The Spirit of the Rockies
Hike Profiles for Rocky Mountain National Park and Surrounding Areas
Mount Audubon
The hike to the summit of
Mount Audubon is a
wonderful alternative to
some of the more famed
Rocky Mountain National
Park summits like Longs Peak.
Most of the trail is above
timberline, so great
panoramic views are
common throughout this
Indian Peak Wilderness trail.
Distance: 4.0 miles one-way

Summit elevation: 13,223 feet

Trailhead elevation: 10,480 feet

Net elevation gain: 2,743 feet

Mitchell Creek Trailhead

Indian Peaks Wilderness
View from the summit of Mount Audubon
Major Trail Landmarks
Junction of Beaver Creek and Mount Audubon Trails (1.6 miles one-way from trailhead)
Principal Destinations Near Mount Audubon
Paiute Peak (4.7 miles one-way from trailhead) - via unmaintained route beyond Mount Audubon
Backcountry Campsites Near Mount Audubon
Information on Indian Peaks Wilderness camping regulations, backcountry zones, and obtaining a permit
is available through this link:

The Mitchell Creek Trailhead is on the east side of the continental divide in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.
To reach to trailhead parking area, drive on Colorado Highway 72 to the vicinity of the town of Ward. Just
north of Ward on Highway 72, there is a large sign marking a road leading west to Brainard Lake. Follow
Brainard Lake Road for about 6 miles to Brainard Lake. The Mitchell Creek Trailhead parking area is
accessed from a right-hand turn just past the lake. Brainard Lake Road remains closed at about the halfway
point between Highway 72 and Brainard Lake until after most of the spring snowfall has melted, which is in late
June or early July in most years. There is an entrance fee collected for driving into the Brainard Lake area.

From the Mitchell Creek Trailhead parking area, head to the north end of the lot and begin hiking on the
Beaver Creek Trail system, which is also named "Trail 911" (The Mitchell Lake trail begins at the south end of
the lot, but does not lead to Mount Audubon). The trail to Mount Audubon climbs steadily and soon reaches
timberline. A trail junction is not far beyond timberline, and the Mount Audubon Trail heads west from this
junction. The last few hundred feet of the summit trail are steep and rocky, but the main route is well marked.
Leashed pets are welcome on the Mount Audubon Trail
Sample photographs of the hike to Mount Audubon
View of the summit from the trail
View toward Longs Peak from the trail
View northwest from the summit
Mount Toll from the summit
Mount Audubon topographic map
Principal summer trail marked by solid red line; unmaintained trail or route marked by dashed red line.
Map is oriented with north to the top of the map
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All photographs are property of Mike Amfahr and are protected by copyright laws.
Topographic map is property of and copyrighted by Maps a la carte, Inc., and is used on this site with permission.