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Mitchell Lake Trail Out and Back

Intermediate
 4.6 (53) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An easily accessible, high alpine lake trail surrounded by stunning aspens.


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Map Key

5.4

Miles

8.7

KM

Out and Back

11,387' 3,471 m

High

10,524' 3,208 m

Low

864' 263 m

Up

863' 263 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

15%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Campfires are not allowed. Camping is only permissible in this zone between December 1 and April 30. From May 1 through November 30, this area is day-use only.

Overview

This high alpine hike is readily accessible from the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, and thus is one of the most popular routes in the area.

If you can, be sure to hit this hike on a nice fall day. The aspens in this area are amazing!

Need to Know

The Brainard Lake Road is open seasonally. During these months, a vehicle fee applies for trailheads located within the Brainard Lake Recreation Area.

Description

The wooded Mitchell Lake Trail to Blue Lake enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness near the bridge across Mitchell Creek. It continues on a good trail for 0.5 miles to Mitchell Lake and crosses a bridge over the inlet.

Another 1.5 miles of trail takes you up a slope, then along the creek in an open valley to Blue Lake. This lake lies at tree line below Mount Toll (elevation 12,979 feet), a cone-shaped pinnacle on the Continental Divide. When snowy, it is very easy to lose the trail and close attention is necessary.

Flora & Fauna

Be on the lookout for pika, marmot, and moose! Additionally, this trail is great for fall aspen viewing.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Robson

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 52 votes

#103

Overall
  4.6 from 52 votes
5 Star
65%
4 Star
31%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#35

in Colorado

#103

Overall
601 Views Last Month
22,621 Since Apr 26, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Early morning along the trail
Sep 6, 2018 near Nederland, CO
The view from Beaver Creek Trail.
Apr 26, 2015 near Nederland, CO
Blue Lake with Mt Toll
Jan 27, 2018 near Nederland, CO
A hiker, blocking the stunning view of Mount Audubon.
Apr 29, 2015 near Nederland, CO
Blue Lake
Aug 3, 2017 near Nederland, CO
You can follow the trail around the north side of the lake and break free of the crowds
Oct 23, 2016 near Nederland, CO

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Check-Ins

Jul 3, 2020
Reed Harrington
Used to summit Paiute then traversed over to Audubon to complete a loop.
Jun 2, 2020
Mike Sanders
Just went to Mitchell Lake still need to finish hike up to Blue Lake
Oct 11, 2019
Nathan Harrison
Oct 3, 2019
Sydney Ward
3.1mi — 1h 32m
Sep 26, 2019
Ann Zweig
Sep 19, 2019
Nathaniel Dakin
Took me 4 hours and 9 minutes to get to Blue Lake. That includes several stops for pictures, a few rests and being a out of shape. 5mi — 4h 09m
Sep 14, 2019
Spencer Merage
With Tatiana. Beautiful day. Gorgeous place. Sorta busy but not bad. Cold wind all day. 6mi
Aug 26, 2019
Kayla Cash