Trails traveled: Mitchell Lake Trail, Blue Lake Trail, Difficulty: Blue (Moderate), Black (Difficult)
Out-and-Back, 6.6 miles round-trip, 1,457ft elevation gain
Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
Weather: Partly Cloudy
- Snow melt
I went for a good hike up at Brainard Lake Recreation Area near Nederland, Colorado. I was hoping to possibly hike Mount Audubon, a thirteener, and the surrounding peaks nearby, but the later start and the weather weren’t cooperating at altitude.
I decided not to risk it as the mountains will still be there in the near future and the risks of wind and lightning storms in the afternoon are just too high later in the day in the Rocky Mountains. The nice thing about the Brainard Lake Recreation Area are the many hikes offered in the park.
Mitchell Lake and Blue Lake are both beautiful and picturesque alpine lakes that fill up as the snow in the surrounding mountains melt. There is some good elevation gain and length to create a real good workout. The lakes were also a beautiful waypoint in their own right.
I also did some scrambling over some rocks to a “hidden” Little Blue Lake. That was probably the most strenuous part of the hike and also the most dangerous. I also got some time to write some haiku and poetry during this hike. There were a lot of places to find space on the hike to record my thoughts.