Blue Lakes Trailhead


Road Difficulty

2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD dirt to the TH.

Driving Directions

From Breckenridge, drive 8 miles south on Colorado 9. On a sharp corner of Colorado 9, turn west onto the 850 road (Blue Lakes road). It is 2 miles to the trailhead below the dam. Continue on Blue Lakes road as it climbs west. After 1.2 miles, keep right. After 1.4 miles, keep right again. By early June, the road is usually open to the dam. If not, drive as far as possible and hike the remainder of the road. There is a large parking area below the dam.

Winter Access

Closed about 1/2 mile up from the 850/851 road junction.
Status Updates 
Posted By: bmcqueen
Info: Road is still driveable to the dam. A bit of snow and ice, but not a big deal.
Posted By: Mtnman200
Info: The road to Blue Lakes is open until you reach an intersection at 11,315’, where it is blocked by snow. You can park there and hike the remaining 0.6 mile to the dam.
Posted By: MountainHiker
Info: Road is clear to the gate / parking area 3/4 mile below dam. Road is clear for walking all the way to the dam. Still some snow on the side of the road, plus one really big rock that would need to be moved if they did open the gate.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Road is clear to within 3/4 mile of the dam and upper TH. Plenty of parking at the current snow closure.
Posted By: jwgrosser
Info: Road is blocked by a pile of snow (snowplow dump) at the end of the residential portion. Beyond the snow pile the road possibly looked doable in a 4x4 but after getting my lifted jeep stuck in the snow pile and digging out for 30 minutes I decided not to try it. However, after digging my jeep out there is now a nice passage through the snow pile.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: I think its worth repeating Guthrie 4th of July 2013 warning: yesterday some people at the upper parking lot had a note left on their car. The note said a mountain goat had jumped up on their car and walked across it! The owners were laughing and thought it was funny!
I went and looked at their car (Volkswagen Jetta) and could only see footprints in the dust on it (no scratches or damage)
Posted By: emgordon
Info: Easily passable all the way to upper dam. As few larger potholes and rutted sections to take slow. Large variety of sedans, suvs, and trucks seen.
Posted By: summit2sea
Info: Clear all the way to the dam (minus one small slide across the road). Gate closed at first lake. Small snowfield next to dam at beginning of trail, but passable without snowshoes. Snow gets deeper, with post-holing, at about 11,800‘.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Easily drivable to the gate closure at the parking lot below the dam.
Posted By: jeffth5
Info: Most people chose to park at the winter closure, however, someone has dug a gap in the snowbank and it is possible to squeeze through. We saw three vehicles that made it to the junction at mile 1.4: a Land Rover got stuck in snow in the middle of the road, a 4runner stopped at that same point and did not attempt the tricky spot and a wrangler made it past this spot and all the way to the summer TH. The road is mostly melted, and in 2-3 weeks it will be passable for most vehicles unless there is more major snow. There are periodic snow banks in the road that caused the trouble, otherwise it is fairly snow free. The skin track is off to the side of the road next to the trees (and even then, discontinuous) and it would not be possible to snowmobile up the road. In the afternoon, it was very muddy as the temperature rose to 45+ degrees.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Road is closed for winter at the usual location, nearly 2 miles from the dam
Posted By: 2giqs
Info: Same as the August 18 status minus the goats.
Posted By: abell9er
Info: Clear and Dry to the dam. Small ruts to navigate, but still easily driven by 2WD. Immediately greeted by family of goats that show no fear of humans or cars.
Posted By: elchivoloco
Info: Still deep avalanche debris right below the dam. They‘re using a front loader to start digging it out. Drive-able to the avy debris spot, with parking by the lower lakes.
Posted By: cascadecoach
Info: There is still quite a snow bank at the winter closure. Spots along the road to Blue Lakes are starting to melt out. The deepest snow is right before the damn where multiple avalanches have deposited snow on the road cut. I would guess another two to three weeks of this warm weather until the entire road is clear.
Posted By: gottaclimbemall
Info: Drove to 850 from Alma on Colorado 9. Upon initially turning onto 850 the road was nicely packed and had no issues with an AWD Subaru Outback. However, between 1/4 and 1/2 mile down the road becomes unpacked snow, impossible to drive without a lifted 4WD vehicle. Between 1-2ft of unpacked snow all the way to Blue Lake/Dam. Parking at the winter trailhead is necessary, adds around 2 miles roundtrip if climbing the West Ridge or South Couloir.
Posted By: Alan Arnette
Info: Few patches of snow and ice but 90% clear. No goats
Posted By: forbins_mtn
Info: Yup. TH perfectly accessible but that damned goat family was right there when we pulled up. Luckily they had a youngster so they seemed a little stand offish...but watch out!
Posted By: Guthrie
Info: I would like to second the caution about the mountain goats. While parked there, some of the goats traversed across the hood and roof of my Xterra, leaving scratches and prints behind. Don‘t park any expensive vehicles here.
Posted By: BobbyFinn
Info: Still dry and clear to the gate about .5 miles from the dam.
You may want to watch out for the goats...
Posted By: esagas
Info: The road is dry and in excellent condition. It is still closed by a gate about 0.5 mi below the dam. There is plenty of parking at the closure.
Posted By: aliciaf
Info: Road passable to about half a mile below the dam. Some snow still lingering on the road today that made going farther not worth it, as well as a few patches of snow here and there from where we parked until the dam.
Posted By: 2inspireumo
Info: Road still blocked by large snowbank about quarter mile above quandary trailhead, south couloirs on quandary almost ready
Posted By: mattdecoste
Info: Road closed at the normal winter closure, 0.3 mile up from Highway 9. Road beyond was covered with 2-3 inches of dry snow (no ice) all the way to the dam with an occasional snowdrift 6-8 inches. Would be accessible by decent 4x4 vehicle if not closed at .3 miles.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Still open and road was dry.

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