The Blue Lakes Trail leads 3.3 miles to Lower Blue Lake in the Sneffels Wilderness of the Uncompahgre National Forest in southwest Colorado. Dallas Creek Road (or East Dallas Road) is a south turn from Colorado Route 62 a few miles west of Ridgway. It is about 9 miles on gravel County and Forest Roads to the west trailhead.
The trailhead elevation is 9400 feet and Lower Blue Lake is at 10,950 feet. This is also a trailhead for the Blaine Basin Trail and there is also a segment of Dallas Trail that arrives here from the west. The Blue Lakes Trail continues past the Lower Lake to Blue Lakes Pass and across to an east side trailhead. In the trailhead register box there is this good sketch of the area trails.
The initial segment of trail climbs steadily for about 2 miles through thick spruce, fir, and aspen forest. In a few places there are glimpses of the mountains that lie to the east. It took me about 1:00 hour to reach the marked boundary of the Sneffels Wilderness. About 0:15 minutes past the wilderness boundary there is a small creek crossing that will get the bottom of your shoes wet.
After the creek crossing the views open up as the trail continues to climb. This view is to the west as the trail switchbacks.
I think the views to the east include Mt. Sneffels at 14,150 feet. The whole route heads into a basin that is surrounded by towering peaks. There are also distant views of mountains far to the north and the drainage of Dallas Creek.
As the trail gets closer to the Lower Blue Lake there are two waterfalls as Dallas Creek drains from the lakes. The Dallas Creek appears to carry water draining from all three of the Blue Lakes.
It took me 2:00 hours to arrive at Lower Blue Lake. A trail sign at the lake says it is 2.5 more miles to Blue Lakes Pass at 13,000 feet. There is a Middle Lake and Upper Lake along the way. Most day hikers probably turn around at the Lower Blue Lake.
My return downhill hike took 1:30 hours for a total hike of 4:00 hours for 6.6 miles. By 3:00 PM clouds were starting to build but I didn’t get caught in any rain.
I saw 16 other hikers during my hike. It was about 65 F degrees on a late August day and I carried and drank 3 liters of water. The lake area was slightly cooler than the trailhead but I didn't need to add a layer. The drive along Highway 62 to the west passes over an area called the Dallas Divide and has some spectacular views of these mountains, but there isn't an organized view point or interpretive sign that I noticed.