Mitchell Lake Trail

Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado 80514

Elevation Gain1,190ft
Trailhead Elevation10,374ft
Elevation Min/Max10374/11344ft
Elevation Start/End10374/10374ft

Mitchell Lake Trail

Mitchell Lake Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Boulder County, Colorado. It is within Roosevelt National Forest and Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. It is 2.8 miles long and begins at 10,374 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,190 feet. Near the trailhead there is an information guidepost. The Mitchell Lake Trailhead and Mitchell Lake Trailhead parkings can be seen along the trail. There are also information boards and restrooms along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Little Blue Lake Route, Path to Cmc Hut and Waldrop Trail, Usfs Trail 814.1.

Mitchell Lake Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Mitchell Lake is a transition from deep subalpine forest to open alpine vistas of Mount Toll."

"Parts of the Brainard Lake Recreation Area overlap into the Indian Peaks Wilderness. This area offers spectacular scenery, a variety of hiking trails, more than half a dozen lakes, camping facilities, and picnic areas with tables, drinking water, and toilets.

Parking is tight by noon on summer weekends. An early start is advised, or hike this popular area during the week. Although crowded, the area is very much worth the trip. Because of the area’s popularity, the Forest Service has imposed the following use fees: $1 per pedestrian, $5 per vehicle, $5 for an overnight camping permit (June 1 through September 15). A season pass is $20. Fees end around November 1. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash at all times."

"High, pristine mountain lakes with the Indian Peaks as a backdrop are what you’ll see for your efforts. The lakes are a very popular destination, so arrive early to find a parking spot. Mitchell Lake is an easy family stroll, while Blue Lake is a very pleasant hike."

"Scenic Blue Lake lies in an exquisite bowl, encircled by four majestic Indian Peaks. Of the many lakes called Blue Lake in Colorado, this one in the Indian Peaks Wilderness is my nominee for most scenic. After passing lovely Mitchell Lake, the trail crosses flowing streams, their banks luxuriant with kings crown and other water-loving plants, before arriving at Blue Lake, lying in a exquisite bowl at timberline encircled by four majestic Indian Peaks: Pawnee Peak, Mount Toll, Paiute Peak and Mount Audubon.

Mount Toll is especially striking; its dramatic cliffs forming an impressive backdrop for the lake. The peak, once known as "The Hatchet" among others, was named in 1945 for Roger Toll, the first superintendent of nearby Rocky Mountain National Park and who wrote the first guidebook to this area. This is a very popular hiking spot and excellent for families. During the summer, the Brainard Lake access to the wilderness is a fee area."

"This day hike features breathtaking views to Paiute Peak, Mount Audubon, Little Pawnee Peak, and Pawnee Peak. In the summer months wildflowers are abundant, and Mitchell and Blue Lakes are two of the prettiest in the wilderness area.

Trail conditions: The trail is well traveled and rocky on its lower section, with loose, rocky, and wet conditions up to Blue Lake. Expect to find snow on the upper section of the trail well into June."

Mitchell Lake Trail Reviews

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An easy hike with a great view up at Blue Lake, you'll be back in the car in a few hours. On summer weekends, be sure to get to the trail head early, or you'll have to park quite a ways away and will be passing people left and right.
This is a great hiking trail and perfect distance if you don't want to hike too far.It's a little crowded. Lots of creek crossing and hike through shade mostly. Our dog enjoyed all water time he can get here. We were also planning to hike up to 13er peak, but it was too windy and cloudy to even see peak or continue to hike further from Blue lake. Great trail for family and dog.

Mitchell Lake Trail Photos

Trail Information

Roosevelt National Forest
Nearby City
Roosevelt National Forest
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Additional Use
USDA Forest Service, Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave., Boulder CO 80301; (303) 541-2500;
Local Contacts
Trails Illustrated Indian Peaks Gold Hill; USGS Ward
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018