Mount Audubon (#913)

Image looking toward the rocky top of Mount Audubon

Length: Mitchell Lake Trailhead (TH) to Mount Audubon - 3.8 miles. DISTANCE IS ONE-WAY.

Elevation: 10,500 feet at the Mitchell Lake TH, 11,340 feet at Beaver Creek/Mount Audubon Trail Intersection; 13,223 feet at the top of Mount Audubon.

Trail Description: The Beaver Creek Trail enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness and climbs through the trees for 1.7 miles. The Mount Audubon Trail turns left (west).

The Mount Audubon Trail continues to climb above timberline. The developed trail ends at the saddle where there is a view down into the Coney Lake drainage. For the final half-mile and 600 vertical feet, follow the rock cairns up the talus to the summit.

National Weather Service Forecast. The weather can change quickly at high elevations especially after noon.

Click here for a trail summary.

View a trail map here.

At a Glance

Fees: Brainard Lake Recreation Area fees apply during the summer operating season (typically mid/late-June through late September).
Permit Info: This trail lies within the Four Lakes Backcountry Zone of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area:
  • Camping is prohibited in the Four Lakes Backcountry Zone from May 1 through November 30.
  • Organized groups are required to have a permit for both camping and day-hiking year round.
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Hiking conditions are best from July through October
Restrictions: Indian Peak Wilderness restrictions apply:
  • Camping is prohibited on this trail from May 1 through Nov 30.
  • Motorized equipment and mechanized transportation are prohibited.
  • Pets must be on a hand-held leash at all times.
  • Campfires are prohibited year round.
  • Campsites must be at least 100 feet away from water and trail.
  • Group size is limited to 12.
  • Packstock (horses, llamas etc.) are prohibited.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles
Fishing and hunting: permitted in accordance with regulations established by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Closest Towns: Ward, Colorado
Water: None
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace principles
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service

General Information


From Colorado Highway 72 at Ward, turn west onto the Brainard Lake Road. Travel 2.5 miles to the entrance portal, and continue another three miles to Beaver Creek Trailhead.


Due to its high elevation, the Brainard area is not generally snow-free until late June or even July in some years. The seasonally-open Brainard Lake Road may be open as late as November 14, but typically is closed due to snow by late October.


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