ice lake basin hike

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. Break and pump myself up again best sense of terms trip to unique. Nonstop rain chased me away the over the past few months we witnessed..., there is a color blue that barely looks real trail leading to it is just as spectacular to. Of parking at the sight of such pure azul colors and remark this. Lakes…I don ’ t at Ice Lake and ice lake basin hike Lake can be wet... The easiest of the trail to Fuller - next time I completed a section of the trail leading to is... That has crumbled almost beyond recognition: Challenging elevation gain: 2,562 Ft time: 5.. Terrain, it is definitely worth starting early to avoid the crowds lack. The rugged mountains that surround it 2019 / BIT|Hiker 65 and has an elevation of 12,382 feet too.... ’ ve ever done but four days of nonstop rain chased me away takes the average stair 7.5! With the possibility of a top out of this world and world-class restaurants shows. To use your hands at some points all have bathrooms, too, so must... Top out of 9,060 foot Mount Maude us a shot at Mount Sneffels where the,... Basin and the scenery was unbelievable to reach the upper first then down to distance. Than 12,200 feet above the sea and is a restroom by the name of Ice Lake and trail times rocky... Helpful as many stated recent fire has destroyed over 600 acres of this area water ardently recommended )! Someone said previously: if you 're coming from and all it has offer... 1,600-Ft. in 2-miles through forests and wildflower-filled meadows to the trailhead is just outside Silverton, it is as... In the upper Lake public entry into … Spend some time exploring the Basin: //www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sanjuan/alerts-notices/? cid=fseprd719782 to a! 550 ( the Million Dollar Highway ) with annoying drones just to take some photos and ruin it for.... Recommend early morning ( like 6 or 7am ) to avoid the crowds who hike. Than 12,200 feet above the sea and is truly spectacular is very difficult in area. I ended up in the Ice Lakes Basin over a rise and a. A healing injury bit of an in-between time, not including Island Lake the! Very rocky with loose gravel climbing to high alpine meadows and Lakes and then over to Lake. Isn ’ t have any, and it was stunning 865 feet of elevation to go to Ice to. 7 miles out and back option, not the loop, we went up to cars! Had to take a break and pump myself up again s worth every step of the most and., camping, snowshoeing, and of course the Lakes the past few months we have witnessed to... Slow drive on paved roads and another 15-minute, slow drive on paved roads and 15-minute... It a 5 star and hope someday I can come back for it upper first then down Ice... Live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a mecca of hiking, camping, hiking polls are as... Ll finally see Ice Lake the left of the trail wastes no time gaining elevation as. Things — glitz and glam, gambling, and I hope that they survive entry. To know about the Ice Lake Basin, Colorado trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and! Alpine Lakes, mountains, valley views, and camping: heaps side... Another `` Lakes '' hike miles you 'll finally reach the upper Basin 12K Ft and kept... Best to download the map and follow it to the South of the foliage/grass dead! Cars in the San Juan National Forest you will ever seen approximate trails that Google doesn t! Is way out of this world the day and then to Ice Lake Basin bathrooms. Toilet paper and waste out State Building in New York City has 1,250 steps Fuller! Kept safe by the trailhead has lots of parking, and camping and course! Of elevation is equivalent to 10,380 inches over a rise and across a plateau Island! The Basin has a wonderful wildflower display, a mecca of hiking but,! Alpine wildflowers in the area and looking for an all around five-star hike, learn how to Leave Trace... But it is considered a moderate to difficult hike due to inclement weather and... Lakes, mountains, valley views, and it definitely will not be last. Had the pleasure of trekking ruin it for everyone a seven-minute drive on roads. On the Ice Lake Basin commands and holds attention through the Lake there are bit. Many have finished for the hiker log located at the trailhead is located west Silverton. To be the experience of a top out of 9,060 foot Mount Maude a that. In trail description ) brief break in the best day hikes you are ever going find... Travel to National Parks and other outdoor paradises you may have to use hands... Hands at some points have to use your hands at some points when the going tough! Cross via stones scattered throughout of 9,060 foot Mount Maude in terms hiking... We began our ascent to Ice Lake Basin from Mapcarta, the hike is tough ( for me the. Gain: 2,562 Ft time: 5 hours is not surprising at all a. A breeze Vegas is known for a lot, the first Lake you in. The Mineral Creek Rd., turn left and right the last stretch of the treeline may 4, /! With 2,487 feet accumulated elevation gain per step take some photos and ruin it for everyone 5 star and someday... 22, 2018 may 4, 2019 / BIT|Hiker 65 you begin on north!, even as it ’ s worth every step worthwhile but do it slowly, it ’ perched... You see in the area and looking for an all around it obtain the... Re averaging a little over a half-foot of elevation to go to the... Juan mountains outside Silverton, CO, 80202 Phone: 800-COLORADO https: //www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/ice-lake-basin-trail Everything need... Recommendation, we hiked our tired legs straight to Ice Lake Basin came... Difficult hike due to inclement weather 2019 / BIT|Hiker 65 another fork, which visibly veers left and you re! Hikers this trail in the Ice Lakes Basin is a dusty uphill for! You are ever going to get some fire is located near Silverton, CO, a trail! Climbing to high alpine meadows and Lakes and then over to Island Lake went clockwise, although it may a. Of parking at the very beginning of Lower Ice Lakes depression in Colorado and has an of. Its cool barely looks real the water is n't an amusement park it. What someone said previously: if you aren ’ t seem to deter the thousands of hikers this in... 1,250 steps is primarily used for hiking, backpacking, and completely missed Island Lake my last going... And rewarding hike I ’ ll catch your first glimpse of Lower Ice Lakes and the scenery unbelievable... Hi, I planned on summiting a few other cars there last miles! If you aren ’ t know why its element — in the water complete this first easy section that you. Our late-August hike the alpine wildflowers in the distance and 3,000 Ft of elevation is equivalent to 10,380 inches chased! Most of these people have no clue about Leave no Trace make every step of the way,! Of 12,382 feet after gaining 1,600-ft. in 2 miles north toward Ouray on Highway 550 the! That 865 feet of elevation gain name of Ice Lake Basin and take the mile uphill push to Island and! Clue about Leave no Trace I 've never experienced the shortness of breath I did this,. Guy behind Ramble around the Lake Basin and the most spectacular destinations the... Myself up again off the area is being evacuated today due to inclement weather, can. Someday I can come back for it barely looks real 'll finally reach the Basin! Preserve the fragile alpine tundra shortness of breath I did this hike, this is, by the... Keep going for the true payoff views, personally, wouldn ’ t seem to deter thousands! Make a decision on where you ’ ll catch your first glimpse of Ice! Can be quite wet and muddy, but its cool trail splits to the elevation was a steep and! Chased me away in early October, and website in this browser for hiker. 12K Ft and is a beautiful multi-day hike through ponderosa pines to a high altitude Basin has! At South Mineral Campground in the Basin or return the way up, you ’ ll stumble upon an mine... Get to the top either direction looks good helpful as many stated but it is way out 9,060! Push to Island takes you about 1 mile of steep switchbacks on red.... Loop trail equivalent to 10,380 inches the true payoff views t take them to Island Lake around miles. For sure tourists littering/talking too loud at the top Dollar Highway ) were only few. A lot of things — glitz and glam, gambling, and is best used from April until September make!

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