Hiked on 10/15. Great, easy trail. If your not there early plan on parking in the main day use area adding An extra 1-1.5mi each way to your hike. Some wet/slushy snow areas but nothing a good pair of boots can't handle. -we did not need traction. Stunning views of surrounding 13ers! *note* lakes Isabelle is drained 80% every July so the lake is very very low, still pretty none the less.
Wonderful hike with great views. We got there at 8:30 and Long Lake parking lot was full, so we went down and parked in the small Niwot lot on the SW side of Branaird lake. It adds probably 1 mile on to the hike from Long Lake parking lot, but still probably knocks 3/4 mile off of the day-use lot.
If you understandably thought it couldn't get more beautiful than what you were looking at at the bottom in front of Branaird Lake, then enjoy knowing that it does. The hike to Lake Isabelle is about 3.5 miles, but pretty easy. That would be a great hike in itself and Lake Isabelle is gorgeous.
From there you can make a decision on whether you want to continue your hike up to Isabelle Glacier. The last 1.5 miles up to the glacier is much harder than your hike up to the lake. It has just as much elevation gain as the first 3.5 miles, and it gets rocky. It can be hard to follow the trail, especially with the snow in October. It essentially doubled the time of our hike. The views are great though, so if you have the time and the energy, definitely continue.
A little busy but not awful. The trail and area was a feast of views, scented air and water. Not challenging particularly except many section were strewn with rocks. Numerous ways to go to Lake Isabelle so although its out and back you can see different things by coming out a different way. Highly recommend this trail.
This hike is worth while but has a few draw backs. The "trail" is almost exclusively a loose rock logging road with only minimal areas of dirt trail. This trail is VERY busy. So much so that there is a shuttle bus for when parking is bad, 2 outhouses, and a friendly ranger writing parking tickets. Lost lake itself is pretty but not the most beautiful of mountain lakes. The changing of the leaves made this hike better than it would have otherwise been, but still worth while.