- 35 miles west of Boulder
- 5 mile roundtrip
- 2.5 to 3 hours
- Trailhead Elevation:
- 10500 feet
- Elevation Change:
- 800 feet
- July - October
The wooded Mitchell Lake Trail enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness near the bridge across Mitchell Creek, then continues a half mile to Mitchell Lake on a good trail. It follows beside the lake, crossing a new bridge over the inlet. Another mile and a half of trail takes you up a steep slope, then along the creek in an open valley to Blue Lake, which lies at treeline below Mt. Toll (ele. 12,979 ft.), a cone-shaped pinnacle on the Continental Divide. *When snowy, it is very easy to lose the trail - close attention is necessary.
Proceed 13 miles north of Nederland, west of Boulder on Highway 72 to just north of the town of Ward.
Turn west onto the Brainard Lake Road (a.k.a. County Rd. 102, FDR 112). Travel approximately 5 miles on the paved road to Brainard Lake. (This road is closed half way from about late October to late June or early July).
Proceed west past the lake and turn right onto the signed side road to the Mitchell Lake Trailhead, a half mile up, and take the next right where the road to the Long Lake Trailhead forks left.
Two trails start at this trailhead. The Mitchell Lake Trail is the one to the west.