Lake Isabelle Trail is a 4.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Nederland, CO that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
$10 entrance fee, cash only.
this is one of the most beautiful hikes we've been on since moving to Colorado. elevation gains are minimal, so you won't hate your life while you're going there like other nearby trails
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.
Hiked through the snow, was windy but still turned out to be a gorgeous day. Make sure you have waterproof hiking shoes , some creeks and falls are covered with snow and my kids stopped right in it.
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.
Stellar ! Short, easy hike with amazing scenery. You can keep going another 2 miles up to Pawnee Pass if you wish
Mostly flat, amazing views throughout the hike. This was a beautiful fall hike. This is also where my fiancé proposed so I truly loved this place.
Lovely hike and great views. With the exceptions of the parking lot, it was not too crowded.
This is a gorgeous and very easy trail. I clocked it at 4.88 miles round trip. It is a gradual incline, and the last 1/2 mile gets a bit steep but the hike up to Lake Isabelle is worth it. It will give you the feeling of the rugged outdoors and being lost in the woods without having to go to far from Denver and surrounding areas. I did this today on a drizzly cloudy and overcast Autumn day, the wind was blowing hard and cold, the lake was low but gorgeous for the time of year. You can see the scars left on the mountain near the lake from glacier. Very amazing sight of mother nature doing her best work.
What a stunning hike! I absolutely loved this!!
I got in from LA yesterday and planned to come up here with friends this morning to have a change of scenery. I got into the parking lot right at 7am and scored the 2nd to last parking spot in the lot. It does fill up fast. My friends had to park at the lot next door.
Scenic the entire time. I was in such awe as I'm used to smoggy LA but the weather was clear and perfect aside from some strong wind gusts.
I consider the hike easy. But will note the few switchbacks there are as you are getting closer can be rocky and narrow. You will be climbing rocks here and there and walking over waterfalls via wood panels. Which I thought was cool.
Gorgeous and scenic climb!
One of the most beautiful trails I've been on!
this trail is awesome. incredible views the whole way up and back!
No waterfall 2.5 miles in. We couldn't make it any further due to moose by the trail. That was pretty cool and scary. Glad we abided by the safety rule of dogs on leashes to avoid the running up to the moose!
Beautiful trail, but we had to head back before we hit the lake... It was drizzling the whole time and then we headed back due to hail.
HEADS UP: a ranger let us know the lake is drained 80% the end of each August because it's owned by surrounding properties; a water supply thing
And $10 day pass! Bring cash!!
This was a GORGEOUS hike. It states it's 4 miles on the app, however the way the rangers made us park, we had to start at Brainer Lake, then passed Long Lake then got to the trailhead of Isabelle Lake. In total, it was 7 miles. We were pretty exhausted afterwards, but mind you we were planning for a 4 mile hike. Well worth the extra miles. The two other lakes are amazing as well.
We were told by another hiker that Isabelle becomes dry this time of year, there wasn't much water left. It is best in July from what we were told.
I am giving this 4/5 stars because it was extremely breathtaking. We would definitely do it again, however I would say this is a "harder" easy trail because of the large jumps and steps needed to be taken on some rocks.
Also, if you park at Brainer Lake, you can use a national park pass for parking. Great for dogs!