was a beautiful hike. I would recommend bug spray (tons of mosquitos), sunscreen (obvi), water, and snacks. Please be sure to pack in and pack out.

Loved the hike. There were plenty of parking spaces at 7AM on a Friday and no significant mosquitoes despite previous reports. Saw a moose and her calf which made the hike worthwhile by itself.

8.9.18 - I love Indian Peaks Wilderness. Glad I got this one conquered as I tried last year in June and got snowed out. Lovely hike and relatively easy. Saw two moose. Would do this again!.

The trail itself is great, definitely worth trekking it for the views at Isabelle Lake. Long Lake is beautiful too. The only downside is that parking is terrible, got there around 11am and it was full so I had to park about a mile down the road and hike up to the trailhead. Views were incredible though so it wasn’t too terrible. Don’t forget it’s $11 to enter, they only take cash or check. Highly recommend overall!

The hike is well worth the view at Isabelle Lake and all the way up to the glacier if you can make it. We arrived at the trail head at 7am on a Tuesday and there was plenty of parking. Much less ice/snow than when we did the hike a few years ago but still fun to end up on the glacier. We were hiking with 3 kids (ages 9-14) and took a few breaks on the way - took us 5 hours round trip.

13 days ago

It was an amazing hike and had some AMAZING views. We hiked it and it was rainy and FREEZING. So I recommend warm clothes, gloves, hats, and rain gear because it was unpredictable. It took us 6.5 hours round trip with 2 people from Colorado and 3 people from Ohio (all of our first 13ner). Definitely not an easy hike especially with the rocks at the top but it’s totally do able if you are inexperienced. The wind at the summit was unimaginable. We had to stay hunkered down because standing was almost impossible. Trekking polls were a good option to have too! Overall it was an amazing hike and I would do it again!

The Mrs. and I hiked this trail last week and it was stunning. The wildflowers were out in force and the trail was in great shape. We arrived a little before 6a.m. and had no problem parking on Friday morning. Mostly had the trail to ourselves until the return trip where it was getting a lot of foot traffic. We’re planning for a backcountry hike in a few weeks and had loaded packs on. The hike was moderate - mostly flat with a few elevation increases. Got a little sketchy about 3.5 miles in with trying to follow the path but nothing major. One of the best hikes we’ve been on in the area. Highly recommended!

The wildflowers are still in bloom, and the hike to Isabelle Glacier was one beautiful view after another. If you are able to, arrive early to experience some peace. Lots of traffic on the trail coming back at 10:00 am.

20 days ago

Great Hike! Windy & Cold at the top!!

Absolutely stunning trail! The views continually get better as you go. The trail was wet above Lake Isabelle so we were constantly hopping rock to rock to avoid water and mud.....definitely wear waterproof shoes. Highly recommend!

Easy trail that with beautiful views of Long Lake, Lake Isabelle, streams, and wildflowers. Pretty trafficked. Dogs must be kept on leash for this one.

So beautiful. Parking situation is tough but the trails are breathtaking and there’s chance to see some cool wildlife.

23 days ago

Amazing hike! Beautiful views that inspire awe (no joke). Two tips: arrive early and budget time for the descent.

25 days ago

One of my all-time favorite hikes. Mostly above tree line means incredible views for most of the hike, but especially at the top. You can see into Rocky Mountain NP, Longs Peak, and extensive views of the Indian Peaks. Normally pretty windy at the summit, but there are plenty of wind shelters. An incredible summit to hang out on in good weather. Plan to arrive early (6:30) if you want to park at the trailhead.

I've been hiking this trail for over 30 years and was really sad to see how abused it has gotten in the last few years. It's a highly-used area and absolutely gorgeous. Therefore, we need to respect and PROTECT the land. Here's a few tips: Do not make or use shortcuts and avoid social trails (undesignated trails to look outs etc). If you just can't help yourself, please don't make these worse by not staying right on the dirt. If there is a log/fallen tree across a social trail, pls don't just step over it - this is the caretakers way of saying "pls don't go here." Similarly, uphill hikers have the right of way --So pls. STOP and step to the side of a wider part of the trail to let them pass. Pls. don't keep hiking and stepping on the side vegetation to give them room. This is a perfect opportunity to look up & appreciate this special place & only takes a few seconds. And GET MUDDY and keep on the harder/rocky parts of the trail. This trail used to be narrow and is now becoming alarmingly wide & even two lane in some areas. Follow the cairns (rock piles) near the top where there are boulders and be very mindful of staying on the designated trail rather than all the off-shoots (giving them a chance to recover) Especially above tree line/tundra please please please STAY ON THE TRAIL - tundra is incredibly fragile & takes hundreds of years to recover from abuse. Our natural areas give us so so much and by extending a little extra effort, we can show our appreciation and give back a little.

The elevations climbs were easy. A few low areas were pretty wet. If you’re expecting scenic Rocky Mountain you-can-see forever views, you aren’t getting them on this trail. It traverses through a wooded area to the lake. Positives - toilets at the trailhead and at the lake and a beautiful hike.

Great hike. Go early to get parking(6:30). Awesome views from top.

1 month ago

Mitchell and Blue lakes are gorgeous and the section of the trail extending that area is moderate and well maintained. This review isn’t regarding that section of the trail. Above Blue Lake the trail is almost immediately lost in a boulder field. The rocks are unstable and the picking through is very slow going. As far as I could tell the rocky terrain continues the rest of the way up Toll, but I had to turn around due to a previous wrist injury I was overusing among the boulders. Very few cairns were the only signs of use in the area.

Started at the trailhead at 3:30am. Absolutely incredibly place to watch the sunrise. We made it to the peak by 5:50. It was so perfect. I was surprised by the complete lack of wind above the tree line when we hiked. like others have mentioned the last portion of the hike is a pretty steep scramble but was definitely worth it. We decided to go down the southeast face to drop in on Little Blue lake and turn the hike into a loop. That was a pretty sketchy and steep descent and something I'll probably only do once. The whole hike was so overwhelmingly incredible and one I'll remember forever.

It is a moderate hike to an amazing lake. Completely worth the time spent there. I have a few tips though. Go early so because the line to get into the park is super long and all the parking spots fill up really fast. If all the spots are taken then they don’t allow any more cars in and you have to wait for people to leave. Secondly, take bug spray because the mosquitos and flies will devour you. I have never been swarmed by so many in my life. Thirdly, if you want to jump in the water, bring a change of clothes and a towel/blanket because it is absolutely freezing. You may think you are strong enough to handle the cold but you are completely mistaken. Overall, this has been the best hike that I have ever done since being in Colorado. The sights, wild flowers, and animals were the coolest. We even got to see moose while we were there. 11/10 would recommend.

Beautiful and surprisingly deep Alpine lake, I've never seen a deeper one yet. Awesome walk up to the lake, saw a moose on the upper mess but couldn't get close enough to take a good picture. Bugs, bugs, bugs....and wildflower heaven. there's an awesome waterfall on the west side coming from little Blue lake. Go early to beat the crowd, my wife and I had the lakes and trail to ourselves but we started at 6:00 am.

Moderate hike! Lots of rocky areas along the trail. The lake is very blue and worth waiting around to park.

Did this hike yesterday. Was planning on Lake Isabelle but was closed due to a recovery operation. Had to park at the Brainard Lake Trailhead to start our ascent to Blue Lake. The scenery was gorgeous with rushing streams, wildflowers, a bit of snow and of course the lakes and their views.

There were some steep parts and some narrow areas but all in all this hike was moderate and enjoyable. I’ve posted some pics to enjoy!

on Mount Audubon Trail

1 month ago

This is a breathtaking hike, most of which, as others note, is above the tree line, so there are amazing views most of the way. Though I love vigorous hikes, I get vertigo when there's a steep drop off, and this one had none. Above the tree line it was wide with shubbery and wildflowers. As other have noted, the rock scramble at the very top is not fun, but the view that rewards you is worth it!

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