- 35 miles west of Boulder
- 7.6 mile roundtrip
- 3.5 to 4.5 hours
- Trailhead Elevation:
- 10500 feet
- Elevation Change:
- 1800 feet
- June - October
The Mt. Audubon Trail turns left (west) off the Beaver Creek Trail #911 1.7 miles from, and 900 feet above, the Mitchell Lake Trailhead. The first portion of the Beaver Creek Trail is in the trees, but all of the Mt. Audubon Trail lies above treeline, and inside the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The pace of the Mt. Audubon Trail is consistent for the length of the trail, with the exception of two somewhat steeper sections; there's one pair of switchbacks near the middle of the trail, and one section near the end. Early in the summer, a snowfield may obscure the first switchback of the middle set; look for the trail to the right (north) if you lose it. The developed trail ends at the saddle where there is a view down into the Coney Lake drainage. For the final half mile and 600 vertical feet, just follow cairns up the talus to the summit. The Moderate to Difficult rating of this trail is due to the high elevation and considerable elevation gain from the trailhead. It's best to get an early start on this peak; lightning and thunderstorms are common in the early afternoon.
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.
The Beaver Creek Trail heads to the north out of the Mitchell Lake Trailhead, while the Mitchell Lake Trail heads west out of the same parking area.