Rainier, Four amazing backpacking destinations to set you free, Trail Report: Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm in the North Cascades, This is not for everyone. Today’s weather was perfect, and much warmer than yesterday, which would make for great conditions at Enchanted Pools. While we set up camp the clouds moved quickly through the basin, occasionally shrouding the peaks on the ridgeline. Island Lake is a 2.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Salida, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. On the four-mile trail to the lakes, hikers pass several … Distance: 12.1 miles You'll need to cross the creek that drains Ice Lakes to reach the Island Lake trail spur. Note that the hiking trail to Ice Lake and Island Lake is not very well marked. However, the lake was quickly swarmed … From the Ice Lakes basin Trailhead, this 8 mile round trip trail with 3000 feet of elevation gain will bring you to the Ice Lakes Basin with an abundance of beautiful lakes, especially Island Lake and Ice Lake. This is a great relatively leisurely trip to make early season, for beginners, or as a quick overnight into the backcountry. Alice Kao. Backpacking Ice Lake Basin is in another class in terms of beauty, difficulty, and pure determination required to reach it. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and fishing. The Zebra Slot Canyon is one of my favorite hikes in the Grand Staircase-Escalante area. A classic loop from Elkart Park stretches for approximately 35 miles and uses the CDT to tie into a number of high altitude lakes including, Little Seneca Lake, Island Lake, and Summit Lake. Just shy of 9 miles in exactly 5 hours and it was stunning! Instead of camping on the close side with all the people, we walked counter-clockwise around the lake and found a great spot on a ledge overlooking the lake. Jackie, Juno and I hiked up to the Ice Lakes & Island Lake in late September 2018. The red, smooth, striped walls make for unique photo opportunities. After adventuring through a mini canyon behind the lake, we started the three-mile trek down to the car. The first push up into the lower basin, then the easy walk through the lower basin, and the final ascent into Ice Lake Basin. 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. The lake sits in a basin at the foot of Ulysses S. Grant Peak (13,767). Once the trail started to diverge from the creek, we headed off trail cross country to try to find the Enchanted Pools. Both of us were exhausted, yet quickly set up camp and made our way down to the water. With no plans later that day, we took out time waking up and packing up. So we packed up and headed to Ice Lake, less than three-quarters of a mile away. Island Lake lies just 0.5 miles and 250 vertical feet above the Upper Ice Lakes. This means packing out all your trash and camp at least 100 feet from any lake shore. And then we got pizza and beer…because pizza and beer make everything better after backpacking! The 7,000 acres of pristine wilderness at Island Lake near Fernie, B.C. However, once inside the basin, the views will blow you away and continue to wow you at every turn. I finally hiked the High Sierra Trail, a trip I've been dying to do for years! At Ice Lake you'll see some of the bluest water around, and at Island Lake, one of the most unique lake formations in Colorado. Island Lake in the Wind River Range, Rocky Mountains, Wyoming, views from backpacking hiking trail to Titcomb Basin from Elkhart Park Trailhead going past Hobbs, Seneca, Upper and Lower Jean Lakes as well as Photographers point. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Island Lake is one of many gorgeous lakes in the Uintas - it can be hard to choose which lake to visit. Dates: Jun 13 - Jun 14Miles: 6.6 roundtripElevation change: 1,370 ftTrail type: Out and backPermit: RequiredTrailhead: Google Maps. Start at Brainard Lake and make your way up the valley to Lake Isabelle where you’ll have views of the Isabelle Glacier – a permanent snowfield. Being camped on the northwest shore, the clouds cleared right before sunset to cast that perfect glow on Mount Price directly across from us. We took our time waking up, making breakfast, and moving around. We saw a couple of hunters in the final mile of the hike; we were glad we were near 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. Most people go to Ice Lakes…I don’t know why. 116. Our overnight excursion to the Twin Lakes was the perfect start to the season. After doing mental gymnastics, we both went in. Twin and Island Lakes are in area zone #32 of Desolation Wilderness, which allows 20 campers to enter per day, reservable via Recreation.gov. There are far fewer campsites up at Island Lake, but we managed to find one up a little higher on the northern shore. Wildflowers on the shore of Twin Lakes complete with a waterfall in the distance. Here you'll find blog posts about some of my favorite backpacking and travel adventures. Overall, it takes about two miles to reach the lower basin and the potential split towards Island Lake. I can see why this hike is so popular - a five mile roundtrip hike to a remote, stunning alpine lake where you’ll still feel accomplished and break a sweat. Basic Information for Thousand Island Lake: Obtain a wilderness permit – If you heading into the backcountry for more than a day hike, you must obtain a permit to camp. It is a beautiful green lake with a rock island in the middle, which gives the lake its name. From the sign at the start of the trail, take the right unmarked fork for the most direct route. Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe. This is 1.7 miles from the TH and about a 1,600-foot elevation gain. Mystic Island Lake and Lake Charles via Ironedge Trail is a 12.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Eagle, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Advanced permits are required for all overnight backpackers, and day hikers do not need a permit. It allows you the chance to look down on Upper Ice Lake and Ice Lake. Once the trails merge about 0.6 miles in past the marsh, you’ll pass the unmarked turnoff to head north over some slab to the Enchanted Pools. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you have some trips under your belt, Prepare for the weather. When I visited in June, the Twin Lakes campground and the main parking lot at the trailhead both were still closed, so I had to park down at the Equestrian Camp, which added an extra 1.1 miles of hiking each way to get to the main trailhead. From there the trail loops around the basin and returns back to the main trail. Along the way there is some evidence of old mining activity, including mine tailings. Instead we wandered around the shoreline over ravines of snow and spent a good deal of the rest of the day being entertained by the plethora of friendly marmots scampering across meadows. Aptly named, Island Lake is spotted with many little islands that I would have been open to wading to if the weather was more cooperative. We had to backtrack a bit from the shore to cross the Twin Lake outlet, which most people seemed to have no trouble with. Gear Review: Ultralight HydraPak Flux 1.5L Water Bottle, 5 of the Best Hikes in Sedona to do for ‘the gram’, Backpacking Ice Lake Basin in southwestern Colorado, View ExploreWithAlec’s profile on Facebook, Trail Report: An escape to High Rock Lookout, Don’t miss Reflection Lake when visiting Mt. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. What to eat while backpacking? California, Backpacking, Trip Report. From the trailhead to Mystic Island Lake (11,306 feet): 2,160 feet of total elevation gain in 5.3 miles one way. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from July until October. provides countless hiking opportunities. With it being close to 4:30 pm, we saw hardly a soul after arriving. The 144-acre Island Lake is located 0.1 miles east of the campground on Forest Rt. As the sun began making its way behind the 13ers surrounding us, we headed back down for dinner, and to watch the sunset on the peaks to the east. Tagged: backpacking, trip report, Sierras, lakes, Desolation Wilderness, CA, I'm Alice, a weekend hiker and outdoor adventurer based out of the Bay Area in California. However, the lake was quickly swarmed by hikers, making our hidden paradise less seclued. 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. A slightly chillier night than we were expecting hit Island Lake but thankfully we weren’t too uncomfortable. Our views were stunning and were given an incredible sky show. Island Lake is phenomenal. The Island Lakes trail (#1857) begins near Crescent and Mackinaw Lakes and climbs over a mountain pass offering great views of the three Island Lakes below. After putting our finishing touches on our packs, we clipped our belts and began our trek backpacking Ice Lake Basin. This hike is as gorgeous as everyone says. … There was still snow by Island lake when we visited in August. The colors seem surreal, a beautiful turquoise lake, surrounded by high peaks. We are only a 20 km drive away from either George or Sedgefield & 47 km away from Knysna, with the village of Wilderness, a few minutes away, where restaurants, take a way's, supermarkets and pubs are to be … 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. This trail starts at the very popular Twin Lakes trailhead by Wrights Lake. Backpacking Ice Lake Basin was truly a weekend we surely won’t forget. The next morning we woke early to still reflections on the lake except for the occasional ripple from small fish. We decided to continue on the main trail and take the cross country route to the pools on the way back. Sunset on Trail Ridge Rd. Evergreen Lake Trail Location: Dedisee Park, 0.4 miles west of Evergreen, CO Length: 1.4-mile loop; Difficulty Rating: Easy This is a great relatively leisurely trip to make early season, for beginners, or as a quick overnight into the backcountry. Island Lake Holiday Resort is situated on the shores of the beautiful Island Lake in the spectacular Wilderness National Park, right in the heart of the famous and majestic Garden Route. This is for camping any time of year. 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. Island Lake and the peaks towering above Titcomb Basin This very popular backpack leads to Island Lake (10,346-ft.), a stunning destination with great day hiking, good fishing and scenic campsites. This lake offers a quick backpacking trip, cliff jumping, swimming, fishing, & solitude in the summer months. That’s what we did. The hike is broken into three parts. After packing up, we headed down the trail back past Twin Lakes. There are lots of use trails criss crossing along the shore, and it wasn’t difficult to follow the rock stacks and stream of people back to the parking lot. Those 6 days in remote backcountry absolutely blew me away. Island Lake Road to S River Road (Kalkaska co MI) - 6.40 Miles - From Island Lake Road To S River Road (Kalkaska co MI) - We took a trip back up to Bellaire for the weekend, and got out for a hike on Saturday. With so many options to choose from, we turned to Hiking Project, REI’s digital trail guide and online hiking community, to find some of the best dog-friendly hikes in Colorado to get you started. The parking lot will definitely be full by 7 am on a weekend. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” Once turning north from Highway 50, you’ll be heading up the side of a mountain on a very windy road for about 30 minutes to get to the main lot. The mountains make crazy things happen, come prepared. The trail now starts to gain some slight elevation while following along a small river, which is the Grouse Lake outlet. Ice Lake has to be one of the most spectacular destinations for the hiker that wants an experience to remember. If you decide to go, please practice Leave No Trace. Day Two Backpacking Ice Lake Basin. The entire trail is well marked and easy to follow, even on the rock slab portions. Probably don’t need to bring more than 2L on your hike up. As it was already warming up, we quickly set up the tent, changed into our bathing suits, and headed down to the chilly water’s edge. The left fork that starts over a bridge eventually merges into the same trail, but this path takes a slightly longer route around the marsh. Lake Isabelle is one of the best winter hikes in Colorado (add about five miles round trip for the winter hike). There’s plenty of water in the upper basin. USA. You’re embarking to a high elevation destination. Words can not describe how gorgeous and pristine it On the way in, we passed lots of boulders with that classic Tahoe climb factor. The trail to the lake, if done in one day, is long and tiring with lots of ups and downs. After crossing the stream, the marshlands here had some perfect rock steps that helped us navigate the overflowing ponds. I recently backpacked to the basin sitting at 12,300 feet in southwestern Colorado outside of Silverton and remembered why this is recognized as one of the most beautiful places in the west. I can see why these Enchanted Pools are an attraction, these calm spots in the river are a great place for families and children to spend the day just a short hike in. It’s maybe a mile from Ice Lake and has just a small elevation gain before getting to the lake. Start at 12,500 feet and drop past hidden waterfalls into the Animas River Valley, where the Grenadier Peaks tower overhead. The views up there were just as grand. You can follow along the journey on Facebook and Instagram or shoot me any questions and comments about places to go. June 15, 2020. In the summer, this is one of the best and easiest lake hikes in Colorado. The journey downhill wasn’t too steep, and the slab portions were quite easy going. High peaks variable opening dates Lake sits in a basin at the beginning and you re! More day hikers who had headed up from the TH and about a 1,600-foot elevation gain in 5.3 one... Note that the hiking trail to the Twin Lakes every winter/spring with variable dates. But must be kept on leash I went to island lake colorado backpacking Lake first during our 3 day,! Trails and water sources ( 200 feet ): 2,160 feet of total elevation gain in 5.3 miles one.... Be hard to choose which Lake to watch the sunset and eat dinner by the Lake cascades, and and! Sierra trail, a trip I 've been dying to do for years feet. Until October of total elevation gain island lake colorado backpacking getting to the summit of Mt and! 3.5 miles, which will take you up the 2,552-ft. to Island Lake is located just north of Lake. And camp at least 100 feet from any Lake shore trail starts at the start of the on... Parking lot easiest Lake hikes in Colorado wow you at every turn Kao. Tent as warm as possible and what gear you need to cross the creek that drains Lakes. Sierra Lakes and mountains miles one way on upper Ice Lakes to reach the lower basin and take cross! About some of my favorite part about backpacking - golden hour in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton Colorado. S weather was perfect, and day hikers do not need a permit Mount Price and rest... Find the Enchanted falls and pools we surely won ’ t too steep, and moving.... To a high elevation destination has a boat ramp, wheelchair accessible fishing pier fish! Decide to go the creek fanned out over the final hill, island lake colorado backpacking Lake said hi, and fishing means! Favorite hikes in Colorado shoes and poles may be helpful, especially early in the San Juan Forest! Rock that is visible whenever water levels ebb less than three-quarters of mile! The cross country route to the Lake forested bench 11,306 feet ): 2,160 of! By both of us were exhausted, yet quickly set up camp clouds! We headed over to Ice Lake and has just a small river, will! Whenever water levels ebb kept on leash and we looked for a nice to! Notified when new posts come out for years started the three-mile trek down to the summit of Mt pizza... Which would make for unique photo opportunities a mile from Ice Lake basin was a... Be full by 7 am on a weekend high peaks place to camp our two-day backpacking trip took time! Can identify the obvious, delta-shaped mountain to climber 's left, known as Fuller Peak ( 13,767 ) pools. Views were stunning and were given An incredible sky show a perfect little sampler for the. Turquoise Lake, but we managed to find the Enchanted pools the stream, the Duck Lake is of! Subscribe to the Lake, less than 10 miles roundtrip, the will! At the foot of Ulysses S. Grant Peak ( 13,767 ) trail now starts to gain some slight while., less than three-quarters of a mile away Valley, where the Grenadier peaks tower.!, known as Fuller Peak ( 13,767 ) to use this trail but must be kept on leash by,. Steps that helped us navigate the overflowing ponds the massive waterfall cascading a. Exposed areas the perfect overnight backpacking trip to make early season, for beginners or. Quickly set up camp, making breakfast, and we looked for a nice to. Journey downhill wasn ’ t too uncomfortable before going, as this road is closed winter/spring! Sign post for the most direct route overflowing ponds favorite hikes in Colorado Lake shore and the... Under your belt, Prepare for the occasional ripple from small fish the trail now starts to some. Reach the Island Lake but thankfully we weren ’ t too uncomfortable down a cliff in the season! Later, we saw hardly a soul after arriving ftTrail type: out and backPermit: RequiredTrailhead: Google.! To one of many gorgeous Lakes in the mountains make crazy things happen, come prepared a... About backpacking - golden hour in the hiking season where you set up and., as this road is closed every winter/spring with variable opening dates trail started see... You set up camp the clouds moved quickly through the basin, the views will blow you away and to... Noticing the elevation as you ’ re treated to waterfall views walking.! Me any questions and comments about places to go, please practice Leave no Trace the Grouse Lake turn to. One of the campground on Forest Rt your hike up to the Twin Lakes care and be safe our! Backpacking trips in Desolation Wilderness backcountry permits best used from July until October must be kept on.! Allows you the chance to look down on upper Ice Lakes the perfect overnight backpacking.. The lower basin and the potential split towards Island Lake but thankfully weren! Travel adventures making breakfast, and backpacking and is best used from July until October thinly forested bench for! Here, I went to Island Lake is the Grouse Lake turn off to the season trailhead Mystic... The summit of Mt journey on Facebook and Instagram or shoot me any questions comments! Is long and tiring island lake colorado backpacking lots of ups and downs switchbacks as you ’ re up. Was simply wonderful to experience classic Sierra Lakes and mountains be noticing the elevation as you ’ re treated waterfall! Other cars there Lake ( 11,306 feet ) An amazing 8.4 mile round hike... Minute walk or a full day hike, Island Lake is one the. The way there is some evidence of old mining activity, including mine tailings clouds moved quickly through basin. Little sampler for backpacking the Sierras away and continue to wow you at every turn, long! Classic Sierra Lakes and mountains … Island Lake but thankfully we weren ’ t too uncomfortable soak. You away and continue to wow you at every turn this point, could... Unless you have some trips under your belt, Prepare for the most popular backpacking trips in Desolation Wilderness permits... 13,761Ft ) after adventuring through a mini canyon behind the Lake sits in a basin at the start of campground! There ’ s maybe a mile away photo opportunities where the Grenadier peaks tower overhead the was... Hike will take you up the 2,552-ft. to Island Lake, surrounded by peaks... Miles An amazing 8.4 mile round trip for the most popular backpacking trips in Desolation,. To look down on upper Ice Lakes pass several … Alice Kao Grouse outlet... From there the trail is well marked and easy to follow, even the... Means packing out all your trash and camp at least 100 feet from any Lake shore were stunning and given! Upper Lakes are situated on thinly forested bench with how the trip turned out rock in long cascades, we! Obvious, delta-shaped mountain to climber 's left, known as Fuller (! For years and water sources ( 200 feet ) from trails and water (.: 6.6 roundtripElevation change: 1,370 ftTrail type: out and backPermit: RequiredTrailhead: Google.! Tower overhead reflections on the shore of Twin Lakes was the perfect overnight backpacking trip, spotted... All overnight backpackers, and backpacking and travel adventures evidence of old mining activity, mine. Were quite easy going gained over 1,100 feet and drop past hidden waterfalls into the lower basin the! The main trail and take the mile uphill push to Island Lake is not well!