Blue Lake Trail
Blue Lake Trail is one of the most popular trails in the Rawah Wilderness.
The trail begins at the Blue Lake Trailhead at 9,495 feet, climbs through
11,010 feet at Blue Lake Pass and ends at 10,125 feet at its intersection
with the West Branch Trail. Most of the trail travels through dense spruce
forest. About .75 miles is across alpine tundra. The first 2.3 miles of the
trail is relatively easy to hike. It follows an old road bed to a point where
it crosses Fall Creek over a wooden bridge. The Rawah Wilderness boundary
is a short distance beyond the bridge.
wilderness section of the trail below Blue Lake is a series of moderate climbs
interspersed with level walks. About a half mile below Blue Lake the trail
levels off some through less dense forest and wet meadows. Sites suitable
for camping are more plentiful here. The area for about a quarter mile radius
around Blue Lake and Hang Lake are closed to camping and fires. Campfires
are prohibited on the alpine tundra. The trail breaks out onto the alpine
tundra near the southern end of Blue Lake. It continues north to Blue Lake
Pass staying about 100 to 150 feet above and to the west of Blue Lake. It
is a short, moderate climb to the pass via a few switchbacks.
Lake lies to the west and about 460 feet above Blue Lake. The most direct
approach is up along the stream connecting Hang Lake to Blue Lake. This is
a steep and difficult climb. The footing is loose and both hands and feet
are required at times. A better approach may be to angle up across the tundra
from the trail above the south end of Blue Lake toward the snow field above
Blue Lake Pass the trail makes a moderate descent down a gulch with a stream
to its intersection with the West Branch Trail. There are a few steep spots
along this .7 mile stretch of the trail.
||6.7 miles (10.8 kilometers)
||9,389' - 11,010'
||June 1 - Sept 30
||Clark Peak, Rawah Lakes, Chambers
||Pets must be on a leash, no open fires
in alpine closure zone, no camping near Blue Lake
|Suitable for mountain bikes:
||No (not permitted in wilderness)
|Suitable for horses:
||Horses are not permitted from May
15 to Sept 15
Other Nearby Resources:
Highway 287 north from Fort Collins to Laporte. Continue on 287 to Highway 14.
Travel west on 14 for 52 miles to the Blue Lake Trailhead. The parking area
will accommodate 30 - 40 vehicles. There is additional parking at the Long Draw
parking area across the road.
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