Blue Lake is a gorgeous, iconic hike of Telluride. Expect to see beautiful wildflowers such as the Colorado state flower, the Blue Columbine. Blue Lake is located above the tree line and is a glacial lake. The elevation is 12,400 feet. There will be seasonal stream crossings and you will see historic old mining cabins as well as mining equipment. Please look and do not touch, these are historic remains that we would love to preserve. Leashed dogs are welcome on the trail. This can be a challenging hike; however, the views along the way are spectacular! Blue Lake is crystal clear and stunning with seasonal waterfalls flowing into it.
From the east end of the town of Telluride, you can drive or hike up Bridal Veil Falls; it is about 2 miles. Four-wheel-drive, high clearance vehicles are highly recommended. This part of the journey is an adventure in its self. Bridal Veil Falls, with its water plummeting an impressive 365 feet, is the tallest, freefalling waterfall in Colorado!
At the top of Bridal Veil Falls, there is a road, follow this narrow road behind the power plant, alongside Bridal Veil Falls Creek. There will be a split in the trail about an hour or so into the hike. The trail will turn from trail number 507 to 506, which leads to Blue Lake. See https://trails.colorado.gov/trails/blue-lake-12005 for a topographical map of the area and trails. Stay left and follow the switchbacks, towards the basin, until you arrive at Blue Lake. Make sure you are well prepared with food, water, and a trail map.
Be aware of the steep switchbacks, sometimes unstable rocks, as well as the altitude. The hike will take a couple of hours one-way. It’s about 3 to 6 miles depending on if you drove up Bridal Veil Falls.
Local’s note: in the summertime we often get thunderstorms in the afternoon. So this hike is recommended as an earlier morning hike to be finished by the early afternoon. During the winter, this trail is closed.