We were looking for a relatively easy hike closer to Denver today, so Mount Audubon turned out to be a great choice. My lack of familiarity with the Indian Peaks Wilderness is somewhat surprising since I grew up in Boulder, but there are so many mountains and adventures in Colorado that you can’t do them all (well, I’m working on as many as I can!). Our day started from the Mitchell Lake Trailhead, which is right by Brainard Lake. For some reason, my usual car cash was missing, so we fumbled around to come up with the entry fee ($11). A short line was building up behind us and we were told to go ahead and pay it forward once we gather most of the amount. The area is cash or check only, which I knew but I simply forgot to go to the bank.
Well, it seems as though the entry fee goes to good use in the area as they have large parking lots with restrooms and the trails are very well maintained. The crowd level was busy, but reasonable with lots of available parking. As usual, we got there fairly early which helped out a bit. The penalties for sleeping in early on hiking days is almost never worth it!
Overall, Mt. Audubon is a great hike and a nice challenge! Great views of the surrounding Indian Peak Wilderness and wonderful views of Longs Peak and friends were definitely highlights. While the trail was not particularly difficult, we were quite surprised at how rocky the top section was. Also, it was incredibly windy as we reached the top section and made our way toward the summit. A few groups headed back down and several other groups stopped to wait for conditions to improve. There was no real exposure or anything, so we trudged along. On another day, this would’ve been a far more enjoyable hike. That said, it was well worth the trip and made for a memorable day!
Here are some pictures from our day:
See you next time!