Hiking Project Logo

Mitchell Lake Trail Out and Back

Intermediate
 4.6 (60) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
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 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.

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!

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Robson with improvements by Sarah Doherty

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 60 votes

#104

Overall
  4.6 from 60 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
32%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#34

in Colorado

#104

Overall
227 Views Last Month
25,338 Since Apr 26, 2015
Intermediate

2%
2%
81%
5%
10%
0%

Photos

Early morning along the trail
Sep 6, 2018 near Nederland, CO
The view from Beaver Creek Trail.
Apr 26, 2015 near Nederland, CO
A hiker, blocking the stunning view of Mount Audubon.
Apr 29, 2015 near Nederland, CO
Blue Lake with Mt Toll
Jan 27, 2018 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
Blue Lake
Aug 3, 2017 near Nederland, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 21, 2020
Jordan Oroshiba
5.4mi — 2h 30m
Aug 22, 2020
Dana Foreman
Aug 12, 2020
Mike Sanders
Aug 8, 2020
demian Neidetcher
The hike had my favorite features; mountain streams, nice meadows and most importantly glacier fed lakes at tree-line. It was over 5 miles round-trip
Aug 5, 2020
Gina G
Aug 1, 2020
Amy Navvab
Really beautiful. Worth it to start early. Parking lot mostly empty 6am and full at 9am 5.4mi
Jul 25, 2020
Erin Damato
Had to park at the lower lot 12mi
Jul 15, 2020
Private User