Blue Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park is towered and fed by melt off from Storm Peak to the east. It’s an extremely scenic lake in the park that is less visited due to the difficulty, and lack of any trail leading up to it.
To reach Blue Lake take the Glacier Gorge Trail to Black Lake. From Black Lake head east up the steep, semi-established trail until you get to the flattened tundra. Here you have a couple of options to get up to Blue Lake. Bushwhack through dense vegetation, climb over rock slabs, or try and navigate around all of them.
The maps leading to this lake are accurate to a degree but once you start ascending up the slope you are pretty much picking your own bushwhack.
We completed this hike last after going to Frozen, Green and “Italy” Lakes. We thought we had a good route picked out as we could see the lake pretty well when climbing up to Frozen Lake. Out of all of these lakes, finding a good route to Blue Lake was the most difficult.
Steady elevation gain up to the shelf through overgrown vegetation, to pulling off a few Class 3 moves to get to the upper shelf, we spotted Blue Lake. We definitely didn’t take the best route to get there but we made it work. The way back down was a bit easier.
Hung out at the south shoreline of Blue Lake and snapped some photos. then continued around the west side of the lake north. Hiked up a few rock slabs was presented with incredible views of Black Lake and the lower Glacier Gorge. Turn around and you are looking at Blue Lake being towered by the giant peaks of the Glacier Gorge.
As a photographer Blue Lake is on my bucket list for a sunrise photo op. There’s the secret photography spot you won’t see many good photographs of that has unlimited potential. The sun should rise just over the Keyboard of the Winds and create some epic alpen light on Pagoda Mountain and McHenry’s Peak. A photo I have not taken but currently making plans to get it done. Blue lake was hard to find in broad daylight and can only imagine trying to navigate to it during nighttime. I can only recommend this hike to those that are experienced in off trail navigation. Same goes for the neighboring lakes on the upper shelf of the Glacier Gorge, Frozen Lake and Green Lake.