If you’re new to Colorado hiking, know that this state presents some unique … A side trip to Fuller Lake to the south adds about 1.75 miles round trip and 335′ elevation gain. Located at the end of a remote valley in the Holy Cross Wilderness, this lake doesn’t easily give up its secrets. Red path is an estimation of the remainder of the trail.). Island Lake is located just north of Ice Lake in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. There was still snow by Island lake when we visited in August. 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. Ice Lake and Island Lake are gorgeous high-alpine mountain lakes located near our neighboring town of … A 19-mile loop veering north off the West Branch on the connecting Rawah Trail explores the many area lakes and returns on Camp Lake Trail. 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 hike up to Ice Lake and Island Lake in Colorado's San Juan Mountains is truly an amazing one. Set up camp. Island Lake is a magnificent sight. Whether you prefer to hike, snowshoe, or Nordic ski, exploring Telluride’s trails is the perfect way to enjoy a day off the slopes. After traveling for one full day and the strenuous hike up with my packraft… it seemed like the right choice. & 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. [Day 2: Sat 8/31] For the second day, we were thinking about day hiking to Ice Lake, but it took so much effort and energy to make it to Island lake which I’ve been wanting to see for years that we decided to have my very first ever zero-day in the mountains at just enjoy Island Lake. Colorado Hiking Tips. But it was nice to learn to slow down a little and just enjoy my surroundings. I’ve learned that two people can look at the exa Turquoise blue Ice Lake sits in a magnificent cirque amid subalpine tundra dotted with wildflowers. 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. An amazing 8.4 mile round trip hike will take you up the 2,552-ft. to Island Lake. The left trail climbs to Ice Lake Basin with up-and-down sections and a massive waterfall. Set up camp. 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. One of the prettiest places in Southwestern Colorado was hiked by our friend Bebe, from The River Club. The trail is fully exposed from the junction up to Island Lake since it … The Island Lake Trail is located in Lamoille Canyon in the Ruby Mountains of northeastern Nevada. A side trip to Island Lake to the northeast adds about 1.12 miles round trip and 130′ elevation gain. If you prefer a densely treed campsite, just head for the lower Island Lake is located at 10,866 ft. elevation (336 ft. lower). To be honest though, I’m constantly on the go, always moving, and got very restless spending all day in one place. It doesn’t help that I packed an extra 6 lb of packraft weight either… I was hurting. 116. 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. Take a hike. The best views really do come after the hardest cl Difficulty: strenuous; Basecamp: Elkhart Park / Big Sandy; Region: Wyoming's Wind River Range Follow the trail around the lake to the right and find a rock for an Instagram-worthy photo. DIFFICULTY RATING: Moderate below timberline; strenuous to alpine lakes. Ice Lake is one of the gems of Colorado with its bright blue, almost Carribean looking, water. 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. I‘M very new to hiking and backpacking and most of the pictures I’ve seen do make it look like the area near the lakes is very exposed. Thank you, Cait! Don’t forget to pack it out! Trail time: 3:00 Highlights: Scenic Alpine Setting, East Brush Creek, Fishing, Camping, Spectacular Sunsets, Lake Charles, Mystic Island Lake. The grade now abates as the trail traverse alpine tundra for the final quarter mile to Ice Lake (12,270-ft.). Is there a distinct path to hike to ice lake and island lake? 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. Sweet success☺️ I finally hiked Iron Mountain Most people go to Ice Lakes…I don’t know why. It may be even one of the prettiest hikes in the entire state. The right turn continues the steady incline for a 1,000-foot gain in a mile, bringing you to Island Lake. 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. I don’t think they’re known for bears there but you can call the ranger stations. Definitely recommend you check the weather updates as your trip gets closer though. Yes, you can camp at either lake for now and do not need a permit. Alas, no midday espresso either, unless you pack it in: Island Lake is 4.2 miles from the nearest trailhead. We started our hike at 7:30/7:45 on a weekday morning and there were only a few other cars there. 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. It is also a very busy lake, don't hike this trail looking for solitude. Were there some spots that were covered? Lake Isabelle is one of the best winter hikes in Colorado (add about five miles round trip for the winter hike). I kid you not, I’ve never taken so many breaks in my life. 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. The two upper lakes are situated on thinly forested bench. The trail over is short, only 30 minutes (shorter if you don’t stop for all the photos of the wildflowers) and all downhill from Island Lake to Ice Lake. If so, what did you do for food storage? 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. Hi Kira, I don’t know how the bear situation is there right now, didn’t have any issues when I went. This blog is only for the highlight trail of the trip: Island Lake and Ice Lake in San Juan National Forest. 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. 550 (also known as the Million Dollar Highway). Pack a bag. Pay attention to whom your energy increases and de [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. Did you catch any afternoon storms while you were there? Or a map that you can get to help guide the way? Ice Lake has to be one of the most spectacular destinations for the hiker that wants an experience to remember. 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. 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. In addition to that, were there a lot of tents around ice lake when you went there? BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK, SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, and snowshoeing and is best used from April until September. As you walk toward the lake note the faint trail climbing the grassy slope on your right (north). 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). This trail leads to Island Lake. 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. 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. 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 phenomenal. Thank you so so much for sharing all of this! Island Lake supports a small population of Brook trout. To reach Island Lake, head west from Silverton on Hwy. This lake with a unique island, is in its own cirque surrounded by U.S. Grant Peak and its ridges. The western Trailhead is located next … Getting antsy for another Southwest adventure... b 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. 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 … The 144-acre Island Lake is located 0.1 miles east of the campground on Forest Rt. After setting up our campsite upon arrival, we had an early dinner, watched the sunset and early bedtime. 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. Jackie, Juno and I hiked up to the Ice Lakes & Island Lake in late September 2018. 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. ✨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. 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. The entire mountain was covered with wildflowers everywhere! Thanks for sharing- this hiking trip looks awesome! 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. Island Lake is a thirty minute hike from the trailhead and sits high and to the west of the Reservoir. 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. 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. Based on GPS measurements, the trail gains over 2,600-ft. and loses almost 1,600-ft. on its way to Island Lake. In the summer, this is one of the best and easiest lake hikes in Colorado. Enjoy either a … 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. Words can not describe how gorgeous and pristine it I want to do this hike/camping soon, do you know if bears are an issue to be worried about at all? There are two trailheads, the eastern is located just to the east of the road to Cobbett Lake. Once the trail starts to really flatten out, you know you’re about five minutes away from the beautiful turquoise lake. Required fields are marked *, ✨New Blog Post: Hike Iron Mountain via Heaton Fl The hike is a steady climb within a fairly narrow valley. When the sun was out, the temps were perfect, but when the clouds took over (which was often), the chill came. Your email address will not be published. This is 1.7 miles from the TH and about a 1,600-foot elevation gain. But some volunteer rangers were talking about banning camping up there in the future because the area is a tundra being destroyed by camping footprints so try to camp in areas that have previously been camped on. 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. Yes the trail is very straightforward for the whole loop! Thank you so much! The more intrepid can try for Arthur Lake, another deep haunt of large cutthroats, by … The colors seem surreal, a beautiful turquoise lake, surrounded by high peaks. 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. Your email address will not be published. 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. No storms while we were there, but so darn windy all weekend. 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! 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. It’s definitely more open, flatter, and easier to find camping spots at ice vs island. The trail is fully exposed from the junction up to Island Lake since it climbs above the tree line. The hike to Ice Lakes begins from the South Mineral Campground in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. The trail starts at the South Mineral Campground and heads straight into the forest at a steady ascent. From the Ice Lakes basin Trailhead, this 8 mile round trip trail with 3000 feet of elevation gain will bring you to the Ice Lakes Basin with an abundance of beautiful lakes, especially Island Lake and Ice Lake. Take the U.S. Forest Service Road 585 to South Mineral Campground. Take a hike. Mosquitoes are … Follow on Instagram. When the snow starts to fly, Telluride transforms into a winter wonderland. Hello! 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. The biggest lake of the upper basin is reached by a 0.6 mile side trail that forks north just before Ice Lake, crossing a sloping hillside, round a rocky point then descending slightly to the shore. 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