Blue Lake- Indian Peaks Wilderness
Location: About 1.5 hours outside of Denver in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area of the Indian Peaks Wilderness (outside of Boulder). The trailhead is actually called "Mitchell Lake Trailhead". All roads are paved, so any vehicle can make it.
Elevation/distance: The entire hike is about 6 miles round trip. Your starting elevation is 10,480 and you end at 11,320, with a total gain of 840 feet.
Description: The wooded path leads to vast meadows and ends at a crystal clear lake, hence the name "blue lake". You also see Mitchell Lake along the way, which is beautiful as well. You'll read online that the hike itself is pretty crowded, but that was not our experience. We went on Labor Day with some friends and although we definietly saw people, it was not overly crowded.
Who I would recommend it to: Most people. Although it is 6 miles in length, it's not a super intense hike. You aren't gaining a whole lot of elevation, and the landscaping with the meadows and lakes is stunning. Plus, it's not a far way from Denver, which is super nice. DRINK LOTS OF WATER! Even though you aren't climbing a ton of elevation, you are still starting out very high. I also loved that it wasn't very crowded for us, and I'd imagine if you visited on a week day, it would be even less so.