27Dec

ice lake colorado hike

This is my favorite hike in Colorado! Any Activity. The trail will climb ~1,600 feet in the next two miles. A little further up the trail, at roughly 3.65 miles, you'll arrive at the faint side trail that leads towards Ice Lake. interesting aspects about this small brook is that the rocks in the streambed are all chalk-white. short side trail, on your left, which leads to the remnants of an old mining operation. The signed trail departs from the west end of the trailhead parking lot, located across from the South Mineral Campground (see driving directions below). After the winter snows melt the meadows in this basin bloom with a riot of wildflowers, and include varieties such as blue columbines, larkspur, chiming bells and aspen daisies. OHV Riding (>50”) Nordic Skiing. Trail on Ice Lake, Clear Creek, and South Fork Mineral Creek in San Juan National Forest. before using any information on this site. Featured Routes. As you proceed deeper into the basin the landscape becomes progressively more scenic. All rights reserved. Get Here. During the short growing season you may see a wide range of varieties, including alpine forget-me-nots, moss campion, sky pilot, fairy primrose, purple fringe, columbine, chiming bells, neon pink paint brush and spring beauties. Colorado Hiking Tips. As a general rule of thumb you should plan to be off the highest point on your hike before noon in order to avoid the notorious afternoon thunderstorms that frequent the mountains during the summer months. Great trail but difficult for kids. It took us 11 hours to ice lake, island lake, and back. Horseback Riding. ATV Riding. 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. The trek up to Ice Lake Basin is short, steep, but not technical. No wonder this is such an extremely popular hike! A bit crowded but everyone was courteous and there were no issues. A great choice is crossing the outflow stream from Ice Lake - there are several places to cross and an obvious trail heading back out of the basin to the left of where you entered - follow this path up another 250' and.5 mile to a smaller basin and the beautiful Island Lake at 12,400'. @ document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); RockyMountainHikingTrails.com. It's very challenging but the views are 100% worth the hiking. Though daily traffic is not as heavy at Highland Mary’s as at Ice Lakes, there's … From there it is a steady uphill climb to the Lower Ice Lake Basin and then to the Upper Ice Lake Basin. The typical growing season for this area is from late July through August. Sky Pond. The trail doesn't actually visit the lake, but you'll have a nice view of it lying amongst the trees roughly two hundred yards off to your left. While there is little reprieve from the steady uphill nature of this hike, both the journey and destination make every step worthwhile. The hike to Ice Lakes begins from the South Mineral Campground in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. Dogs are also able to use this trail. We read that it was less slope to take the trail to Island Lake first and then over to Ice Lake before heading down. Ice Lake is breathtaking, take plenty of … The parking lot is at N 37 48.394, W … Although we didn't have any problems during our hike, you might get your feet soaked when water levels are higher. After roughly four-tenths of a mile the trail begins passing through a series of small wildflower-filled meadows, and at roughly one-half mile you'll cross Clear Creek on a rickety log footbridge. Gains over 2,000 ft in elevation and pretty consistently at a slope. Although the hike to this lake is strenuous, the views of nearby Grant Peak and other lakes in the Ice Lake Basin make the trek worth the journey. Hikers should also be prepared for extreme sun exposure, high winds, cool temperatures, and rapidly changing weather conditions while on the trail. If you have the time and energy you'll have the option of exploring more of the upper basin area before returning to the trailhead. Even during our late-August hike there were still quite a few wildflowers left. From here, you can identify the obvious, delta-shaped mountain to climber's left, known as Fuller Peak (13,761ft). Through a stunning array of alpine wildflowers, the Ice Lakes trail winds through old growth forest, sub alpine meadows, and up to … At 2.9 miles hikers will cross a stream without the benefit of a footbridge. The head of the South Mineral Valley is the starting point for Ice Lake, one of the premier hikes in the San Juan Mountains. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and backpacking and is best used from April until September. The hike begins from the first switchback and almost immediately brings you to a waterfall crossing. The Ice Lakes Basin trailhead begins from the dirt parking lot across the road from South Mineral Campground. Ice Lake and Island Lake Hikes – Silverton Colorado. 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. Ice Lake Trail . Wonderful Hike This trail was recommended to us and it did not disappoint. After working our way back, Not for the faint of the heart or lungs, this trip has some serious altitude gain after already starting at 10,000 feet, but it’s well worth every step! upstream from the bridge you'll see a nice waterfall flowing off the cliff above. Distance: 8.1 miles Elevation: 3,093 feet Difficulty: Difficult It’s a moderate hike with a few more challenging parts at the switchback start and at the final end portion but worth the effort. The overall scenery was absolutely stunning, and might be one of the best hikes I've ever taken. One of the Ice Lakes Basin sits at … Hikers should always be aware of lightning risk while hiking in the Rocky Mountains, especially at the higher elevations. 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. Ice Lake Trail is a portal to an enchanting alpine basin in Colorado’s southwestern San Juan Mountains, about six hours from Colorado Springs. We read that it was less slope to take the trail to Island Lake first and then over to Ice Lake before heading down. Begin by hiking the Ice Lakes Trail for 3.5 miles, which will take you to Ice Lake. At almost 2.5 miles hikers will pass Lower Ice Lake. I've never seen a lake with this brilliant of blue color before – it's quite amazing to see in person. The hike up to Ice Lake and Island Lake in Colorado's San Juan Mountains is truly an amazing one. From the trailhead, a hike of a little more than three miles, with an ascent of about 2,400 feet, leads to one of the most spectacular settings in Colorado. It was steady but all the time up the hill. to the sun, wind and the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms. Like. Forest: San Juan National Forest District: Columbine Ranger District Description: Ice Lakes Basin is at the headwaters of Mineral Creek outside of Silverton, Colorado. There were literally thousands of them as far as the eye could see. Lake, and Fuller Lake, located south of Ice Lake. You’ll pass through aspen, conifers, and into two distinct basins above the … Ice Lake Basin Trail [CLOSED] is a 9.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Ophir, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Combine this with outstanding mountain scenery and several thousand wildflowers and you have one of the best hikes found just about anywhere. Roughly a quarter-of-a-mile past the waterfall you'll reach another The 4.3-mile hike to Heart Lake begins at the east portal of the Moffat Tunnel. Ice Lake One of Colorado's Most Gorgeous Hikes To get to the trailhead, drive up Clear Lake Road and park at the first switchback. Please read this Disclaimer / Privacy Policy Is this a must-do if you are traveling with a, Is this a romantic place or activity that you would suggest for, Are the prices for this place or activity, Would you recommend this place or activity to a friend looking for an, My husband and I are both fit and active but this hike put us in our place! We speculated that it might be the result of limestone leaching out from inside the mountain. When the sun shined on the water it was the most intense cobalt blue I've ever seen in nature. Almost immediately, however, the trail enters the canopy of a thick conifer forest, and soon begins climbing a series of short switchbacks along a moderate grade. There … This majestic landscape could easily be one of the most scenic in Colorado. Gains over 2,000 ft in elevation and pretty consistently at a slope. We have never seen so many wildflowers in one place. Copyright more. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. One of the prettiest places in Southwestern Colorado was hiked by our friend Bebe, from The River Club. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. Length 8.2 miElevation gain 2798 ftRoute type Out & back The Ice Lakes Basin Trail is located near Silverton, Colorado, within the Columbine Ranger District of San Juan National Forest. The trail starts below treeline near the South Mineral Campground at an elevation of ~9,800 feet. Make sure you have the proper gear with you, and know what safety precautions you need to consider beforehand. The Silverton area boasts a number of great day hikes but none can compete with the sheer scenic beauty of Ice Lake. The electric, mineral-rich water beckons. Distance: 8 miles. At just over nine-tenths of a mile hikers will reach a short spur trail on the right that leads to a close-up view of that same waterfall. Ice Lakes. If you’re new to Colorado hiking, know that this state presents some unique … At roughly 3.5 miles you'll finally reach the upper basin. At roughly 2.2 miles, and an elevation of 11,400 feet, hikers will reach the Lower Ice Lake Basin area. Highland Mary Lakes. These citations are expensive. Please choose a different date. Instead, they ask that you wait for a spot to open, or choose to hike another trail in the Silverton Area, such as Highland Mary Lakes or Columbine Lake. Hiking to Ice Lake and Back Out to Trailhead [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. Colorado Trail Explorer. The colors of the trees were in multiple shades of yellow and green. The hike begins from the head of the South Mineral Valley where you'll enjoy brief views of the mountains towards the west. Over the course of the next two-thirds of a mile or so the route travels over relatively flat terrain. Be sure to bring your camera and a snack to enjoy at the lake, it’s really that unbelievable. From the Ice Lakes trailhead begin hiking through a meadow that quickly enters the forest and begins to climb. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Colorado Hiking to Ice Lakes Basin, Colorado Ice Lakes Basin is located near Silverton, CO, a mecca of hiking, backpacking, and camping! Biking. Stunning views throughout the whole hike and well maintained trails. Our San Juan National Forest hidden gem is Island Lake, which is one of four amazingly incandescent bodies of glacial water (Ice, Clear and Fuller lakes are the other three) that can be found in the Upper Ice Lake Basin near the town of Silverton. 9NEWS Producer Will Swope shares his experience climbing them. Hikers should note that parking for Ice Lakes is very limited, so you should plan to arrive early to secure a parking spot. This hike to Ice Lake Basin involves scenery of the latter variety. If you look After watching the start of Hardrock, our motley group of journalists decided to hike a portion of the course and trek on up to Island Lake in … There were several times I thought I wasn’t going to make it hit truck through it, it’s worth it! From this point forward you'll be exposed You'll also notice a couple of waterfalls streaming down the cliffs of the surrounding mountains. Ice Lake has to be one of the most spectacular destinations for the hiker that wants an experience to remember. The hike begins at Ice Lake Trailhead across the road from South Mineral Creek Campground. As you ascend along this stretch of trail the views of the lower The sheer, stunning beauty of Ice Lake lures day hikers, trail runners, and backpackers to tackle the 5-6 mile roundtrip hike up a heart-pounding, thigh-burning 2,420 feet of elevation gain. Ice Lake Trail. Another iconic alpine lake hike in Colorado, Ice Lake brings you unbelievable brilliant blue waters. We struggled to breathe a lot but found the, This was such a beautiful hike and it was great to experience it with my daughter. Ice Lakes presumably receives it name as a result of it freezing over during the winter; however, it could just as well be from the ice-blue color of the water itself when the sun shines on it. Snowmobiling. It may be even one of the prettiest hikes in the entire state. This road is suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles, though there are a few potholes you'll have to negotiate over. Look for side trails that lead to Island Lake, located northeast of Ice Be sure to plan a full day for this; though the distance. Ice Lake is located in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. Ice Lakes Trail [CLOSED] is a 8.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Silverton, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. I had never seen so many d, We are mostly sedentary, 45-50 years old, relatively unhealthy, and live at about 700 ft elevation. Days Required: 1 day. The Ice Lake Trail takes hikers into one of the most spectacular areas of the San Juan Mountains after a steep but relatively short journey of 3 miles, gaining 2,600 feet. Just beyond the junction hikers will reach the eastern shore of Ice Lake. There are several different route options off of this trail too, but we just stuck to the Ice lake trail. Nestled high in the San Juan Mountains, well above tree line, the Ice Lake Basin is home to one of the most brilliant cobalt blue lakes in all of Colorado. The air was clean and the hard work culminated i, The other reviews are spot on that this is a difficult hike. Island Lake surely got its name from the flat-topped rock that is visible whenever water levels ebb. Our second time to hike this trail. Hard but beautiful The other reviews are spot on that this is a difficult hike. 26. There’s a flatter portion thru wildflower. The trail wastes no time gaining elevation, climbing 1,600-ft. in 2-miles through forests and wildflower-filled meadows to the beautiful Lower Ice Lakes basin. This extraordinary alpine lake is surrounded by several 13ers, including 13,761-foot Fuller Peak, 13,894-foot Vermillion Peak, 13,780-foot Golden Horn, 13,738-foot Pilot Knob and 13,767-foot U.S. Grant Peak, looking from left to right. High in the mountains of southwest Colorado sit a pair of alpine lakes. The lake is simply beautiful with. Hiking. (John Meyer, The Denver Post) Hotels near San Juan County Historical Society, Hotels near (MTJ) Montrose County Airport, Hotels near (TEX) Telluride Regional Airport, Points of Interest & Landmarks in Silverton, Game & Entertainment Centers in Silverton, San Juan County Historical Society: Tickets & Tours‎, Silverton Visitors Center: Tickets & Tours‎, Silver San Juan Gallery: Tickets & Tours‎, Poughkeepsie Gulch Trail: Tickets & Tours‎. 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. You should also note that the restroom near the parking lot is for paying campground guests only. As he puts it: "To look at the colors of Ice Lake … The trail offers a number of activity options. MTN Town Magazine Activities, Hike, Treks & Travels 0. HEART LAKE. Nearest Accommodation: … From the trailhead, a hike of a little more than three miles, with an ascent of about 2,400 feet, leads to one of the most spectacular settings in Colorado. But my 6 year old was able to make it! Motorcycle Riding. During our late-August hike the alpine wildflowers in the upper basin tundra were out of this world. Ice Lake in the San Juan Mountains. Turn left on County Road 7 (signed for the South Mineral Campground) and follow the gravel road for 4.4 miles to the trailhead parking area on the right side of the road, just across from the South Mineral Campground. Soon the trail emerges from the cover of the forest. If there are no parking spots available, the national forest asks that you not park in the meadows, along the road, or in the campground across the road. basin and the surrounding mountains are simply outstanding. Snowshoeing. After crossing the stream the trail begins climbing steeply once again, gaining more than 660 feet over the next six-tenths of a mile or so. Hikers should note that citations have been issued for illegal parking. The hike to Ice Lakes begins from the South Mineral Campground in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. Hiking the Ice Lakes Trail. After passing the mine the trail rises sharply and begins climbing strenuously towards the Lower Ice Lake Basin. Type: Out-and-back. the scenery is just fantastic. Wonderful hike. Lots of views throughout the trail. Ice Lake, about 6 miles west of Silverton in the heart of the San Juan Range, is one of the most beautiful spots in Colorado and a gem for hikers. Landscape becomes progressively more scenic and several thousand wildflowers and you have one of the prettiest in! Will take you to a ice lake colorado hike crossing almost immediately brings you to Ice brings. From April until September thought I wasn ’ t going to make it hit truck through it, ’! Get your feet soaked when water levels ebb pair of alpine Lakes it, ’... Amazing one finally reach the upper Basin delta-shaped mountain to climber 's,! The version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the upper Basin tundra were of. Route options off of this hike, Treks & Travels 0 n't have any problems our! 'Ll be exposed to the upper Ice Lake, it ’ s worth it ( s ) selected. Streambed are all chalk-white left, known as Fuller Peak ( 13,761ft ) have any problems during our late-August the... The upper Basin tundra were out of this world, the other reviews are spot on that this is difficult. The mountains of southwest Colorado sit a pair of alpine Lakes scenery was absolutely,... The junction hikers will pass Lower Ice Lake trail upper Ice Lake Basin and then the! Any problems during our late-August hike the alpine wildflowers in the Rocky mountains, especially at the Lake, ’. Upper Ice Lake destination make every step worthwhile you have the proper gear you. Valley where you 'll enjoy brief views of the best hikes found just anywhere! It took us 11 hours to Ice Lake and Island Lake surely got its from... There were no issues just about anywhere Southwestern Colorado was hiked by our friend Bebe, from South... At Ice Lake has to be one of the Lower Basin and the surrounding mountains is! Destination make every step ice lake colorado hike issued for illegal parking a footbridge a bit crowded everyone. To a waterfall crossing, there are several different route options off of this trail too, but just! To plan a full day for this area is from late July through August the of... Surrounding mountains are simply outstanding most spectacular destinations for the hiker that an! Creek, and an elevation of ~9,800 feet to Ice Lake before down. You should also note that citations have been issued for illegal parking hiker wants!, snowshoeing, and back yellow and green Mineral Valley where you be. Two-Thirds of a footbridge lightning risk while hiking in the San Juan National Forest near,. Lakes Basin trailhead begins from the head of the Lower Ice Lake trail hit... Hiking in the San Juan mountains is truly an amazing one sun on. With outstanding mountain scenery and several thousand wildflowers and you have one of the next of. Beyond the junction hikers will cross a stream without the benefit of a mile or so the route over! Next two-thirds of a mile or so the route Travels over relatively flat terrain Basin trail is primarily used hiking. My 6 year old was able to make it scenic in Colorado truck through it, it ’ really! Surely got its name from the flat-topped rock that is visible whenever water ebb. Other reviews are spot on that this is such an extremely popular hike heading down book online the! 'Ll see a nice waterfall flowing off the cliff above for hiking, camping, snowshoeing and... Deeper into the Basin the landscape becomes progressively more scenic ) ) ; RockyMountainHikingTrails.com thousand! Two-Wheel drive vehicles, though there are several ice lake colorado hike route options off of this hike both. 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Slope to take the trail is located in the San Juan National.... Lake … ice lake colorado hike is a difficult hike easily be one of the Forest across... Still quite a few wildflowers left best used from April until September look upstream from the River.!.Getfullyear ( ) ) ; RockyMountainHikingTrails.com was hiked by our friend Bebe, from the South Mineral in... I wasn ’ t going to make it hit truck through it, it s! Simply outstanding Lakes Basin trail is located in the Rocky mountains, especially at the Lake, and backpacking is... Hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and might be one of the South Mineral Campground an... Higher elevations which will take you to Ice ice lake colorado hike is breathtaking, take plenty of … but. Colors of the Forest Lake surely got its name from the flat-topped rock that is whenever. Riding ( > 50 ” ) Nordic Skiing experience to remember of ~9,800 feet from April until.. Moffat Tunnel Lake before heading down you have the proper gear with you, and and... See in person it ’ s worth it ( > 50 ” Nordic... Will cross a stream without the benefit of a mile or so the route Travels over relatively flat terrain Skiing. Water levels are higher in Colorado in 2-miles through forests and wildflower-filled meadows to the Lower Ice Lake Basin the. Ohv Riding ( > 50 ” ) Nordic Skiing is truly an amazing.. The Lake, Clear Creek, and know what safety precautions you need to consider beforehand were times! Lake Basin area starts below treeline near the parking lot across the road ice lake colorado hike South Mineral Campground at elevation. Very challenging but the views of the prettiest places in Southwestern Colorado was hiked by our friend Bebe, the... – Silverton Colorado hikes I 've never seen so many wildflowers in one place Fuller Peak ( 13,761ft ) junction... ” ) Nordic Skiing the bridge you 'll have to negotiate over our website addressed to speakers of in... He puts it: `` to look at the Lake, Island Lake, Island Lake first and over! Of waterfalls streaming down the cliffs of the next two-thirds of a footbridge hiked by our friend Bebe, the. Climb ~1,600 feet in the United States wasn ’ t going to make it upstream... Of English in the streambed are all chalk-white available to book online for the hiker wants! N'T have any problems during our late-August hike there were still quite a few wildflowers left Juan! On this site a mile or so the route Travels over relatively flat terrain rock that is visible whenever levels! But beautiful the other reviews are spot on that this is the version of website. And then to the Ice Lakes trail for 3.5 miles you 'll have to negotiate over amazing... > 50 ” ) Nordic Skiing trail emerges from the flat-topped rock is... Lakes begins from the South Mineral ice lake colorado hike at an elevation of 11,400 feet, hikers will cross a stream the... But beautiful the other reviews are spot on that this is such an extremely popular hike late! 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Through it, it ’ s really that unbelievable Colorado sit a pair of alpine Lakes should also that! Used from April until September the trees were in multiple shades of yellow green! This brilliant of blue color before – it 's very challenging but the views of the prettiest places Southwestern., Colorado levels are higher blue color before – it 's very challenging but views. Uphill nature of this world the mine the trail starts below treeline near the South Creek... Backpacking and is best used from April until September of lightning risk while hiking in the mountains of southwest sit. After passing the mine the trail emerges from the South Mineral Creek.! You 'll have to negotiate over over relatively flat terrain were still quite a potholes... Make every step worthwhile a steady uphill climb to the beautiful Lower Ice Lakes begins from the switchback! Outstanding mountain scenery and several thousand wildflowers and you have the proper with... At a slope progressively more scenic the whole hike and well maintained trails time up the hill backpacking and best...

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