Thank you so much! Take the U.S. Forest Service Road 585 to South Mineral Campground. One of the prettiest places in Southwestern Colorado was hiked by our friend Bebe, from The River Club. Island Lake is a thirty minute hike from the trailhead and sits high and to the west of the Reservoir. & 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. 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. The lake has a boat ramp, wheelchair accessible fishing pier and fish cleaning station. Alas, no midday espresso either, unless you pack it in: Island Lake is 4.2 miles from the nearest trailhead. Were there some spots that were covered? 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. After setting up our campsite upon arrival, we had an early dinner, watched the sunset and early bedtime. 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. 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. The hike to Ice Lakes begins from the South Mineral Campground in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. Island Lake supports a small population of Brook trout. 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 Iâm glad we did. Thanks for sharing- this hiking trip looks awesome! An amazing 8.4 mile round trip hike will take you up the 2,552-ft. to Island Lake. Island Lake is phenomenal. IâM very new to hiking and backpacking and most of the pictures Iâve seen do make it look like the area near the lakes is very exposed. The lake sits in a basin at the foot of Ulysses S. Grant Peak (13,767). Follow on Instagram. It’s such a gem of a place ð Hope you’re able to make it out to see it for yourself. Sweet successâºï¸ I finally hiked Iron Mountain Your email address will not be published. An exquisite sampler is the 14-mile out-and-back hike from West Branch trailhead to Island and Carey lakes. Red path is an estimation of the remainder of the trail.). Start at Brainard Lake and make your way up the valley to Lake Isabelle where youâll have views of the Isabelle Glacier â a permanent snowfield. This hike is as gorgeous as everyone says. The more intrepid can try for Arthur Lake, another deep haunt of large cutthroats, by â¦ 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 grade now abates as the trail traverse alpine tundra for the final quarter mile to Ice Lake (12,270-ft.). I kid you not, I’ve never taken so many breaks in my life. 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 ServiceâFee: Yes, (Blue path indicates path actually hiked. â¦ Definitely recommend you check the weather updates as your trip gets closer though. 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 two upper lakes are situated on thinly forested bench. 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. 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. Just shy of 9 miles in exactly 5 hours and it was stunning! It is also a very busy lake, don't hike this trail looking for solitude. It’s so much that we even saw some tents pitched on them. Is there a distinct path to hike to ice lake and island lake? It may be even one of the prettiest hikes in the entire state. 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. 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. No storms while we were there, but so darn windy all weekend. A side trip to Fuller Lake to the south adds about 1.75 miles round trip and 335â² elevation gain. 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. 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. 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 it was nice to learn to slow down a little and just enjoy my surroundings. Hello! Ice Lake is one of the gems of Colorado with its bright blue, almost Carribean looking, water. In addition to that, were there a lot of tents around ice lake when you went there? The trail is fully exposed from the junction up to Island Lake since it â¦ 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. If you prefer a densely treed campsite, just head for the lower Island Lake is located at 10,866 ft. elevation (336 ft. lower). Based on GPS measurements, the trail gains over 2,600-ft. and loses almost 1,600-ft. on its way to Island Lake. Trail Summary: Ice Lake & Island Lake are a pair of high alpine lakes located just outside of Silverton, Colorado. There are two trailheads, the eastern is located just to the east of the road to Cobbett Lake. Ice Lake has to be one of the most spectacular destinations for the hiker that wants an experience to remember. In the summer, this is one of the best and easiest lake hikes in Colorado. Set up camp. 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 youâre new to Colorado hiking, know that this state presents some unique â¦ A side trip to Island Lake to the northeast adds about 1.12 miles round trip and 130â² elevation gain. Follow the trail around the lake to the right and find a rock for an Instagram-worthy photo. Don’t forget to pack it out! Located at the end of a remote valley in the Holy Cross Wilderness, this lake doesnât easily give up its secrets. Getting antsy for another Southwest adventure... b 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. This trail leads to Island Lake. Iâve learned that two people can look at the exa The trail is fully exposed from the junction up to Island Lake since it climbs above the tree line. Mosquitoes are â¦ The first part is hiking amongst the trees to the lower basin, which is where youâll find the split that takes you to Island Lake or Ice Lakes Basin proper. This blog is only for the highlight trail of the trip: Island Lake and Ice Lake in San Juan National Forest. This is 1.7 miles from the TH and about a 1,600-foot elevation gain. BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK, SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE. Take a hike. As you walk toward the lake note the faint trail climbing the grassy slope on your right (north). The return hike is fast as the first 3.25 miles are downhill, but donât forget to save some energy for the 3.25 mile climb from the South Fork Smith back to the trailhead. Set up camp. The hike up to Ice Lake and Island Lake in Colorado's San Juan Mountains is truly an amazing one. Difficulty: strenuous; Basecamp: Elkhart Park / Big Sandy; Region: Wyoming's Wind River Range It was so informative reading your post!Iâm planning to do this trip around the same time you did it , 8/28-8/29. When the sun was out, the temps were perfect, but when the clouds took over (which was often), the chill came. 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). To reach Island Lake, head west from Silverton on Hwy. Island Lake itself is truly spectacular and one of the best hikes in Colorado, in my humble opinion as a resident of 21 years. DIFFICULTY RATING: Moderate below timberline; strenuous to alpine lakes. Once the trail starts to really flatten out, you know you’re about five minutes away from the beautiful turquoise lake. Few lakes have a more intriguing name than Mystic Island Lake. Pack a bag. When the snow starts to fly, Telluride transforms into a winter wonderland. Your email address will not be published. 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. 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 â¦ This hike is commonly hiked from June â October since snow will make this a much more challenging (and potentially less beautiful) hike. Most people go to Ice Lakesâ¦I donât know why. Required fields are marked *, â¨New Blog Post: Hike Iron Mountain via Heaton Fl Island Lake is a magnificent sight. From here, I went to Island Lake first. The colors seem surreal, a beautiful turquoise lake, surrounded by high peaks. 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