The first part is the easy section that takes you about 1 mile through the forest on relatively non-steep switchbacks. You have entered an incorrect email address! I'd reiterate what someone said previously: if you're coming from a sea-level residence, give yourself time to acclimate. 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. Use the wag bags available at the trail head or buy some prior to visiting and pack your toilet paper and waste out. The fourth section is by far the toughest part of Ice Lake Basin Trail. This is, by far, the BEST hike I’ve ever done. The last stretch of the hike is pretty extreme. … Phone: 800-COLORADO Waterfalls, creeks, colors galore, and the most insanely colored lake you will ever seen! It’s also worth noting I visited in mid-October, so there weren’t many flowers remaining, the green grass was turning yellow and the flowing streams were quickly icing over. I think they are all amazing, but the lack of crowds at Fuller lake compared to Ice lake pushed it to the top for me. Enjoy! please don't be that person. https://hikingswcolorado.blogspot.com/2013/09/ice-lake-basin.html Ice Lake Basin and Island Lake are located in the San Juan National Forest. A fire started when I just started the hike, saw people running down and l left too, later saw the smoke became massive as I was driving out of the mountain. Hi, I’m Jarrod, and I’m the guy behind Ramble Around the World. 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. Follow. Note: Updated trail closure information can be viewed on the San Juan National Forest page here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sanjuan/recarea/?recid=42984&actid=50 The first push up into the lower basin, then the easy walk through the lower basin, and the final ascent into Ice Lake Basin. The hike is steep to the second step of the basin where Ice Lake is located, but it is well worth it as the deep blue of the lake is unparalleled. The first part is the easy section that takes you about 1 mile through the forest on relatively non-steep switchbacks. Ice Lake Trail is a portal to an enchanting alpine basin in Colorado’s southwestern San Juan Mountains, about six hours from Colorado Springs. Fires in the Upper Basin's alpine zone are highly discouraged for several reasons: You do start off around 9,800 feet, so if you’re out of shape or coming from sea level, you’ll feel this for sure. In the Lower Basin, there is a shallow lake to the south of the trail. The Ice Lake Basin Trail: Blue Ice Laughing in the Sun. Spend some time exploring the basin or return the way you came. When you emerge from a 2-mile hike through the woods to find a field of flowers, lush greenery and flowing streams in the summer, you’ll be on a 0.75-mile trek through mostly flat meadows. You may have to use your hands at some points. I ended up in the Ice Lake Basin by chance, and it definitely will not be my last time going. Demanding trail, with walking stick and plenty of water ardently recommended. Let me start by saying I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a mere 1.5 feet above sea level. The road leading to the trailhead is pretty smooth. HIKE TO: Island Lake & Ice Lake TRAIL: Ice Lake Trail MILES: 7.61 mi TIME: 2 night (2:38 hr in to Island Lake; 1:55 hr out from Ice Lake) DATE I WENT: 8/30/19 - 9/1/19 DIFFICULTY: somewhat strenuous ELEVATION: 12403 ft ELEVATION GAIN/ LOSS: 2525 / 2483 ft HIKE PERMIT: no LOCATION: San Juan National Forest, Colorado The trail now climbs steep switchbacks up a headwall to the Lower Ice Lake basin. Off to the left of the trail Lower Ice Lake sits right at the edge of the treeline. Dog bags left on the trail. Distance: 7 miles out and back Difficulty: Challenging Elevation Gain: 2,562 Ft Time: 5 hours. Its salt content is non-existent. Ice Lake Basin is a 3.7 mile round trip hike with 2,487 feet accumulated elevation gain. Stony Pass, ATV Trail 821, and Cinnamon Pass OHV Route, https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sanjuan/recarea/?recid=42984&actid=50, https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sanjuan/alerts-notices/?cid=fseprd719782. I recommend you do if you have the time and stamina. The area will have been forever changed for sure. Huddlepoint. Dogs are also able to use this trail. 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. With amazing views along the way, this trail leads to … We didn’t have any hiking poles but after today we are definitely going to get some. 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. If you brought a snack, this section is a good spot to take a break and gobble up some energy for the next, most-strenuous section of the hike. 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. It gains elevation quickly. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and backpacking and is best used from April until September. Upon reaching the lower basin great views open to Fuller, Vermillion Peak, Golden Horn and Pilot Knob rising above the ridge at the head of the basin. The hike to Ice Lake begins from the South Mineral Campground in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. 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. … I did this hike on July 25, 2017 as a backup plan due to inclement weather. Sunset on the San Juans from the Ouray Brewery We hit the road on Friday night and to be exact it was a 22 hour 40 minute all night drive from Andrew’s apartment in Indianapolis to Ouray. I took the trail counter clockwise towards Island lake and I'm pretty happy I did because I saw the lakes from least favorite to favorite. 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. Great hike overall. 5:20. Out and back, the hike to Ice Lake Basin is a 7 to 7 1/2 mile roundtrip, not including Island Lake. Physically difficult but well worth the work. Kiddies can totally do out and back to Ice Lake and Fuller Lake. The trail might be difficult, but that doesn’t seem to deter the thousands of hikers this trail sees every season. I turned around and walked to the water’s edge again. The hike is broken into three parts. That’s what we did. Now you’re in for a treat. ALERT: The fire was reported on the afternoon of October 19, 2020, west of Silverton, CO on the north side of the South Mineral Creek Road (FS585). You’ll get to see a vivacious waterfall flowing from a few hundred feet in the sky and cross its small creek via hand-laid trees. 3. Very difficult if you aren’t used to the elevation, as there is so much climbing. Distance: 7 miles out and back Difficulty: Challenging Elevation Gain: 2,562 Ft Time: 5 hours. 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). Likely this fire due to the carelessness of a hiker or camper. Five years ago, Botsford said, a busy day on the Ice Lakes trail might see 250 hikers. 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. Playing next. The good part is that nearly the entire section is shaded, so you won’t have the mid-summer sun beating down on you. Our two and a few other cars there annoying drones just to take some photos and ruin it everyone... 'Re coming from a sea-level residence, give yourself time to acclimate we were to... May have to use your hands at some points San Juan National Forest October - April other. 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