Tranquility at Mud Lake

Walking around Nederland, we were recommended to check out Mud Lake, one of the many hiking trails in the area. There was a small dirt road leading to the trail that we actually drove right past the first time, so this was not a trail that is easy to stumble upon.

Mud Lake | It's The Little Things travel blog

This is a relaxing hike, as the trails are easy and very short (only about 2 miles if you cover all the trails). Much of the ground here is 1.7 billion-year-old Boulder Creek Granodiorite, a type of rock similar to granite. If you look closely as you are walking you can see the shimmer of the rock beneath your feet.

It was originally believed that Mud Lake was created due to a meteor impact, but a study later concluded that it was more likely created by human hands. I don’t know about you, but I’d say this big ‘ol hole looks like a small meteor could have hit it. Or maybe it was caused by a bear? Any nature enthusiasts want to shed some light on this?

Mud Lake | It's The Little Things travel blog

Mud Lake is now protected as a wildlife preserve, and no swimming, boating, or fishing is allowed on the lake. This made it an extra special place to sit and feel the warm sun while watching a duck take a bath. You may come across a few other hikers, bikers, or runners along the trails, but for the most part it is generally a secluded and peaceful area. It’s always nice to spend some time away from the crowds and enjoy nature for a while.

Where are your favorite places spend time with nature?

Mud Lake | It's The Little Things travel blogger


  1. I came across very similar craters in Laos but they were caused by bombs during the aerial assault of the area in the 60’s and 70’s. There are so many gorgeous hiking trails and lakes in the area around Boulder that you will be kept busy; coming away with legs of steel as a friend of mine once put it.

  2. Stephen Sutera Says: October 23, 2014 at 7:32 pm


  3. I absolutely love the last picture – looks so peaceful!

    I love to go hiking in the mountains and breathe the fresh clean mountain air – it is the best feeling in the world!

  4. How would a visit to Mud lake be in December? Will be in Boulder for a week and looking for a few outdoor adventures.

    • It will be cold and there will certainly be snow, so you could go snowshoeing instead of hiking! I would suggest checking out Eldora for some skiing as it’s only about a 40 minute drive from Boulder and it will be the perfect time of year for skiing!

  5. When did they stop allowing people to swim/fish/go boating in the lake? It looks like a nice place to go spend the day and hike. Thanks for linking up to #WeekendWanderlust this week.

    • I’m not sure exactly, but I assume that went into effect when Boulder County purchased the property in 1999. Prior to that, it had become a common area for trash dumping, which is such a shame! At least it can still be enjoyed by soaking in the view!

  6. What a great place to go for a hike. Quiet and beautiful, the perfect place to clear your mind. Love the reflection in the lake!

  7. Certainly seems like a tranquil place … thanks for sharing!

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