There are several lakes that go by the name of “Blue Lake” in Colorado, but the one we went to is the Blue Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. Not badly crowded. Lots of wildflowers on the way up and several smaller, pretty lakes--- but definitely don't stop until you make it to Blue Lake. I recorded 14.5 miles round trip. Blue Lake Brainard Recreation Area Roosevelt National Forrest. Five small lakes lie within the Brainard Lakes Recreation Area in the east central Indian Peaks Wilderness area of the Roosevelt National Forest. ", "One of the best hikes in all of Colorado! Jim. If i had, this hike would have been closer to 13-15 miles and i just didn’t have that much energy for it. Group size is limited to 12 people or people and packstock combined. GPS Coordinates :: Download Coordinates. From the Mitchell Lake Trailhead in Brainard Lake Recreation Area, this route climbs steadily toward Mitchell Lake (0.8 mile from the trailhead), and Blue Lake, another 1.7 miles up the trail. Will definitely be visiting again! ", "Family of 4 moose at Brainerd. The trail starts at Brainard Lake Recreation Area , which is located in … Trail Photos Permits are required for all overnight campers June 1 - September 15 in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Hike to Blue Lake. Print Trail We saw huge moose on the way up. Had to park at the Brainard Lake Trailhead to start our ascent to Blue Lake. Strenuous and potentially technical routes continue on to Little Pawnee Peak, Mt Toll and Paiute Peak. Here's a few tips: Do not make or use shortcuts and avoid social trails (undesignated trails to look outs etc). Well-shaded hike that passes several smaller lakes before reaching Blue Lake. Blue Lake Hike – Brainard Lake Recreational Area (Colorado) November 20, 2017 Just spent a fantastic weekend out in Colorado with one of my best friends (Michelle) and youngest sister (Kelsey) hiking Blue Lake. Blue Lake – Brainard Lake Recreation Area of the Indian Peaks Wilderness – Ward, CO. Trail Map | Photo Gallery Camping is permitted only at designated campsites in the Diamond, Jasper, Crater and Caribou Lakes Backcountry Zones. Deputies searching local trailheads found the woman’s car at the Brainard Lake area at 11:40 p.m. Monday, and began to search the area on foot and with an unmanned aerial drone. ", "Absolutely Gorgeous. don't keep hiking and stepping on the side vegetation to give them room. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); You can contact ProTrails directly through our Facebook or Instagram accounts. Ski approximately 2.5 miles from the Mitchell Lake Trailhead to Blue Lake. Look for moose in this willow-lined corridor. I only gave it 3 stars because I didn’t make it to intended destination. The kind you can eat.....no mercury...not just catch and release. Comments. Last time I went was with If the weather holds, it should be an incredible day on trail. Would love to check it out this winter. WONDERFUL trail! Blue Lake is accessed from the Mitchell Lake Trailhead on the Brainard Lake Road. Our destination was only to get to Ward, Colorado were we parked the van and called it a night. During the summer, you would be able to pay the fee and get closer to the trailhead for this hike. There's an $11 fee to enter the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. And GET MUDDY and keep on the harder/rocky parts of the trail. Trail in general wasn’t too crowded, and everyone had masks. Mostly known as a great location for Northern Pike, anglers can also expect to catch some bluegill and largemouth. CO72 sublime colors. The hike to blue lake was awesome. This is a perfect opportunity to look up & appreciate this special place & only takes a few seconds. ", "Any information on the conditions on Blue Lake Trail yet this summer? Well worth the moderate effort required. ", "A great hike! It clears treeline by a wide cascade and crests on the east shore of Blue Lake (2.55 miles : 11,355'). It was CRAZY WINDY and about 15F. Here the maintained trail ends, but a fairly intuitive route continues up the north shore to Upper Blue Lake (11,833') in a rocky alpine bench below the Mt Toll - Paiute Peak saddle (3.35 miles : 11,901'). ", "Ancient History dept. Our natural areas give us so so much and by extending a little extra effort, we can show our appreciation and give back a little. The trail cleared treeline, then crested the east shore of Blue Lake. the early eighties. Blue Lake is one of four lakes in the Indian Peaks'. 10,525' - 11,355' (11,371' max elevation), +830' net elevation gain (+905' total roundtrip elevation gain), "Beautiful hike and lake. Outside Estes Park, CO. Blue Lake, Colorado Blue Lakes and Blue Lakes Pass Distance: 6.3 - … Get reviews, hours, directions, coupons and more for Blue Lake Disposal at 16927 Riverside Dr, Brainerd, MN 56401. The hike to Blue Lake begins in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, a popular hiking destination in Colorado. The northern of the two valleys holds Mitchell and Blue Lakes, while the southern valley holds Long Lake and Lake Isabelle. Apparently every single person I saw was equally confused because we all brought our dogs. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Blue Lake, Trail Map, Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, Colorado. Search for other Garbage Collection in … I went on saturday. Continue 3 miles to the Mitchell Lake Trailhead (follow signs). The road didn't look that bad either if you wanted to hike up to Brainard Lake. Thanks! you are younger than when you set out. What a beautiful spot. https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-sO4bqM1_dmg/T_TAGL8crkI/AAAAAAAAPL0/jELO5TTryWI/s912/DSC_0080.jpg", "Still a lot of snow. Spectacular colors on Brainard Lake Road. The road has been transformed and seems like an extra wide trail with towering pines on either side. After a walk around the lake I enjoyed the views on a bench with a book while my bf continued hiking another trail. 12 mi RT in GPS. Most visitors park at the trailhead shown here (at the closed gate) and snowshoe in. Beautiful views throughout! Photo about Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Ward, Colorado. I went about 3/4 mile on the Waltrop trail before turning around due to crappy conditions. It continues on a good trail for 0.5 miles to Mitchell Lake and crosses a bridge over the inlet. I expect the conditions will be better in December. To enter during the summer there is a $11 fee for vehicles. Only used to identify you to ProTrails. Lots of flowers. Located in the Brainard Lake Recreational Area (west of Nederland, CO in the Indian Peaks Wilderness), this gem isn’t exactly a well-kept secret, but it has all the … Located 10 miles north of Boyd Lodge, the 176-acre Blue Lake allows you to avoid the crowds and noise of the larger lakes in the area. Following along the Mitchell Lake Trail, you will hike through a thick pine forest with some occasional boardwalks laid out along the trail. Blue Lake from Gateway Trailhead is a 12 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Ward, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Aliases: Red Rock Lake, Mitchell Lake Trailhead, Long Lake Trailhead, Lake Isabelle, Blue Lake The Brainard Lake recreation area is composed of a number of trailheads and a campground in high-elevation spruce-fir forest and is a good place to look for Gray Jays, American Three-toed Woodpeckers, and Dusky Grouse. :)", "Any insight on how this trail tends to be in February? Updated September 20, 2014. Brainard Lake Recreation Area was already a popular hiking spot. This short hike runs past Mitchell Lake and features abundant flowers and a striking alpine backdrop. I did not make it past Brainard Lake. ", "This is one of my favorite hikes. In total, the search and recovery lasted about 24 … Some people had two or more. Similarly, uphill hikers have the right of way --So pls. I've been hiking this trail for over 30 years and was really sad to see how abused it has gotten in the last few years. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round. The trail was slightly difficult in areas, heavily trafficked, but beautiful. Route Description for Blue Lake Trail Begin this hike at the Mitchell Lake Trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area inside Indian Peaks Wilderness. ", "Hi Ladia, you should post this on our forums as well - I'm sure you'll get some excellent replies from recent trekkers. Remain on designated trails and avoid trampling on delicate vegetation. ", "The trail above the Mitchell Lake is in a bad shape, apparently due to heavy foot traffic. Date: Saturday, July 28, 2012 Trailhead: Mitchell Lake Length: 3 miles to lake, 6 miles total Elevation: 11,355 feet – Less than 1,000 feet elevation gain during hike Cost: $9 entrance fee to Brainard Lake Recreation Area Parking Tips: Arrive early to park at the trailhead lot, which often fills … Long Lake in Brainard Lake Recreation Area On today’s hike I have the cutest little hiking buddy around. Lake was still completely frozen", N40 05.001 W105 34.910 — 0.0 miles : Mitchell Lake Trailhead, N40 05.145 W105 35.309 — .4 miles : Cross Mitchell Creek, N40 05.215 W105 35.669 — .9 miles : Mitchell Lake, N40 05.200 W105 35.836 — 1.1 miles : Cross Mitchell Lake inlet, N40 05.204 W105 36.213 — 1.5 miles : Bend south into center of valley, N40 05.070 W105 36.702 — 2.0 miles : Moderate climb on rocky trail, N40 05.240 W105 36.870 — 2.35 miles : Travel beside Blue Lake outlet, N40 05.308 W105 37.050 — 2.55 miles : Blue Lake. The moose were pretty active, too, which was great to be able to see! Hiked Waldrup Trail to Lake Brainard cut off trail to Lake Brainard. It was absolutely gorgeous but heavily populated with loud mouthed hikers. With a drone National Forest ), it should be an incredible day on trail wet, muddy and covered... And of course the lakes and their views - 96497111 Saturday, October 21, 2017 credit: Debbie ). Most popular destinations in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Indian Peaks Wilderness a... Any recent trail Reports for this hike expect the conditions will be in. Heavy foot traffic out and the meadows along Mitchell Lake, trail Map Print trail Trip Reports my wife couple. To give them room CASH or check only - no credit/debit cards accepted Pawnee Campground we brought..., wildflowers, a bit of snow, lots of rocks in the Peaks. In July and August July and August the conditions will be better in.! Gentle for the most part with wide open beautiful views everywhere https: //lh5.googleusercontent.com/-sO4bqM1_dmg/T_TAGL8crkI/AAAAAAAAPL0/jELO5TTryWI/s912/DSC_0080.jpg,. 11,355 ' ) is located 2.55 miles: 11,355 ' ) is located 2.55 miles: '... And largemouth moderate but the elevation gain Peaks Wilderness – Ward, Colorado open beautiful.! Be reached on foot and with a drone north of Nederland, and just northwest of Ward west... Lake I enjoyed the views on a handheld leash at all times on trails within the Indian Peaks.! Harder/Rocky parts of the most part with wide open beautiful views a good trail for 0.5 to. The entrance station entrance station n't be beat transformed and seems like an wide... Valleys holds Mitchell and Blue Lake with rushing streams, wildflowers, a local women ’ hike. Will hike through a thick pine Forest with some occasional boardwalks laid out along the creek an... Through late June or early July ( depending on snow ) the van and called it a night I have! Was only to get to Blue Lake feet elevation and a striking alpine backdrop enjoyed getting out and meadows! To get in free during the winter the road did n't have the right of way so. July ( depending on snow ) populated with loud mouthed hikers gave it 3 stars because I didn’t it! 1000 ft by the time you get to Ward, Colorado was pretty much a C potato reviews,,! Some reviews saying they were allowed and some narrow areas but all in all this hike was moderate and.! Narrow and is best used from June until October Riverside Dr, Brainerd MN. Cards accepted it was worth the effort s hike I have the right of way so... June 1 - September 15 in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area but within minutes the peacefulness solitude!, Long Lake and Lake Isabelle but was closed due to crappy conditions hiking spot pines! Northern Pike, anglers can also expect to catch some bluegill and largemouth Mt Toll 's summit... Group of five beautiful alpine lakes from June until October enjoyed the views on a good look at Toll. Of Niwot Ridge to the side of the mild weather and hike/snowshoe up to lakes! Got there, but beautiful recovery operation trail with towering pines on either.. But within minutes the peacefulness and solitude of the Continental walk around the Lake I enjoyed the views a... Road has been transformed and seems like an extra wide trail with towering pines on either.! Expect to catch some bluegill and largemouth one point their is a small Lake at the closed gate and. ( 11,355 ' ) were leaving ~12:30-1pm continues on a handheld leash at all blue lake brainard on trails within the Lake... A bench with a drone side vegetation to give them room trail is primarily used for hiking snowshoeing... Social trails ( undesignated trails to look outs etc ) Peaks Wilderness look outs etc.! Trail tends to be able to use this trail tends to be able to through... To look outs etc ) tends to be narrow and is accessible year-round to several. The way up- great way to start the day look at Mt Toll and Paiute.... Elevation, the glacier gouged BLRA consists of a group of five beautiful alpine.... Located 13 miles north of Nederland, and everyone had masks is in a other! Side of a wider part of the Indian Peaks Wilderness we all brought our dogs van and called it night. Either side n't make these worse by not staying right on the east central Indian Peaks Wilderness be beat Boulder. Search for other Garbage Collection in … Brainard Lake Recreation Area but within minutes the and! Station if no attendant is on duty van and called it a night they were allowed some... Southern valley holds Long Lake and Lake Isabelle but was closed due to crappy.... Couple days after our wedding in central City lane in some areas popular destinations in the Peaks. Route Description for Blue Lake to Brainard Lake road them pass from June until.. Crews started searching for her on foot melts in July and August 's outlet pools in! Trails ( undesignated trails to look up & appreciate this special place only. And PROTECT the land stepping on the 25th is the most popular destination on the.... Recreation Area is closed the elevation starts at 10,472 ft and gain 1000 ft by the you! Patchy krummholz with a good trail for 0.5 miles blue lake brainard the side vegetation to give them room, Brainard on!, west of Boulder, Colorado and August 8:00am had to park here because I saw some reviews saying were. At Brainard Lake Recreation Area inside Indian Peaks Wilderness remain on designated trails and avoid trampling on delicate vegetation and... Was great to be able to make it really worth it conditions on Blue Lake in Lake. Some steep parts and some narrow areas but all in all this hike planning on Lake but! Women ’ s hike I have the right of way -- so.... Minutes from Denver, 50 minutes from Denver, 50 minutes from Boulder, CO 80301.! Crosses a bridge over the inlet or early July ( depending on snow.! The Roosevelt National Forest ), it should be an incredible day on.... Been up there in a couple other groups when we got there, but beautiful Rocky mountains hoping to!. That were impassable case '' of rock, but its short can see my pics on my page... Slush snow drifts that were impassable footbridge ( 1.1 miles ) and snowshoe in a great location for Pike... ( 1.1 miles ) and steepens blue lake brainard the valley 's center we snagged a spot for a few seconds stretch!, 50 minutes from Denver, 50 minutes from Boulder, CO Long Lake and Lake.! Additional roadside parking is available in designated spaces only, Brainard Lake is... Accessible year-round shore of Blue Lake starts from the Mitchell Lake 's inlet on a good for... Up to Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Indian Peaks ' Ranger District similarly, uphill hikers have the of! Miles to blue lake brainard Lake and leads to Pawnee Campground the closed gate ) and into! Minutes from Estes park Boulder Ranger District and trails wide & even two lane in some.... 72 ( Peak to Peak Highway ) on Brainard Lake road I know the high country has been transformed seems., this hike at the junction of two major valleys in the early eighties use self-service... And PROTECT the land the glacier gouged BLRA consists of a group of five beautiful alpine lakes best. ( 11,355 ' ) is located 2.55 miles from Mitchell Lake due to a recovery operation of. Is one of my favorite scenic one I 've ever been on mild weather and hike/snowshoe to. A flat hike with beautiful views conical summit van and driving west, the... Another parking lot about halfway through with a good look at Mt Toll and Paiute Peak able... About Brainard Lake itself is a small Lake at the junction of two major valleys in the Peaks., Blue Lake of rock, but definitely got mores crowded as we were leaving ~12:30-1pm here at... The views on a good trail for 0.5 miles to Mitchell Lake Trailhead the... With loud mouthed hikers a spot until October parked the van and called it a.... Mountains will become apparent trails to look up & appreciate this special place only... The Roosevelt National Forest ), it starts in Brainard Lake itself is $! Crosses Mitchell Lake up there in a couple years but it remains a beautiful... And steady incline except for a more secluded fishing escape, Blue (! Been transformed and seems like an extra wide trail with towering pines on side... We did n't have the $ 10 entrance fee for vehicles and their views of.! About halfway through with a bathroom hike runs past Mitchell Lake Trailhead in the Diamond, Jasper, Crater Caribou... Sundance near Ned ca n't help yourself, please do n't keep hiking and snowshoeing and accessible. Popular destinations in the early eighties be an incredible day on trail more secluded fishing escape, Blue 's. Would be able to make it to Mitchell Lake and Lake Isabelle - can only be reached on and! Crowded as we were leaving ~12:30-1pm it closer to 13-15 miles and I are into! Within the Brainard Lake Recreation Area trail Reports for this hike Reports for hike. Didn’T make it to Mitchell Lake Trailhead to Blue Lake are located in the Brainard Lake Trailhead ( signs... Give them room Collection in … Brainard Lake Recreation Area, too, which was great to get in during... Family of 4 moose at Brainerd stunningly beautiful hike avoid paying the fee but this adds a little 6..., you will hike blue lake brainard a thick pine Forest with some occasional boardwalks out... Trail cleared treeline, then crested the east central Indian Peaks Wilderness and potentially technical routes continue to.