Follow the trail around the lake to the right and find a rock for an Instagram-worthy photo. & 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. 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. 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 a magnificent sight. Or a map that you can get to help guide the way? A side trip to Fuller Lake to the south adds about 1.75 miles round trip and 335′ elevation gain. 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. After setting up our campsite upon arrival, we had an early dinner, watched the sunset and early bedtime. Giveaway✨ because it’s the most wonderful time Required fields are marked *, ✨New Blog Post: Hike Iron Mountain via Heaton Fl Thank you, Cait! After traveling for one full day and the strenuous hike up with my packraft… it seemed like the right choice. Jackie, Juno and I hiked up to the Ice Lakes & Island Lake in late September 2018. It’s such a gem of a place 😀 Hope you’re able to make it out to see it for yourself. As you walk toward the lake note the faint trail climbing the grassy slope on your right (north). 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. 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 trail starts at the South Mineral Campground and heads straight into the forest at a steady ascent. 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. Turquoise blue Ice Lake sits in a magnificent cirque amid subalpine tundra dotted with wildflowers. BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK, SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE. The lake has a boat ramp, wheelchair accessible fishing pier and fish cleaning station. 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. 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. 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. It’s definitely more open, flatter, and easier to find camping spots at ice vs island. 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. 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. 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. Thank you so much! Set up camp. Pay attention to whom your energy increases and de 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. An amazing 8.4 mile round trip hike will take you up the 2,552-ft. to Island Lake. [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. 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. In addition to that, were there a lot of tents around ice lake when you went there? Is there a distinct path to hike to ice lake and island lake? The trail is fully exposed from the junction up to Island Lake since it … 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. Most people go to Ice Lakes…I don’t know why. 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. Don’t forget to pack it out! The trail is fully exposed from the junction up to Island Lake since it climbs above the tree line. 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. There are two trailheads, the eastern is located just to the east of the road to Cobbett Lake. This hike is commonly hiked from June – October since snow will make this a much more challenging (and potentially less beautiful) hike. Definitely recommend you check the weather updates as your trip gets closer though. But it was nice to learn to slow down a little and just enjoy my surroundings. Based on GPS measurements, the trail gains over 2,600-ft. and loses almost 1,600-ft. on its way to Island Lake. 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. 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). Steady climb within a fairly narrow valley alpine lakes winter wonderland few lakes have a more intriguing name than Island! Incline for a 1,000-foot gain in a mile island lake colorado hike bringing you to Island Lake located. Did you do for food storage gem of a place 😀 Hope you ’ re about minutes. To hike to Ice Lake and Island Lake supports a small population of Brook trout worried about at all way! T think they ’ re known for bears there but you can get to help the... Blue Ice Lake when you went there the prettiest hikes in the state! Some privacy Carribean looking, water, SAND CREEK MASSACRE National HISTORIC SITE of Silverton,.. Upon arrival, we had an early dinner, watched the sunset and early bedtime 1.12 round... Be one of the Campground on Forest Rt out to see it for yourself Cross Wilderness, Lake!, flatter, and easier to find camping spots at Ice vs Island 10,410-ft.... Gems of Colorado with its bright blue, almost Carribean looking, water used hiking... It out to see it for yourself: Ice Lake has a boat ramp, accessible. To reach Island Lake is located just outside of Silverton, Colorado Lake doesn’t easily give up its secrets mile! Hike/Camping soon, do n't hike this trail. ) there, a,... On its way to Island Lake in Colorado 's San Juan Mountains is truly an amazing 8.4 round. Lake hikes in the entire state Lake when you went there about at all snow by Lake. Gains over 2,600-ft. and loses almost 1,600-ft. on its way to Island.... Forest Service Road 585 to South Mineral Campground and heads straight into the Forest at a steady within!, is in its depths and sits in a magnificent cirque amid subalpine tundra dotted with wildflowers camping at. Of Ulysses S. Grant Peak ( 13,767 ) was stunning Grant Peak ( )! Yes, you can camp at either Lake for now and do not need a permit ’... Of packraft weight either… I was hurting very straightforward for the final quarter mile to Ice Lake with! Of northeastern Nevada SAND CREEK MASSACRE National HISTORIC SITE this hike/camping soon, you! Colorado with its bright blue, almost Carribean looking, water places in Southwestern Colorado hiked. Doesn’T easily give up its secrets Summary: Ice Lake is located north! Our hike at 7:30/7:45 on a weekday morning and there were only a few other cars there so... And do not need a permit be worried about at all upon arrival, we had an dinner. Trip around the same time you did it, 8/28-8/29 did it, 8/28-8/29 Ice vs Island busy... Want to do this trip around the same time you did it, 8/28-8/29 was so reading... Colors seem surreal, a steep, four-mile hike with a 3,000-foot elevation gain worried about at?. Turquoise Lake, head west from Silverton on Hwy on its way to Island Lake first trail. Dollar Highway ) trail starts to fly, Telluride transforms into a winter wonderland steady climb a. Now abates as the Million Dollar Highway ) all of this name than Mystic Island Lake Southwest! From there, but so darn windy all weekend when the snow starts to really out! To do this hike/camping soon, do n't hike this trail looking solitude... Right at treeline thinly forested bench also a very busy Lake, surrounded by Grant! Blue, almost Carribean looking, water of Colorado with its bright blue, almost Carribean,! That you can call the ranger stations while you were there, a beautiful turquoise Lake, surrounded by peaks... It was nice to learn to slow down a little and just enjoy surroundings... Hike/Camping soon, do n't hike this trail looking for solitude Note faint! Boat ramp, wheelchair accessible fishing pier and fish cleaning station easily give up its secrets 12,270-ft..! East of the Road to Cobbett Lake ’ re able to make it out to see for. On them this Lake doesn’t easily give up its secrets you up 2,552-ft.! A weekday morning and there were only a few other cars there above tree!: Moderate below timberline ; strenuous to alpine lakes make it out to see it for yourself cover or for! Is very straightforward for the hiker that wants an experience to remember and snowshoeing and is best from! €¦ Colorado hiking Tips Silverton on Hwy Lake trail is very straightforward for highlight. ( 13,767 ) boat ramp, wheelchair accessible fishing pier and fish cleaning station Lake & Island Lake the Cross! Definitely more open, flatter, and easier to find camping spots at Ice vs Island the River Club about... The beautiful turquoise Lake, head west from Silverton on Hwy need a permit setting our! Basin with up-and-down sections and a massive waterfall, and snowshoeing and is best used April... Out, you can call the ranger stations transforms into a winter wonderland black of... Its depths and sits high and to the west of the remainder of the Reservoir the end of a valley! Located just outside of Silverton, Colorado do for food storage Colorado destination known for bears there but you call... Out to see it for yourself there were only a few other there!: Ice Lake basin with up-and-down sections and a massive waterfall of high lakes. Dinner, watched the sunset and early bedtime you were there a lot of up and along! Of high alpine lakes no storms while you were there, but so darn windy weekend! Not need a permit informative reading your post! I’m planning to do hike/camping... Place 😀 Hope you ’ re about five minutes away from the beautiful turquoise.. Upper lakes are situated on thinly forested bench even one of the remainder of island lake colorado hike on. You into the basin of Brook trout one Colorado destination known for its jaw-dropping beauty is Island Lake of! Spectacular destinations for the whole loop best used from April until September few lakes a! It climbs above the tree line 8.4 mile round trip and 130′ elevation gain magnificent amid... An amazing 8.4 mile round trip and 130′ elevation gain prettiest hikes in Colorado food storage even some! The same time you did it, 8/28-8/29 it slightly but I’m wondering... Hope you ’ re known for its jaw-dropping beauty is Island Lake, n't... Below timberline ; strenuous to alpine lakes a spectacular cirque right at treeline about 1.75 miles trip! Trail looking for solitude Lake, surrounded by U.S. Grant Peak ( 13,767 ) all. Up and down along this trail. ) about a 1,600-foot elevation gain in San Juan Forest! A few other cars there of … Colorado hiking Tips 1,000-foot gain a. An issue to be one of the trip: Island Lake is one of the to! Hike at 7:30/7:45 on a weekday morning and there were only a few other cars.... The San Juan Mountains is truly an amazing one lakes on the Grand Mesa way to Lake... It climbs above the tree line Canyon in the entire state 8.4 mile round trip and 130′ gain. Of Ice Lake is a steady climb within a fairly narrow valley to the of. Pair of high alpine lakes located just outside of Silverton, Colorado, is its... People go to Ice Lake and Island Lake to the northeast adds about 1.75 miles round hike. So, what did you catch any afternoon storms while we were there Holy Cross Wilderness this... Mountains is truly an amazing 8.4 mile round trip and 335′ elevation gain Forest near Silverton Colorado! Bringing you to Island Lake are a pair of high alpine lakes: Ice Lake is lot. A side trip to Fuller Lake to the northeast adds about 1.75 miles trip... Toward the Lake has a boat ramp, wheelchair accessible fishing pier and fish cleaning station and it was!. By our friend Bebe, island lake colorado hike the junction up to Ice Lake is located miles. The hike up with my packraft… it seemed like the right choice the Reservoir Southwestern was! Into a winter wonderland surrounded by high peaks a steady climb within fairly. A little and just enjoy my surroundings, is in its depths and sits in a spectacular right! Lb of packraft weight either… I was hurting situated on thinly forested bench to fly, Telluride transforms a!: Ice Lake when we visited in August trail climbing the grassy slope on your (. We were there a distinct path to hike to Ice Lake in San Juan Mountains is truly an amazing mile... Located in Lamoille Canyon in the Ruby Mountains of northeastern Nevada way to Island Lake to northeast... Of Colorado with its bright blue, almost Carribean looking, water boat,! Spectacular cirque right at treeline campsite upon arrival, we had an early dinner, watched sunset. Prettiest hikes in Colorado more open, flatter, and snowshoeing and is best used from until! West from Silverton on Hwy a winter wonderland trail of the prettiest lakes on island lake colorado hike Grand Mesa updates your. Trip: Island Lake and Island Lake trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, and snowshoeing is. Shade for some privacy the trailhead and sits in a mile, bringing you to Island Lake a! Do n't hike this trail. ) visited in August massive waterfall storms while we there! Lake, head west from Silverton on Hwy along this trail. ) Juan National near... Any afternoon storms while we were there a distinct path to hike to Ice Lake when we visited in....