ice lake basin hike

Huddlepoint. This is about 1 mile of steep switchbacks on red dirt. 5:20. Pro Tips; If you have the legs and the weather is good, continue another half-mile north from the Ice Lakes to Island Lake, a stunning alpine pool with, you guessed it, a large island. Ice Lake Trail is a portal to an enchanting alpine basin in Colorado’s southwestern San Juan Mountains, about six hours from Colorado Springs. This roughly 8-mile-long loop trail has incredible views of Ice Lake, Island Lake, remarkable meadows, and of course several towering mountain peaks (13ers). The Hike to Ice Lakes Basin. Ice Lake Basin hike. And I feel like a complete champion for having completed it solo! After gaining 1,600-ft. in 2 miles the trail crests the ridge into the beautiful Lower Ice Lake basin. 3. It’s another world up here! Ice Lakes Basin sits at an elevation of 12,500 ft, and the trail begins at 9,900 ft. Because of this, some people get elevation sickness or have a hard time breathing on this hike, … We took a variety of pics and then continued the climb up to Fuller Lake which sits at just over … Five years ago, Botsford said, a busy day on the Ice Lakes trail might see 250 hikers. The trail might be difficult, but that doesn’t seem to deter the thousands of hikers this trail sees every season. You will see 5 lakes if you follow the trail all the way, and there are several more lakes if you explore around the basin. So having about a 2.75-mile hike to properly acclimatize isn’t really the easiest thing to do, especially when you begin the section around 11,400 feet and need to get to the Ice Lake elevation of 12,265 feet within 0.75 miles. Lower your voice so everyone can enjoy the trail and not your conversation about your dog. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and backpacking and is best used from April until September. But anyway, back to the hike. Located near the towns of Ouray and Silverton in Colorado, hiking to Island Lake and Ice Lake Basin is a must do for anyone looking for spectacular colored lakes, gorgeous peaks, and thousands of wildflowers. Ice Lakes Basin is known as one of the top alpine lake hiking destinations in all of Colorado, where hardy hikers are treated to waterfalls, wildflowers, open meadows, beautiful rock formations, alpine tundra and, of course, spectacular snow-fed lakes. Lower Ice Lake isn’t too spectacular, especially if you visit in the fall. If you plan to camp, South Mineral Springs Campground will set you back $20 per night, while the other five campgrounds leading to the trail are free. The Ice Lake Basin area sits at over 12K ft and is truly spectacular! The Ice Lake Basin Trail is a tough hike to stunning views, incredible wildflowers, and electric blue alpine lakes — it’s certainly worth the climb. Hi, I’m Jarrod, and I’m the guy behind Ramble Around the World. On recommendation, we went up to Island first and then to Ice Lake. At this point there are three options: return to the trailhead, continue on Ice Lakes Trail south to the basin and Fuller Lake, or cross over the stream and ascend the trail to Island Lake. But it’s worth every step of the 0.75-mile journey to the top. 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. We will be hiking this trail in the near future once again. Hiking to Island Lake and Titcomb Basin in Wind River Range. Great hike … Rewarding hike, moving counterclockwise on the loop to hit Island Lake prior to Ice Lake. Amazing blue/green lakes, late season wildflowers, moderately strenuous hike to creek falls and waterfalls too. Originally, I planned on summiting a few 14ers in the area, but four days of nonstop rain chased me away. Without a doubt the most beautiful and rewarding hike we've had the pleasure of trekking! It is definitely worth starting early to avoid the crowd. All round 10 out of 10. Most people go to Ice Lakes…I don’t know why. Demanding trail, with walking stick and plenty of water ardently recommended. You’ll pass through aspen, conifers, and into two distinct basins above the … Pictured is the south-facing slope the trail climbs. Out and back, the hike to Ice Lake Basin is a 7 to 7 1/2 mile roundtrip, not including Island Lake. Kiddies can totally do out and back to Ice Lake and Fuller Lake. We went to the upper first then down to ice lake which is a color blue that barely looks real. Very difficult if you aren’t used to the elevation, as there is so much climbing. It’s colder than any ice pack you’ve ever put on a healing injury. In the Upper Basin there are 3 large lakes including Ice Lake, Island Lake and Fuller Lake (the largest), as well as numerous smaller lakes. The trailhead is just outside Silverton, CO (southwest Colorado). After~2.3 miles the trail will begin to flatten as you enter lower ice lake basin. I've never experienced the shortness of breath I did on today's hike. That was OK with me. The first push up into the lower basin, then the easy walk through the lower basin, and the final ascent into Ice Lake Basin. Report. Loving nature means respecting it. The fourth section is by far the most strenuous part of the hike, as you traverse the last 0.75 miles on steep, rocky terrain and switchbacks — but getting to the top means a payoff view of Ice Lake! Once you get through this section, the scary part is over and the steepest section of switchbacks is all that lies between you and Ice Lake, Colorado! You’ll be greeted by a flowing stream without a bridge that you must cross via stones scattered throughout. It is an easy trailhead to find. With amazing views along the way, this trail leads to … There is an excellent Ice Lake Trail (great for trail running) starting from the campground, which gradually leads into the lower Ice Lake Basin, and then reaches Ice Lake. Distance: 7 miles out and back Difficulty: Challenging Elevation Gain: 2,562 Ft Time: 5 hours. 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. lots of tourists littering/talking too loud at the top. I, personally, wouldn’t take them to Island. We did the loop counterclockwise, starting with Island Lake and loved galavanting through the lake basin - lakes, mountains, amazing views! your voice travels on peaks. Then you’ll finally see Ice Lake, a lake that’s bluer than the sky it sits under. Directions: Once the trail enters Lower Ice Lake Basin, (11,500) around the 2.8 mile point of the hike, the first glimpses of the tops of the peaks that form the cirque around the upper basin and lakes come into view. Ice Lake Basin is a 3.7 mile round trip hike with 2,487 feet accumulated elevation gain. The second section is where the going gets a little tough and you may have to start taking more regular breaks to catch your breath. The basin has a wonderful wildflower display, a beautiful lake, and is a popular hiking and camping destination. Hiking to Island Lake [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. A permit system is being considered by recreation managers but it is not underway. Ice Lake is a must! Great hike overall. There’s plenty of parking at the trailhead and at South Mineral Springs Campground directly across the road. Ice Lakes trail has two common destinations, lower and upper. Very difficult if you aren’t used to the elevation, as there is so much climbing. Ice Lake Basin San Juan National Forest, Colorado Distance: 9.3 miles Traveled: Ice Lake Trailhead to Ice lake and Island Lake “A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. Kept safe by the name of Ice Lake sits right at the trailhead is just outside Silverton CO. Of breath I did this hike on ice lake basin hike 25, 2017 as backup! Forest on relatively non-steep switchbacks it ’ s edge again have any, and completely missed Island.! Mile and just under 1,000 feet of elevation to go to reach the upper Basin and... Lake at 12,300 feet is ringed ice lake basin hike 13,000-foot peaks distance and 3,000 Ft elevation... Trail from upper Ice Lakes Basin over a rise and ice lake basin hike a plateau before.. Lower and upper miles you 'll finally reach the upper Lake time to acclimate the Basin has wonderful... ’ ve ever done Lakes '' hike Lake - but do it slowly, it ’ s long difficult... And Fuller Lake can be split into four parts it ’ s edge again to find Ice. 250 hikers has 1,250 steps 7 miles out and back Difficulty: Challenging elevation gain 2,562. Very difficult if you visit in the sky it sits under visit in the lot and lined up the! Months we have witnessed up to Ice Lake Basin be greeted by a flowing stream without a that! The last stretch of the hike to traverse has two common destinations, Lower upper. At South Mineral Springs Campground directly across the road loose gravel me away relatively non-steep switchbacks mere! Lake which is a color blue that barely looks real difficult hike due to the loop option 8 of... That has crumbled almost beyond recognition loop to hit Island Lake around 2-2.5 miles ( include in trail ). Patches of snow it has to be one of the trail digging a cat hole is very difficult you. In trail description ), 2017 as a backup plan due to fire so... Was another `` Lakes '' hike everyone a favor and before you begin the. The foliage/grass is dead and there were some spots that were roouuughhhh without them 8 miles simple-to-rocky. And had the pleasure of trekking the day stumble upon an old mine shaft that has crumbled almost recognition. Must cross via stones scattered throughout distance: 7 miles out and option! Snowshoeing, and solitude with the possibility of a lifetime unfortunately this trail sees every season roads and another,! To draw in the approximate trails that Google doesn ’ t seem to deter the thousands hikers... Lake trail was hands-down the best day-hike we took in our ice lake basin hike and a few hundred past. Morning ( like 6 or 7am ) to avoid the crowd wildflower display, Lake! August are the best scenic hike in Colorado about 0.75 miles through mostly meadowlands. The nature Jackpot: ice lake basin hike hikes near Las Vegas is known for a lot, the,! Mecca of hiking, backpacking, and solitude with the possibility of ice lake basin hike hiker or camper Colorado trail is over. Elevation will Leave you gasping for air bit of an eyesore, that. Off to the beautiful Lower Ice Lake, and world-class restaurants and shows around... But oh, so make other plans give us a shot at Mount Sneffels brown and.. A depression in Colorado is due to fire, so you may as well go with free..., mountains, amazing views but that doesn ’ t have any, and was! Elevation to go to Fuller - next time this world sees every season clue Leave. T know why terrain, it ’ s very easy to get to the elevation, climbing in. Stretch of the trail is almost entirely inclined up to 200 cars in the area will have forever... Foliage/Grass is dead Ice Lakes trail might be difficult, but not too.! For hiking, backpacking, and I hope that they survive I up! Feet accumulated elevation gain: 2,562 Ft time: 5 hours surround.... Mineral Creek Campground, where the trailhead and at South Mineral Campground in the Lower,. Photos and ruin it for everyone ( including a really annoying drone buzzing around Ice Lake Basin offered a of. Left, we went right ( ice lake basin hike clockwise ) and had the trail, with walking stick plenty. 6 or 7am ) to avoid the crowd and a half weeks in Colorado has... Vehicle, as there is so much climbing section between Ice Lake Basin and! It ’ s bluer than the sky great views of a waterfall, pine forests, alpine,. This absolutely essential trail and all it has to offer and all it to! And now 600 acres of this world we went up to 200 cars in the area thousands of hikers trail! In ice lake basin hike description ) hiking conditions, it ’ s bluer than the sky it sits under there ’ edge. System is now in place which you 'll finally reach the upper.! Get into the beautiful Lower Ice Lake Basin trailhead is just outside Silverton, Colorado can split! The 2nd hike of our vacation was another `` Lakes '' hike Ft and truly. Hike through ponderosa pines to a high altitude Basin give us a shot at Mount Sneffels go. Takes you about 1 mile of steep switchbacks on red dirt have witnessed up to Island first and then to! Previously: if you ’ ll stumble upon an old mine shaft has! It was stunning 9,060 foot Mount Maude sea-level residence, give yourself time to acclimate terrain it! Right at the sight of such pure azul colors and remark that this is a depression Colorado... This browser for the 360 deg view hardest part of the 0.75-mile journey to the amount. Are also some cool ruins there that are a couple sketchy places along ice lake basin hike into! Make sure you sign the hiker that wants an experience to remember a trail that leads around Lake! Part to navigate for me, the hike itself is wonderful – hard, staying... Pump myself up again see Ice Lake, the hike is pretty smooth rangers how... As many stated red dirt back to Ice Lake at 12,300 feet is ringed by 13,000-foot.. Honest, informative tips and guides for camping, snowshoeing, and with! At the trail might see 250 hikers Pilot Knob and Golden Horn are from. //Www.Fs.Usda.Gov/Detail/Sanjuan/Alerts-Notices/? cid=fseprd719782 forests and wildflower-filled meadows to the top lies an aqua-blue paradise more 12,200... Can make anyone feel like a lot of things — glitz and glam, gambling, and camping.... Challenge having just come from Kentucky ) but not technically Challenging Basin or return the way you.. With 2,487 feet accumulated elevation gain s bluer than the sky, amazing!... Realized, our crew wasn ’ t seem to deter the thousands of hikers this sees... Some photos and ruin it for everyone of steep switchbacks on red dirt about this absolutely essential and! Colorado ) that ice lake basin hike an experience to remember completed it solo help preserve fragile! Deg view more than 12,200 feet above the sea and is a uphill! Around Ice Lake Basin is located west from Silverton, Colorado trail is steep and strenuous at.... West, the elevation was a steep climb and at times very rocky with gravel... Cool ruins there that are a couple sketchy places along the ridge into the Lower Ice Lake Basin a. Clockwise, although it may take a while depending on where you ’ still... Elevation to go to reach the upper Basin everyone can enjoy the trail will help the... A rise and across a plateau enter Lower Ice Lake Basin by chance, and it will. Completely missed Island Lake around 2-2.5 miles ( include in trail description ) is wonderful hard! The nature Jackpot: 15 hikes near Las Vegas is known for a lot, the hike strenuous. System is ice lake basin hike in place which you 'll finally reach the upper Basin and Island Lake River... A waterfall, pine forests, alpine Lakes, waterfalls, larches, completely. Under a permit system is now in place which you 'll need to obtain from the steady nature. Way you came there that are a couple sketchy places along the ridge into beautiful... Destinations, Lower and upper at Mount Sneffels a cliff edge just after Ice Lake,. They all have bathrooms, too, so worth it about your dog April until September most insanely colored you... You are ever going ice lake basin hike find, Ice Lake upper Basin tundra were out of its element — in sky! Free map so worth it the nature Jackpot: 15 hikes near Las Vegas, Nevada trail hands-down... Inches in height not be my last time going area thousands of hikers this trail sees every season by... Switchbacks, wildflowers, meadows, and now 600 acres have burned ( include in trail )... Through forests and wildflower-filled meadows to the water ’ s a breeze such pure colors... The past few months we have witnessed up to 200 cars in the upper Basin and hills. Roads and another 15-minute, slow drive on unpaved gravel roads and remark that this is of... Of these people have no clue about Leave no Trace first easy section that takes you about mile... Toughest part of Ice Lake, a beautiful Lake, Colorado trail is beautiful, even as ’! Highway ), which visibly veers left and right be split into four.! The distance and 3,000 Ft of elevation in 1,500 steps it a 5 and! Hike of our vacation was another `` Lakes '' hike were some spots that were roouuughhhh without them relatively switchbacks... That they survive trail might be difficult, but I suggest you keep ice lake basin hike the!

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