Mitchell and Blue Lake (11,360′), Front Range
Mitchell and Blue Lake are located in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, west of Boulder, Colorado. Brainard Lake itself is a small lake at the junction of two major valleys in the east central Indian Peaks Wilderness. The northern of the two valleys holds Mitchell and Blue Lakes, while the southern valley holds Long Lake and Lake Isabelle. Hiking to the lakes is straightforward with an easy to follow established trail.
Mt Audubon (13,223′) is the highest peak in the Indian Peaks Wilderness with an established trail that nearly reaches the summit and is also located inside of the Brainard Lake Recreation Area.
- Trailhead: Mitchell Lake Trailhead
- Round trip: Mitchell Lake 2 mile/ 3.2 km (10,650′)
- Blue Lake 6 miles / 9.7 km
- Elevation: 10,525′-11,360′ / 3,208 m – 3,462 m
- County: Boulder
- Agency: U.S. Forest Service
- Nat’l Forest: Roosevelt
- Nat’l Wilderness: Indian Peaks
GPS Route with Elevation
The wooded trail enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness near the Mitchell Creek bridge. It continues to Mitchell Lake, crossing a second bridge over the inlet. From the lake you can see Mt Audubon across the water. Another 2 miles of trail climb more steeply, following the creek into an open valley to Blue Lake. This lake lies at tree line below Mount Toll, a cone-shaped pinnacle on the Continental Divide.
Hi, mlz2000! This looks like a great hike! You filled it with some really useful pieces of information. I was wondering, what do you think is the best time of year to take this trail?
The best time to take the trail if you are hiking is from June-October. The area has great snowshoeing as well, but the road is closed in winter, adding approximately 2 miles to your destination.