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Mount Audubon Hike

Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Indian Peaks Wilderness

Northern Front Range, Colorado

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Mount Audubon Hike

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  • Brainard Lake Day Use parking lot.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • The Beaver Creek Trailhead.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • The path leading from the parking lot.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • The creek near the day use area.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • The Mitchell Lake Trail is also the trial to Mount Audubon.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • Indian Peak Wilderness entrance along the trail.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • The Beaver Creek Trail splits off from the Mitchell Lake Trail. - Mount Audubon Hike
  • Switchbacks during the forest section.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • The trail crosses a section of tundra.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • Perennial snowpack.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • Climbing the talus section of the ascent.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • Longs Peak to the north.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • Indian Peaks to the south.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • Looking west to a prominent ridge.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • Ascent to the summit.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • Mount Audubon's summit is at 13,229 feet.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • The summit view from Mount Audubon is grand, with views of the entire Rocky Mountain Front Range.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • Entering the Indian Peaks Wilderness.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • Slowly working our way up to Mount Audubon.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • Almost to the left turn and boulders.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • Mount Audubon summit ridge.- Mount Audubon Hike
  • Approaching Mount Audubon's summit.- Mount Audubon Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Quick, excellent backcountry access.
Cons: 
Parking lot tends to fill up fast.
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Region:
Northern Front Range, CO
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,850.00 ft (868.68 m)
Parking Pass: 
Other
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
8.00 mi (12.87 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
10,500.00 ft (3,200.40 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Mount Audubon is a great hiking trail within the Indian Peaks Wilderness. It offers panoramic views of Colorado's entire Front Range as well as several of the other Rocky Mountain sub-ranges.

The trail begins at Brainard Lake Recreational area. From either the day use parking area or the trailhead parking lot, begin the trek via the Mitchell Lake Trailhead. Be aware of wildlife as moose frequent the area around the lake. The trail gradually ascends through the forest and quickly emerges above the treeline. Low growth krummholz abounds, often several hundred years old. The majority of this trail is a straight shot through rocky tundra toward the saddle. Just follow the marked cairns for the duration of this section.

The saddle is approximately 3.7 miles in and sits at 12,700 feet. Look south toward the talus field before overshooting this approach. It is somewhat obscure to find a clear juncture, but knowing that you need to head up the talus field seems like common sense. Follow the obscure path through the boulders using various marked cairns. The summit is a steep ascent through this boulder field for a few hundred feet of elevation gain.

At the 13,223 summit, the views are immense. Directly south sits Paiute Peak and the Indian Peak Wilderness. There are several rock shelters to escape the wind and enjoy the views before heading back down. As with any high mountain summit, be prepared for strong wind, colder weather, and changing conditions.

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Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(21 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(106 within a 30 mile radius)

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