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Mitchell Lake Trail Out and Back

Intermediate
 4.6 (60) 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

90%

Runnable

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 run 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.

Runner Notes

This is not be an ideal route for running. From the get-go there are large boulders that fill the trail surface. So, unless you're someone who likes technical trail running, you might want to avoid this route.

Be careful and courteous when passing other pedestrians - you'll encounter many hikers on this route!

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 60 votes

#99

Overall
  4.6 from 60 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
32%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#33

in Colorado

#99

Overall
48 Views Last Month
25,043 Since Apr 26, 2015
Intermediate

2%
2%
81%
5%
10%
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 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
Mitchell Lake
Aug 16, 2015 near Nederland, CO

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Check-Ins

Oct 6, 2019
Susie Burns
8mi — 4h 00m
Aug 10, 2018
Matthew Macfarlane
Trail conditions great. Saw two moose about a mile in only 30 feet off trail. Beautiful scenery the whole way. 5mi
Jul 16, 2018
Jennifer Schneider
Ran up and hiked down. Saw a moose at dusk!
Oct 15, 2017
Becky Campbell
only to river crossing, as whole path under ice water
Jul 22, 2017
Nick Wilder
A half-run. Tricky surface for running past the first mile. 6.5mi — 1h 31m
Jul 14, 2017
Jen McMurtrey
Sep 17, 2016
Regina Philange