Blue Lakes Trail – a can’t miss Breckenridge destination!

Everywhere you go close to Breckenridge, CO a surprise always awaits. This short, yet exhilarating trail will be beyond your expectations, above timberline where Mother Nature is obviously in charge. Wind blown twisted dwarfed pines, tundra, and steep rocky slopes surround an amazingly blue lake. Marmots everywhere and you’ll hear the sounds of little pika mouse with that cute “eek” sound they make, letting you know you are wandering into in their territory

Bring the kids, an amazing family friendly hike close to Breckenridge. Where else can you be greeted by mountain goats … really!

 

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Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).

 

Upon first arriving we were in subalpine terrain at the lower lake surrounded on one side by tall dense pine trees, before hiking up to the larger lake going above tree line. Colorful backcountry tents could be seen on the far side of the lower lake tucked beneath the trees and under an indescribable waterfall.

 

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Driving up to the upper lake just below the dam we parked and could not help but get out and start hiking. It’s that stunning.

On the left you can see the top of Quandary Peak, a Colorado favorite 14er.

Looking at top of Quandary Peak it looks close from this elevation, but that’s tricky, as it’s another 2 hour hike from here, up an unmaintained trail, extremely rocky & steep. Called the “West Route” it is not highly used or recommended. You will pass the main, most popular Trailhead to hike Quandary Peak as you turn of Hwy 9 onto Blue Lakes Rd., heading to Blue Lakes.

 

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So many amazing hiking opportunities for all skill levels near Breckenridge, CO

Hiking along the west side of Blue Lake on Blue Lakes trail, we found a few rocks to begin our hike, some alpine tundra, and an abundance of wildflowers.

 


 

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All along the trail, we ran into lots of busy marmots. We’ve been on many hikes in Colorado above timberline and have never seen this many marmots at one time. It’s late August and we’re just in time as they head for their burrows to hibernate until April or May.

 

 

 

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As we hiked along the trail farther around the lake, we hit an area of rocks and more rocks until it became quite a scramble to get across them. Soon finding that the path past the rocks is thick with tundra and almost impassable.

Views of Quandary Peak, North Star Mountain, and Wheeler Mountain surround Blue Lakes.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH BLUE LAKES TRAIL IN THE SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS BY RIDGEWAY, CO – one of Colorado’s best day hikes and one I LOVE – take a peek!

 

 

When exploring the lower lake, we headed down the dirt road. Here the trees started to multiply and we were covered in deep shade with only peeks of sunshine shining through. Deep in the woods scattered on the side of the road were dreamy dispersed campsites with already designated fire pits.

Hiked one of many social paths leading off the end of the dirt road, climbing through numerous large rocks and reached the base of a thundering, cascading waterfall. A highlight to the day!

Hang out along the lower lake, camp, have a day fishing, picnic and hike.

 

 

 

 

Just visiting or not a hiker, this is one of the best locations to get a feel for truly being in the Colorado mountains without much effort. Starts above 11,000 ft. in elevation, a very high altitude. Hat and gloves with shorts in the summer is not uncommon in Colorado!


A trail you want to be prepared for with appropriate hiking gear. Please check out “What’s in Your Day Pack” for a list of recommended items anytime hiking that I use at all times.

An adventure you simply won’t soon forget even if you’re a seasoned hiker.

Known as the Blue Lakes Trail System. For more information on this area: Dillon Ranger District.

Located 6.8 miles south of Breckenridge on Hwy 9. Turn right onto Blue Lakes Rd. (CR850). Drive 2.2 miles to Blue Lakes.

TIDBITS
2.5 miles out and back
Rated: easy, moderate
Above timberline, high altitude
Weather can change in minutes
Hiking, walking, fishing, camping, snowshoeing
White River National Forest

POPULAR HIKES NEAR BRECKENRIDGE  – love them all.

Lily Pad Lakes Trail is Unforgettable 

Troll & Fairy Hiking in Breckenridge

McCullough Gulch in Summer!

West Ridge Trail, Wow, What a Hike!

Loveland Lakes is Easy Peasy Alpine Splendor

Snowshoeing Mayflower Gulch is Magical

Sweet Family Friendly Colorado Hiking Gem

Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).