This popular hike visits three scenic lakes in a beautiful glacial basin surrounded by the rugged summits of Mount Sneffels (14,150-ft.), Dallas Peak (13,809-ft.) and Gilpin Peak (13,694-ft.).
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- Distance: 6.3 miles (round trip) to Lower Blue Lakes
8.2 miles (round trip) to Upper Blue Lakes
11.0 miles (round trip) to Blue Lakes Pass
- Elevation: 9,350-ft. at Trailhead
10,940-ft. at Lower Blue Lakes
11,750-ft. at Upper Blue Lakes
13,000-ft. at Blue Lakes Pass
- Elevation Gain: 1,590-ft. to Lower Blue Lakes
2,400-ft. to Upper Blue Lakes
3,650-ft. to Blue Lakes Pass
- Difficulty: moderate-strenuous
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Ouray / Southwest Colorado
Why Hike Blue Lakes and Blue Lakes Pass
Turquoise lakes nestled in dramatic glacial cirques, wildflower-filled alpine meadows ringed by craggy peaks and ridges and a pass with see-forever views makes the Blue Lakes trail a top hike on my “to do list” on every trip to southwest Colorado.
The hike, one of the few in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness, culminates at spectacular Blue Lakes Pass (13,000-ft.) located on a steep ridge extending south from Mt. Sneffels (14,150-ft). Along the way the trail visits three scenic lakes cradled in a beautiful glacial basin set amid rugged ridges and peaks over 13,000-ft.
For an easy day Lower Blue Lake, lying in a pretty cirque dominated by Dallas Peak, makes a worthy destination. From here a short, steep trail leads to the two upper Blue Lakes set beneath the western flanks of Mt. Sneffels in wildflower filled meadows ringed by jagged ridges. Beyond the lakes a demanding trail ascends 1,250-ft. in 1.4 miles to the panoramic viewpoint at the pass.
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