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  • Writer's pictureJoanna Lee

Mount Audubon

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

August 3, 2022

Mount Audubon

Route: alltrails or

7.8 miles; 2625 feet elevation gain

Total time: 4 hours 15 minutes

The biggest logistic to know about this hike is that you need reservations to enter Brainard Lake Recreation Area. You could go without a reservation and park at the winter lot but this would add about 6 miles to your hike. You can make reservations here. I make a reservation for the Mitchell Lake Trailhead which is where this route starts. If you cannot get one at that lot you can do the main parking area, which has more spots so more open reservations, but this does add 2+ miles to your hike. When you leave Mitchell Lake Trailhead be careful to check your map and not head towards the lakes.

I started at 6am and was the first one on the summit on a Wednesday. I saw maybe 10 other groups going up on my descent but it was overall a fairly quiet day. A majority of this hike is class one with a well defined and maintained trail. The trail is very rocky with lots of ankle rolling risks. The elevation gain is gradual and mellow compared to a lot of other 13ers. You are below the tree line for about the first 1.5 miles. After that it opens up to 360 degree views for the remainder of the hike. The only portion of the hike that is class two, is the last 0.5 miles to the summit, which is also the steepest part of the climb. It is a talus field with a faint trail that is very easy to lose. Your goal is in sight and there are cairns marking the general direction. The day I did this hike the clouds were crazy, see my photos below, but it also meant I didn't get the best summit views. I will definitely be back for the views of the lakes below because I imagine they are stunning. I did get views of Longs Peak as the clouds briefly cleared and those were well worth the hike.

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