OverviewSituated in the Indian Wilderness of Colorado's Front Range, Mount Audubon takes its place about one mile east of the Continental Divide and the resulting chain of rugged peaks that define the local geography. Unlike some of its neighbors, Mount Audubon is a gentle mountain that is best characterized by broad ridges and large expanses of tundra. As such, it is a mountain best appreciated by those who favor a leisurely stroll among the wildflowers over a hard scramble among the talus. Stunning views of the other peaks in the area can be had from the summit and this a good place to start thinking about future outings in the Indian Peaks. The true grandeur of the area is well revealed from Audubon and those who experience it will want to return.
Mount Audubon has several routes but is usually climbed via an easy trail from Mitchell Lake Trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. Gerry Roach's book, Colorado's Indian Peaks is a good reference if you're looking for something more challenging. The combination of great scenery and relatively easy hiking make this a popular outing. A great way to experience the mountain would be to take the Mt. Audubon, Blue Lake Loop.
Getting ThereFrom Hwy 72, just north of Ward, turn west onto the Brainard Lake Road. Follow the road for five miles to Brainard Lake. From there, follow the signs to the Mitchell Lake Trailhead. The Brainard Lake Road is closed about half-way in from late October until late June. Skis, snowshoes, or a bicycle might make access easier.
Red TapeThere is a $10 entrance fee (good for five days) to the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. An annual pass costs $55.
Here is a summary of the Indian Peak Wilderness Rules and Regulations:
The information above was kindly supplied by Kane.
More details about the Brainard area are available here.
When To ClimbMount Audubon is climbed year-round, but optimal conditions generally occur from late June through September. Be aware that this also the season for afternoon thunderstorms in the Colorado mountains. Hikers should plan to be on the way down by noon.
Mountain ConditionsClick here for the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.
Click here for the latest report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
The Boulder Ranger District USDA Forest Service maintains a good page with information about Mt. Audubon here.
For a live shot of conditions in the area, try the Tundra-Cam and pan the resulting image to see Mt. Audubon. Niwot ridge tundra cam
- North Slope Route
- Mount Audubon on 13ers.com
- Mount Audubon trail beta
- Audubon the Hard Way
Climbing Mount Audubon is supposed to be easy. That's why we did it the hard way. Trip report and photos of an ascent of the SE ridge in the fall.