Take the U.S. Forest Service Road 585 to South Mineral Campground. This is 1.7 miles from the TH and about a 1,600-foot elevation gain. Colorado Hiking Tips. Words can not describe how gorgeous and pristine it Definitely recommend you check the weather updates as your trip gets closer though. Were there some spots that were covered? 550 (also known as the Million Dollar Highway). Is there a distinct path to hike to ice lake and island lake? Alas, no midday espresso either, unless you pack it in: Island Lake is 4.2 miles from the nearest trailhead. The Island Lake Trail is located in Lamoille Canyon in the Ruby Mountains of northeastern Nevada. The more intrepid can try for Arthur Lake, another deep haunt of large cutthroats, by … I don’t think they’re known for bears there but you can call the ranger stations. Yes, you can camp at either lake for now and do not need a permit. After traveling for one full day and the strenuous hike up with my packraft… it seemed like the right choice. 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. 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. Thank you, Cait! Island has some truly large cutthroats in its depths and sits in a spectacular cirque right at treeline. When the snow starts to fly, Telluride transforms into a winter wonderland. The entire mountain was covered with wildflowers everywhere! Take a hike. In the summer, this is one of the best and easiest lake hikes in Colorado. 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. I kid you not, I’ve never taken so many breaks in my life. … This blog is only for the highlight trail of the trip: Island Lake and Ice Lake in San Juan National Forest. This hike is as gorgeous as everyone says. It’s definitely more open, flatter, and easier to find camping spots at ice vs island. The right turn continues the steady incline for a 1,000-foot gain in a mile, bringing you to Island Lake. Sweet success☺️ I finally hiked Iron Mountain To reach Island Lake, head west from Silverton on Hwy. 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. If you’re new to Colorado hiking, know that this state presents some unique … 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. The left trail climbs to Ice Lake Basin with up-and-down sections and a massive waterfall. 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. BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK, SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE. Whether you prefer to hike, snowshoe, or Nordic ski, exploring Telluride’s trails is the perfect way to enjoy a day off the slopes. This trail leads to Island Lake. This hike is commonly hiked from June – October since snow will make this a much more challenging (and potentially less beautiful) hike. It may be one of the prettiest lakes on the Grand Mesa. [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. Set up camp. It’s such a gem of a place 😀 Hope you’re able to make it out to see it for yourself. A side trip to Fuller Lake to the south adds about 1.75 miles round trip and 335′ elevation gain. 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. Your email address will not be published. Island Lake supports a small population of Brook trout. & 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. From here, I went to Island Lake first. 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. 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. As you walk toward the lake note the faint trail climbing the grassy slope on your right (north). Ice Lake and Island Lake are gorgeous high-alpine mountain lakes located near our neighboring town of … Lake Isabelle is one of the best winter hikes in Colorado (add about five miles round trip for the winter hike). It is also a very busy lake, don't hike this trail looking for solitude. 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. Take a hike. Or a map that you can get to help guide the way? 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 Island Lake to the northeast adds about 1.12 miles round trip and 130′ elevation gain. Just shy of 9 miles in exactly 5 hours and it was stunning! Pay attention to whom your energy increases and de Turquoise blue Ice Lake sits in a magnificent cirque amid subalpine tundra dotted with wildflowers. Ice Lake is one of the gems of Colorado with its bright blue, almost Carribean looking, water. 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 lake has a boat ramp, wheelchair accessible fishing pier and fish cleaning station. Island Lake is a magnificent sight. No storms while we were there, but so darn windy all weekend. Island Lake is phenomenal. Enjoy either a … It may be even one of the prettiest hikes in the entire state. The hike to Ice Lakes begins from the South Mineral Campground in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. [Day 3] After catching the sunrise, we packed up at 7:45 am [Sunday, Sept 1] and headed to Ice Lake before looping off the mountain. It doesn’t help that I packed an extra 6 lb of packraft weight either… I was hurting. Follow on Instagram. DIFFICULTY RATING: Moderate below timberline; strenuous to alpine lakes. When the sun was out, the temps were perfect, but when the clouds took over (which was often), the chill came. 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. 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. This lake with a unique island, is in its own cirque surrounded by U.S. Grant Peak and its ridges. 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail. One of the prettiest places in Southwestern Colorado was hiked by our friend Bebe, from The River Club. Did you catch any afternoon storms while you were there? 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. After setting up our campsite upon arrival, we had an early dinner, watched the sunset and early bedtime. Few lakes have a more intriguing name than Mystic Island Lake. But it was nice to learn to slow down a little and just enjoy my surroundings. To be honest though, I’m constantly on the go, always moving, and got very restless spending all day in one place. From there, a steep, four-mile hike with a 3,000-foot elevation gain leads you into the basin. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, and snowshoeing and is best used from April until September. Jackie, Juno and I hiked up to the Ice Lakes & Island Lake in late September 2018. There was still snow by Island lake when we visited in August. 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. 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! If you prefer a densely treed campsite, just head for the lower Island Lake is located at 10,866 ft. elevation (336 ft. lower). 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. 116. 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. If so, what did you do for food storage? 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. The trail is fully exposed from the junction up to Island Lake since it … 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. The western Trailhead is located next … 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)! Island Lake is located just north of Ice Lake in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. We started our hike at 7:30/7:45 on a weekday morning and there were only a few other cars there. 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 … I’ve learned that two people can look at the exa The grade now abates as the trail traverse alpine tundra for the final quarter mile to Ice Lake (12,270-ft.). 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. 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. An exquisite sampler is the 14-mile out-and-back hike from West Branch trailhead to Island and Carey lakes. Trail time: 3:00 Highlights: Scenic Alpine Setting, East Brush Creek, Fishing, Camping, Spectacular Sunsets, Lake Charles, Mystic Island Lake. Pack a bag. 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). The two upper lakes are situated on thinly forested bench. ✨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. Required fields are marked *, ✨New Blog Post: Hike Iron Mountain via Heaton Fl One Colorado destination known for its jaw-dropping beauty is Island Lake in Southwest Colorado near Silverton. 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 colors seem surreal, a beautiful turquoise lake, surrounded by high peaks. Based on GPS measurements, the trail gains over 2,600-ft. and loses almost 1,600-ft. on its way to Island Lake. Hello! 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 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 best views really do come after the hardest cl [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. Thank you so much! 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 Lake itself is truly spectacular and one of the best hikes in Colorado, in my humble opinion as a resident of 21 years. The trail starts at the South Mineral Campground and heads straight into the forest at a steady ascent. It is moderately difficult, clocking in right at 8 miles with a total 3,000 feet of elevation gain, but the waterfalls, fantastic lakes, and wonderful views below and above the tree line are absolutely fantastic. 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. In addition to that, were there a lot of tents around ice lake when you went there? Island Lake is a thirty minute hike from the trailhead and sits high and to the west of the Reservoir. Don’t forget to pack it out! Yes the trail is very straightforward for the whole loop! 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. The lake sits in a basin at the foot of Ulysses S. Grant Peak (13,767). Located at the end of a remote valley in the Holy Cross Wilderness, this lake doesn’t easily give up its secrets. 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. There are two trailheads, the eastern is located just to the east of the road to Cobbett Lake. Trail Summary: Ice Lake & Island Lake are a pair of high alpine lakes located just outside of Silverton, Colorado. Getting antsy for another Southwest adventure... b 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‘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. Hi Kira, I don’t know how the bear situation is there right now, didn’t have any issues when I went. It’s so much that we even saw some tents pitched on them. Ice Lake has to be one of the most spectacular destinations for the hiker that wants an experience to remember. Mosquitoes are … 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. 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. Thanks for sharing- this hiking trip looks awesome! The trail is fully exposed from the junction up to Island Lake since it climbs above the tree line. Thank you so so much for sharing all of this! Giveaway✨ because it’s the most wonderful time I want to do this hike/camping soon, do you know if bears are an issue to be worried about at all? 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. 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. 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. Red path is an estimation of the remainder of the trail.). The hike up to Ice Lake and Island Lake in Colorado's San Juan Mountains is truly an amazing one. 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. Once the trail starts to really flatten out, you know you’re about five minutes away from the beautiful turquoise lake. An amazing 8.4 mile round trip hike will take you up the 2,552-ft. to Island Lake. 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. The hike is a steady climb within a fairly narrow valley. Most people go to Ice Lakes…I don’t know why. The 144-acre Island Lake is located 0.1 miles east of the campground on Forest Rt. 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