Trail Review: Blue Lake and Little Blue Lake
If you don’t mind a bit of a drive out into the Indian Peaks Wilderness deep in Boulder County, there is a beautiful hidden gem of a trail waiting for you. Blue Lake and Little Blue Lake is a 6.3 mile out-and-back trail near Nederland, and offers one of the most rewarding hiking experiences in the area.
Crowd: 4/5. The Indian Peaks Wilderness area itself is very crowded, especially when it comes to parking. We ended up adding over a mile to our trek because we had to park so far away from the trailhead. But once you get on the trail, many hikers stop at the Little Blue Lake, which is an easy trail, and the Blue Lake section is typically only moderately trafficked. You may see wildlife such as Moose on this trail! Dogs are also allowed on leash.
Views: 5/5. This is one of the most beautiful hikes in Colorado. From meadows bursting with wildflowers to lush pine forests to melting snowpack waterfalls to bald mountains in the distance to the lake itself, nothing about this trail is disappointing. Go in June to catch the lake still partially snow-locked.
Difficulty: 3.5/5. The first portion of the hike is a nice easy stroll, and the Blue Lake section is moderately challenging. There’s a lot of stair-like ascent, and you’re going to be at a very high altitude gaining over 1400 feet. It’s not technically challenging and all ascents are fairly gradual, but it’s definitely a trek. You’ll get a great workout and can soak sore feet in the frigid waters of the lake at the top!
This is a must-see in Colorado, and you won’t be disappointed if you make the trip. Go before 7am or after 2pm to get a parking spot right at the trailhead, or park a bit away and enjoy the stroll you’ll add. There is a 10$ day permit fee that helps keep our parks open and beautiful for hikers like you!