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Blue Lake Trail #959

Intermediate

Trail

6.7 mile 10.8 kilometer point to point
82% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,727' 527 m
Descent: -1,083' -330 m
High: 11,024' 3,360 m
Low: 9,367' 2,855 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)

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Map Key

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views

Description

This is a nice trail that will challenge you on the way in because of the constant but gradual climb to the lake. However, it makes for an easier run back home, if you leave the way you came in, because it is mostly downhill the whole way back. There is a very brief downhill run on the way in, and, subsequently, a brief uphill run to get back out—nothing intense though.

At the Blue Lake Trailhead, which is just off Hwy 14, there is a parking lot with ample parking, but no services. Just 300 yards down the road at the Long Draw Road Winter Trailhead are restrooms and additional parking.

The trail starts out in a heavily wooded, wide track with a nice, soft, earthy forest floor as your foot path. As you get deeper into the trail, it becomes more rocky, but is generally always a good solid pathway to run on. You'll cross three man-made footbridges along the way as the trail crosses the Joe Wright Creek and Fall Creek, and a few other very small water crossings that can be easily stepped across. As a result, much of the trail is accompanied by the sound of rushing or trickling water and makes for a nice background effect. These provide great places to stop and rest.

Because of the heavy forest, it is much of the same sights and sounds for a good 3-4 miles in to the run, and only catching very briefly framed vistas of Cameron and Clark Peaks. Around mile 4, the forest starts to thin, and you'll be able to enjoy some glimpses of the peaks and alpine meadows, helping to keep you motivated as you get closer to the destination which is the lake itself. Once you've reached the lake, you can turn around and doubleback, or continue on to a junction with the West Branch Trail #960.

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Check-Ins

Jun 24, 2018
Maggie Sobolewski
Good condition. First two miles are an easy stroll through lodgepole pine forest. After this, the trail gains elevation quickly. 4mi

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 3 votes

#7828

Overall
  4.0 from 3 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#734

in Colorado

#7,828

Overall
49 Views Last Month
977 Since Jul 23, 2018
Intermediate

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Photos

Blue Lake from just below Hanging Lake
Jan 4, 2018 near Walden, CO
Looking out toward Blue Lake from the west side before ascending the saddle.
Jul 8, 2018 near Walden, CO
One of three creek crossings
Aug 26, 2018 near Grand Lake, CO
Typical trail conditions for a significant portion of the trail
Aug 26, 2018 near Grand Lake, CO
Looking back at Cameron Peak from a meadow about 4 miles in to the hike.
Aug 26, 2018 near Walden, CO
Abundant wildflowers along the entire trail, including lupine, columbine, and glacier lilies.
Jul 8, 2018 near Walden, CO

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