Blue Lake Trail via Mitchell Lake Trail Head
Blue Lake via Mitchell Lake Trail Head is a 6.0 mile out and back trail.
The hike to Blue Lake starts from the Mitchell Lake Trailhead at 8:30 AM. The Mitchell Lake Trail Head is located at the west end of the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. Parking is available for 60 vehicles. Consider carpooling and arrive early to assure parking is available at the Mitchell Lake Trail Head.
The wooded Mitchell Lake Trail to Blue Lake enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness near the bridge across Mitchell Creek. It continues on a rocky trail for 0.5 miles to Mitchell Lake and crosses a bridge over the inlet. Continuing 1.5 miles of trail takes you up a slope, then along the creek in an open valley to Blue Lake. Blue Lake lies at tree line below Mount Toll (elevation 12,979 feet), a cone-shaped pinnacle on the Continental Divide.
Trail features Subalpine Lake, outstanding views
Trail location Mitchell Lake Trailhead (Brainard Lake Area)
Roundtrip Distance 6.0 miles
Trail type out and back; rocky path with some elevation
Duration approximately 4 hours
Trailhead elevation 11,387 feet
Elevation gain 864 feet
The hike to Blue Lake begins from the Mitchell Lake Trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. From Colorado Highway 72 at Ward, turn west onto Brainard Lake Road.Travel approximately 2.5 miles to the entrance fee station. There is an $11.00 fee (cash only) to enter this area. However, a National Park Pass is accepted. From the fee station continue another three (3) miles to the Mitchell Creek Trailhead, which is past Brainard Lake.
Please consider carpooling since the parking lots at Brainard Lake Recreation area fill up early.There are no formal arrangements for carpooling. Check the registrant list for potential carpoolers.
If the parking lot at the Mitchell Lake Trail Head is full, parking is available at the Brainard Lake Day Use parking area (~2.1 miles from the fee station). The path from the Brainard Lake Day Use parking area to the Mitchell Lake Trail Head is approximately 1.0 mile (~30 minutes).
Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash at all times.
Please come prepared. It can be windy and chilly at Blue Lake. Make sure to dress accordingly with appropriate hiking clothing, gloves, boots/shoes, hiking poles, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant, snacks, sandwich and bring plenty of water. Hydration is very important at higher elevations. Make it the best experience possible by being prepared.At anytime during the hike you may turn back. For safety purpose it is a requirement that if you wish to turn back you must tell one of the coordinators and have a buddy to accompany you. (never just leave the group).
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This event is open to BNC Members & Prospective Members.
Your Hiking Coordinators: Tony Caver and Buzz Bainbridge
YOUR RSVP AND ATTENDANCE RELEASES ANY LIABILITY WITH THE ORGANIZERS OF THIS GROUP. This is a voluntary group, and as such, coordinators are not professional guides. When you participate in an event, you do so at your own risk and are responsible for your own personal safety. Please try to use common sense and know your physical limits. We want everyone to have a safe, enjoyable time.