Island Lake is just over 1/2 mile further up the trail. 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. Trail Description: The hike to Ice Lakes begins from the South Mineral Campground in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. The Island Lake Trail is located in Lamoille Canyon in the Ruby Mountains of northeastern Nevada. Island Lake lies just 0.5 miles and 250 vertical feet above the Upper Ice Lakes. The cliff is best to jump off mid summer when the water is the warmest, but it's always pretty cold. 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. ✨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. 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. The signed trail departs from the west end of the trailhead parking lot, located across from the South Mineral Campground (see driving directions below). Thank you so so much for sharing all of this! There was still snow by Island lake when we visited in August. Take a hike. To access the main trailhead, it is roughly a 6 mile journey down a dirt road (South Mineral Creek Rd) just outside of Silverton. Local tips for hiking in Colorado… Thank you so much! From the trailhead, the route to Lake Charles runs roughly 5 miles and ascends approximately 2000 vertical feet. Did you catch any afternoon storms while you were there? Definitely recommend you check the weather updates as your trip gets closer though. From Bowman Lake Road, follow the signs to the turnoff for Carr Lake Road. Your email address will not be published. Find the perfect island lake, colorado stock photo. Fuller Lake is located above Ice Lake in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. The trail is fully exposed from the junction up to Island Lake since it climbs above the tree line. Thank you, Cait! The trailhead is a mile or two north of the Silverton exit, where you’ll head west and onto a dirt road for probably 15 minutes. The trailhead is near Trappers Lake. Once the trail starts to really flatten out, you know you’re about five minutes away from the beautiful turquoise lake. This last 1.6 mile section is where a passenger vehicle with better than average clearance is desirable. 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. Ice Lake has to be one of the most spectacular destinations for the hiker that wants an experience to remember. I don’t think they’re known for bears there but you can call the ranger stations. You can camp anywhere around the lake and campfires are permitted. It’s so much that we even saw some tents pitched on them. It is a beautiful green lake with a rock island in the middle, which gives the lake its name. I want to do this hike/camping soon, do you know if bears are an issue to be worried about at all? We saw a couple of hunters in the final mile of the hike; we were glad we were near Throughout the post you’ll find: Descriptions of the best alpine lake hikes in Colorado including distance, difficulty and elevation gain. The Blue Lake parking lot and trailhead will be on your right (west side of Words can not describe how gorgeous and pristine it. 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. Set up camp. There are two trailheads, the eastern is located just to the east of the road to Cobbett Lake. Dogs are also able to use this trail. The entire mountain was covered with wildflowers everywhere! 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. Ice Lake Basin is rated as “hard” or “difficult.” An amazing 8.4 mile round trip hike will take you up the 2,552-ft. to Island Lake. On the four-mile trail to the lakes, hikers pass several legacies of the fortune-seekers who settled Silverton in the late 1800s — mines and equipment abandoned when the price of metal fell in the 1920s (though the last large mine in the area didn’t close until 1991). We chose the out and back option, not the loop option. I kid you not, I’ve never taken so many breaks in my life. Drive 1.6 miles to the trailhead parking for Eagle Lake. 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. Colorado Hiking Tips. Before reaching Ice Lake you will see a large lake to your left that is below tree line, Ice Lake is over the next ridge from this point. Trail time: 3:00 Highlights: Scenic Alpine Setting, East Brush Creek, Fishing, Camping, Spectacular Sunsets, Lake Charles, Mystic Island Lake. 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! This hike is commonly hiked from June – October since snow will make this a much more challenging (and potentially less beautiful) hike. It doesn’t help that I packed an extra 6 lb of packraft weight either… I was hurting. Getting There To reach Island Lake in Nevada County, drive to the Carr Lake trailhead by taking Highway 20 from Highway 80 at Yuba Pass.Take Highway 20 west until you can turn right on Bowman Lake Road. Yes the trail is very straightforward for the whole loop! [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. An amazing 8.4 mile round trip hike will take you up the 2,552-ft. to Island Lake. Red path is an estimation of the remainder of the trail.). Island Lake is a magnificent sight. No storms while we were there, but so darn windy all weekend. If you’re new to Colorado hiking, know that this state presents some unique … 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. No need to register, buy now! In addition to that, were there a lot of tents around ice lake when you went there? Thanks for sharing- this hiking trip looks awesome! To do both of … 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. From the trailhead you quickly start gaining some decent altitude. 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. The Hike. The Best Lake Hikes in Colorado. Hello! Jackie, Juno and I hiked up to the Ice Lakes & Island Lake in late September 2018. The trail begins at the trailhead next to the Fulford Cave Campground and meanders up to Lake Charles, a good destination for those wanting a shorter hike. The entire basin is known as an … The Ice Lakes trailhead is located about six miles west of Silverton. Most people turn around here, but a fainter trail does continue, climbing another 500 feet to the ridge extending east from the peak and down the far side into the upper end of Swamp Canyon, which leads to Ophir. Giveaway✨ because it’s the most wonderful time 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. There was still snow by Island lake when we visited in August. Were there some spots that were covered? 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. It’s such a gem of a place Hope you’re able to make it out to see it for yourself. Don’t forget to pack it out! 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. Set up camp. The western Trailhead is located next to … This blog is only for the highlight trail of the trip: Island Lake and Ice Lake in San Juan National Forest. The lake sits in a basin at the foot of Ulysses S. Grant Peak (13,767). Map(s) - Trails Illustrated: #112 Poudre River Cameron Pass; Mountain Jay - Rawah Wilderness Map(s) - USGS 7-½ î Quadrangles: Chambers Lake, Clark Peak, Rawah Lakes TRAILHEAD LOCATION: Upper Poudre River Area: Drive 53.7 miles on CO-14 from Teds Place to mm 69.5. Getting antsy for another Southwest adventure... b Hi Kira, I don’t know how the bear situation is there right now, didn’t have any issues when I went. Take a hike. The trailhead is just outside Silverton, CO (southwest Colorado). Ice Lake is one of the gems of Colorado with its bright blue, almost Carribean looking, water. The trail starts at the South Mineral Campground and heads straight into the forest at a steady ascent. I was actually a little discouraged for the first three miles or so of the trail. From there the trail loops around the basin and returns back to the main trail. There is a clearly marked trailhead at this parking lot for Ice Lake. Ice Lake Basin / Island Lake is one of the prettiest places on the planet. 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. was. 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 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. You can also drive to the trailhead … The head of the South Mineral Valley is the starting point for Ice Lake, one of the premier hikes in the San Juan Mountains. Follow on Instagram. Island Lake surely got its name from the flat-topped rock that is visible whenever water levels ebb. There are many lakes in this area, but Island Lake is the only one with epic cliff jumping. Mystic Island Lake is about 4.5 miles from the Fulford Campground along the Lake Charles Trail in the northwestern Sawatch Range. 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. This out-and-back uses the West Branch Trail #960 in its entirety up to Carey Lake and Island Lake and was done as a one-night backpack. But it was nice to learn to slow down a little and just enjoy my surroundings. Is there a distinct path to hike to ice lake and island lake? The Ice Lakes Basin Trail is located near Silverton, Colorado, within the Columbine Ranger District of San Juan National Forest.The Ice Lakes Basin trailhead begins from the dirt parking lot across the road from South Mineral Campground.The parking lot is at N 37 48.394, W 107 46.428, The trail … 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 colors seem surreal, a beautiful turquoise lake, surrounded by high peaks. Island Lake supports a small population of Brook trout. You'll need to cross the creek that drains Ice Lakes to reach the Island Lake trail spur. The cliffs are about 30-50 feet tall. The trail begins near Ice Lake at an elevation around 12,200 feet and climbs to a cirque some 400 feet higher where Fuller Lake sits below a ridge where the peaks tower almost up to 14,000. It may be one of the prettiest lakes on the Grand Mesa. The colors seem surreal, a beautiful turquoise lake, surrounded by high peaks. 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. Island Lake is located just north of Ice Lake in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. This is an easy route that includes 10 switchbacks, resulting in an easy to moderate grade of ascent and descent. Required fields are marked *, ✨New Blog Post: Hike Iron Mountain via Heaton Fl If you continue on to Mystic Island Lake, be prepared to hike an additional mile or so. 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. The hike is a steady climb within a fairly narrow valley. Your email address will not be published. BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK, SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE. [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. 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. There is a road from the west and Meeker, one from the east and Yampa or Phippsburg, one from the northeast and Oak Creek, one from the north and Hayden, and one from the northeast and Pagoda (village) and Hamilton. 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. Island Lake is often hiked in combination with Ice Lake and Fuller Lake but due to its unique beauty it is … 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. Sweet success☺️ I finally hiked Iron Mountain Or a map that you can get to help guide the way? It’s definitely more open, flatter, and easier to find camping spots at ice vs island. To be honest though, I’m constantly on the go, always moving, and got very restless spending all day in one place. Yes, you can camp at either lake for now and do not need a permit. 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. It is also a very busy lake, don't hike this trail looking for solitude. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, and snowshoeing and is best used from April until September. Let’s get the dry, statistical information out of the way before delving into the juicy highlights for this adventure. Out and back, the hike to Ice Lake Basin is a 7 to 7 1/2 mile roundtrip, not including Island Lake. The parking area is limited in size and is less than a half mile short of Wood's Lake, which is on private property. 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. I’ve learned that two people can look at the exa The hike to Ice Lake is a moderately steep climb of 3.2 miles to Ice Lake. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. [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. Note that the hiking trail to Ice Lake and Island Lake is not very well marked. When the sun was out, the temps were perfect, but when the clouds took over (which was often), the chill came. This blog is only for the highlight trail of the trip: Island Lake and Ice Lake in San Juan National Forest. When it comes to the best lake hikes in Colorado, this post has it all. 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 trailhead parking and campground lot are also visible some 2,300 feet below. It could also be done as a long day hike or altered to link up with other surrounding trails in any number of combinations. The lot isn’t too big so it’ll fill up … Again, creek crossing shoes and poles may be helpful, especially early in the hiking season. 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)! Trail Summary: Ice Lake & Island Lake are a pair of high alpine lakes located just outside of Silverton, Colorado. 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. Along the way there is some evidence of old mining activity, including mine tailings. The turn off will be for South Mineral campground and the parking lot is adjacent to it at the very end. 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). Words can not describe how gorgeous and pristine it … Pack a bag. Parts of the Island Lake trail have been damaged by landslides, creating some exposed areas. If so, what did you do for food storage? 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. Alas, no midday espresso either, unless you pack it in: Island Lake is 4.2 miles from the nearest trailhead. 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. 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. After traveling for one full day and the strenuous hike up with my packraft… it seemed like the right choice. After setting up our campsite upon arrival, we had an early dinner, watched the sunset and early bedtime. 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