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An amazing route full of beautiful lakes and marvelous mountains.


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Map Key

12.8

Miles

20.6

KM

Out and Back

14,017' 4,272 m

High

9,367' 2,855 m

Low

5,034' 1,534 m

Up

5,029' 1,533 m

Down

15%

Avg Grade (8°)

112%

Max Grade (48°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildlife

This route requires some class 3 scrambling.

Overview

This route is steep and once on the ridge, it can be loose and challenging but each step of the way offers tremendous views of the Blue Lakes, Mt. Sneffels, Dallas Peak and all the other spectacular high alpine sights.

Description

Follow the trail from the Blue Lakes trailhead for a couple miles till you reach the lower lake. This is a great spot for camping and many sites are available in the woods around the lake. It's worth it to carry your backpacking gear in order to overnight here. If you're lucky, when the wind is low, the lake reflects a beautiful image of the surrounding mountains on its surface.

Head on up the trail to the upper lake. You'll pass through forested and rocky areas on the way. There are also some amazing viewpoints at which to admire the lower blue lake from.

From the upper lake, continue up the loose, rocky switchbacks until you reach the ridge. From the ridge, head up to your left to hop on the southwest Ridge of Mt. Sneffels. The ridge is Class 3 and a helmet is highly recommended. Most of this trail feels more like a loose gully than a ridge. Follow along if you see a trail up some sometimes loose rock. Keep making your way along, making some higher class moves along the way.

Eventually you'll reach the true ridge. There's a trail a bit lower but its a choose-your-own-adventure kind of ridge. If you want to stay true to it, feel free to do so. One way or another, make your way to the summit of Mt. Sneffels from here. Reach 14,157 feet and take in the high alpine in all its glory. You can see the ridge you ascended, the blue lakes, and tons of awesome peaks all around. It's a great opportunity to marvel at the mountains.

When you're done admiring your surroundings, you can descend the way you ascended, or you can go down the south slopes route. Either goes, so it's your choice.

Shared By:

Ashley Peterson

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#3148

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#441

in Colorado

#3,148

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Photos

Middle Blue Lake at sunrise.
Apr 14, 2015 near Telluride, CO
Lower Blue Lake from the Blue Lakes Trail
Apr 14, 2015 near Telluride, CO
View from the Mount Sneffels peak.
Sep 9, 2023 near Telluride, CO
View from the Mount Sneffels peak.
Sep 9, 2023 near Telluride, CO
View from the Mount Sneffels peak.
Sep 9, 2023 near Telluride, CO
Hikers descending the gully, not far from the summit. The 13,500 ft saddle can be seen in the distance.
Apr 13, 2015 near Telluride, CO

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