island lake colorado hike

Lake Isabelle is one of the best winter hikes in Colorado (add about five miles round trip for the winter hike). Dogs are also able to use this trail. Few lakes have a more intriguing name than Mystic Island Lake. The right turn continues the steady incline for a 1,000-foot gain in a mile, bringing you to Island Lake. Trail Summary: Ice Lake & Island Lake are a pair of high alpine lakes located just outside of Silverton, Colorado. The hike up to Ice Lake and Island Lake in Colorado's San Juan Mountains is truly an amazing one. Sweet success☺️ I finally hiked Iron Mountain To reach Island Lake, head west from Silverton on Hwy. We woke up to the heat of the sun but stepped outside to the chill mountain air, spent the entire day hanging out at camp, enjoying the lake from all sides, had a snowball fight, and even paddled to the island in the lake on my new packraft (definitely worth hauling up)! The best views really do come after the hardest cl Island Lake itself is truly spectacular and one of the best hikes in Colorado, in my humble opinion as a resident of 21 years. Follow the trail around the lake to the right and find a rock for an Instagram-worthy photo. The return hike is fast as the first 3.25 miles are downhill, but don’t forget to save some energy for the 3.25 mile climb from the South Fork Smith back to the trailhead. No storms while we were there, but so darn windy all weekend. three island lake and north lake hiking trail guide, Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area guidebook Colorado information, hiking, backpacking, fishing, hunting, horse packing, horseback riding,and camping information for Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Routt National Forest, Steamboat Springs and Walden Colorado, hiking, backpacking, camping, horse packing, horseback riding trail maps and pictures in … This trail leads to Island Lake. Ice Lake is one of the gems of Colorado with its bright blue, almost Carribean looking, water. It’s such a gem of a place 😀 Hope you’re able to make it out to see it for yourself. Take a hike. But it was nice to learn to slow down a little and just enjoy my surroundings. Just shy of 9 miles in exactly 5 hours and it was stunning! Once the trail starts to really flatten out, you know you’re about five minutes away from the beautiful turquoise lake. 550 (also known as the Million Dollar Highway). Hi Anila, I’m glad you find this blog post helpful 🙂 There was zero coverage to pop a squat near Island Lake, it’s a little hilly and some medium-sized boulders you can try to hide behind but you’re still very exposed and there’s no escaping that. [Day 1] We arrived Friday [Aug 30] around noon, started hiking by 1:52 pm and arrived at the majestic Island Lake 4:32 pm. Ice Lake exceeded my expectations – the blue hue in the deep section of the lake and the aqua color of the shoreline were unreal… the morning reflection of the rainbow-colored mountain from all the wildflowers made it all more surreal. Island Lake is often hiked in combination with Ice Lake and Fuller Lake but due to its unique beauty it is also hiked by itself as a primary destination. An exquisite sampler is the 14-mile out-and-back hike from West Branch trailhead to Island and Carey lakes. Island Lake is a thirty minute hike from the trailhead and sits high and to the west of the Reservoir. 10,640-ft. at High point above Island Lake 10,410-ft. at Island Lake Note: There is a lot of up and down along this trail. Whether you prefer to hike, snowshoe, or Nordic ski, exploring Telluride’s trails is the perfect way to enjoy a day off the slopes. Yes the trail is very straightforward for the whole loop! An amazing 8.4 mile round trip hike will take you up the 2,552-ft. to Island Lake. We somehow got lucky and saw less than a handful of tents for the holiday weekend, but when we hiked out of Ice Lake, there were a ton of campers. Take a hike. If so, what did you do for food storage? Getting antsy for another Southwest adventure... b Turquoise blue Ice Lake sits in a magnificent cirque amid subalpine tundra dotted with wildflowers. To give you an idea of how much this trail kicked my butt, my Garmin Fenix tracker recorded the total one way hike time to directly to Island Lake to be 2:42 hr, but only 1:09 hr of actual moving time. A side trip to Island Lake to the northeast adds about 1.12 miles round trip and 130′ elevation gain. Island Lake sits in a small cirque directly beneath Ulysses S Grant Peak, and is made especially pretty by the small island right at the center. Yes, you can camp at either lake for now and do not need a permit. We camped on the top of the hill facing northwest at Island Lake and had one neighbor the first day, and only four other campers around the lake (but none next to us) the second night – that’s pretty amazing for a Saturday night on Labor Day weekend! I kid you not, I’ve never taken so many breaks in my life. If you prefer a densely treed campsite, just head for the lower Island Lake is located at 10,866 ft. elevation (336 ft. lower). 116. Mosquitoes are … When the sun was out, the temps were perfect, but when the clouds took over (which was often), the chill came. The grade now abates as the trail traverse alpine tundra for the final quarter mile to Ice Lake (12,270-ft.). Giveaway✨ because it’s the most wonderful time It doesn’t help that I packed an extra 6 lb of packraft weight either… I was hurting. Enjoy either a … The hike is a steady climb within a fairly narrow valley. Pay attention to whom your energy increases and de There was still snow by Island lake when we visited in August. The Island Lakes trail (#1857) begins near Crescent and Mackinaw Lakes and climbs over a mountain pass offering great views of the three Island Lakes below. The western Trailhead is located next … We started our hike at 7:30/7:45 on a weekday morning and there were only a few other cars there. We are in good shape and are fairly experienced hikers, so we chose to do the trail up to Ice Lake, then went over to Island Lake (a little sketchy in one part), and looped back around and down. The two upper lakes are situated on thinly forested bench. Colorado Hiking Tips. & Take a wal, Colorful canyons and sunset on the mountains make, Resource Guide for How to Plan An Epic Backpacking Trip, Short Hike to a Swimming Hole in Stoddard Canyon, 3 Hikes in Lake Arrowhead: Plan a Weekend Getaway, Hike to Bighorn Peak in Angeles National Forest. Leading hikers to one of the most scenic lakes in the area the Lake Charles Trail follows East Brush Creek from the Fulford Cave parking area. One Colorado destination known for its jaw-dropping beauty is Island Lake in Southwest Colorado near Silverton. … The left trail climbs to Ice Lake Basin with up-and-down sections and a massive waterfall. Island Lake Via Ice Lakes Trail [CLOSED] is a 7.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Ophir, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Island Lake is phenomenal. Were there some spots that were covered? Vanessa was so patient and even offered to hold my hand… those are the type of friends I’m extremely grateful to have in the mountains <3. Thanks for sharing- this hiking trip looks awesome! The first part is hiking amongst the trees to the lower basin, which is where you’ll find the split that takes you to Island Lake or Ice Lakes Basin proper. Most people hike clockwise to Ice lake first and then Island lake after, but my friend recommended we go counter-clockwise first to Island Lake to get all the elevation over with which I’m glad we did. Hi Kira, I don’t know how the bear situation is there right now, didn’t have any issues when I went. In the summer, this is one of the best and easiest lake hikes in Colorado. Island Lake is a peaceful and pleasant place to pass a sunny afternoon with swimming, gazing into the tree tops of giant firs and lounging on the rocks watching wildlife. The lake has a boat ramp, wheelchair accessible fishing pier and fish cleaning station. The weather at night hit a low of 38 degrees but the day time got as warm as high 60s/ low 70s… it was just a super windy weekend. The trail is fully exposed from the junction up to Island Lake since it climbs above the tree line. ✨New Blog Post: Hike Iron Mountain via Heaton Fl, I’ve learned that two people can look at the exa, The best views really do come after the hardest cl, Pay attention to whom your energy increases and de, Sweet success☺️ I finally hiked Iron Mountain, Getting antsy for another Southwest adventure... b, Giveaway✨ because it’s the most wonderful time, Pack a bag. Pack a bag. There was just one really sketchy section of the ridge that’s narrow with a lot of loose little rocks and my fear of heights, or more like my fear of slipping and falling, got the better of me and I crawled. Definitely recommend you check the weather updates as your trip gets closer though. To reach the trailhead from the intersection of Highway 550 and the turnoff to Silverton (Highway 110), drive 2 miles north on Highway 550 to County Road 7, located between mile markers 72 and 73. You’ll reach a waterfall one mile in and have another mile to go before you reach the junction that splits off to Ice lake and Island lake. From there, a steep, four-mile hike with a 3,000-foot elevation gain leads you into the basin. Follow on Instagram. As you walk toward the lake note the faint trail climbing the grassy slope on your right (north). If you’re new to Colorado hiking, know that this state presents some unique … It is also a very busy lake, don't hike this trail looking for solitude. Start at Brainard Lake and make your way up the valley to Lake Isabelle where you’ll have views of the Isabelle Glacier – a permanent snowfield. I don’t think they’re known for bears there but you can call the ranger stations. Your email address will not be published. The entire mountain was covered with wildflowers everywhere! Island Lake is a magnificent sight. Don’t forget to pack it out! The unmarked but clear junction is about 2.2 miles from the trailhead and quickly climbs on a narrow dirt path for awhile on the side of the mountain before heading in through the mountains more where you’ll get your first water source (around 4:06 pm for me). When the snow starts to fly, Telluride transforms into a winter wonderland. Hello! Is there a distinct path to hike to ice lake and island lake? PS – it’s very exposed and hard to find a covered area to use the restroom… but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Tucked away in the San Juan National Forest, Island Lake is one of four bright blue lakes that hikers trek to in the Upper Ice Lake Basin. DIRECTIONS: Island Lake is located along Hwy 65 (Grand Mesa Scenic Byway), 23 miles south of the town of Mesa, CO or 16 miles north of Cedaredge, CO. It’s definitely more open, flatter, and easier to find camping spots at ice vs island. After setting up our campsite upon arrival, we had an early dinner, watched the sunset and early bedtime. At Ice Lake you'll see some of the bluest water around, and at Island Lake, one of the most unique lake formations in Colorado. The trail is 1.9 miles each way with a net elevation gain of 940 feet and terminates at Island Lake at just over 9,700 feet in elevation. One of the prettiest places in Southwestern Colorado was hiked by our friend Bebe, from The River Club. Your email address will not be published. There are two trailheads, the eastern is located just to the east of the road to Cobbett Lake. This blog is only for the highlight trail of the trip: Island Lake and Ice Lake in San Juan National Forest. The trail starts at the South Mineral Campground and heads straight into the forest at a steady ascent. Island Lake hosts two campgrounds (Island Lake & Little Bear) and is very close to the Grand Mesa Visitor Center so chances are, if you spend any time on Grand Mesa you will find yourself visiting Island Lake. Difficulty: strenuous; Basecamp: Elkhart Park / Big Sandy; Region: Wyoming's Wind River Range Trail time: 3:00 Highlights: Scenic Alpine Setting, East Brush Creek, Fishing, Camping, Spectacular Sunsets, Lake Charles, Mystic Island Lake. The volunteer ranger at the trailhead actually recommended we camp down at a lower basin such as Ice Lake to help preserve the tundra, but we wanted to camp away from the dozen-plus tents we knew would be here and I think where we camped was actually on less vegetation than many of the tents at Ice Lake. A side trip to Fuller Lake to the south adds about 1.75 miles round trip and 335′ elevation gain. Most people go to Ice Lakes…I don’t know why. Check conditions (snowfields may persist through June, though unlikely this year) and head out on the Ice Lakes Trail past its namesake basin, which should be filled with an array of blooms in summer, near mile 2. Ice Lake has to be one of the most spectacular destinations for the hiker that wants an experience to remember. Jackie, Juno and I hiked up to the Ice Lakes & Island Lake in late September 2018. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, and snowshoeing and is best used from April until September. Words can not describe how gorgeous and pristine it This is 1.7 miles from the TH and about a 1,600-foot elevation gain. Alas, no midday espresso either, unless you pack it in: Island Lake is 4.2 miles from the nearest trailhead. Thank you, Cait! You touched upon it slightly but I’m really wondering how to go when nature calls without any tree cover or shade for some privacy. Island has some truly large cutthroats in its depths and sits in a spectacular cirque right at treeline. After traveling for one full day and the strenuous hike up with my packraft… it seemed like the right choice. We didn’t stay at this lake very long since we wanted to jump on another trail for our last night in the San Juan Mountains, so we were on our way within half an hour after a quick snack, and got off the trail from Ice Lake to the parking lot in just under two hours. Date Hiked: July 17, 2020Distance: Up to 2 mi (RT)Elevation Gain: MinimalElevation: 10,260 ftTrailhead Lat/Long: West TH = 39.03284, -108.00251Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service​Fee: Yes, (Blue path indicates path actually hiked. This hike is commonly hiked from June – October since snow will make this a much more challenging (and potentially less beautiful) hike. The colors seem surreal, a beautiful turquoise lake, surrounded by high peaks. Required fields are marked *, ✨New Blog Post: Hike Iron Mountain via Heaton Fl It may be one of the prettiest lakes on the Grand Mesa. The hike to Island Lake via Ice Lake Trail is 3.23 miles directly from the parking lot near Silverton, CO. For Labor Day weekend, August 29 – Sept 2, 2019, I took a little road trip to finally hike in the San Juan Mountains. We were expecting the trail to be very crowded because it’s a major holiday weekend which would have sucked after traveling from 850 miles away, but we were pleasantly surprised and had almost the entire place to ourselves in the evenings. It was so informative reading your post!I’m planning to do this trip around the same time you did it , 8/28-8/29. It’s so much that we even saw some tents pitched on them. The 144-acre Island Lake is located 0.1 miles east of the campground on Forest Rt. 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