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Mitchell Lake Trail Out and Back

Intermediate
 4.6 (69) 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 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 69 votes

#91

Overall
  4.6 from 69 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#29

in Colorado

#91

Overall
298 Views Last Month
27,864 Since Apr 26, 2015
Intermediate

1%
1%
81%
7%
9%
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
Blue Lake
Aug 3, 2017 near Nederland, CO
Blue Lake with Mt Toll
Jan 27, 2018 near Nederland, CO
View of Mitchell Lake early morning
Sep 6, 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

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 1 hour ago See History
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Check-Ins

Aug 27, 2022
Annie Swindell
Only went to Mitchell Lake because reservations are required so we had to hike 2.5 miles to the trailhead.
Aug 20, 2022
Sandy Oaks
HIked past blue lake towards little blue lake, which was just scrambling up a long scree field
Aug 4, 2022
Chris Clements
Jul 10, 2022
Richard Dockham
Jul 9, 2022
Gillian Stippa
May 26, 2022
Kathryn Forbes
Jul 17, 2021
Erin Andersen
5.8mi — 3h 14m
Jul 6, 2021
Wallace Gowens
Lighting, hale, and cold rain, but a beautiful trail! 5.4mi — 4h 50m