off road driving
This is one of my favorite hikes. Recommend doing this hike in June or July in order to see the endless sea of spectacular wildflowers. As with all hikes or backpacking be prepared for sudden shifts in weather. The first time we packed this one it rained 14 hours straight.
I took me 1 hour to get from the parking lot to ice Lake my 1st time there jogging and power walking and 50 mins from ice lake to island lake and back down, got it on my sports tracker, Beast Mode, so freaking unreal, so lucky to do it after work and live so close enough to it, for sure will be doing it more.
My group hiked this in September. They also said the trailhead sign stating total miles was lower than it seemed. It was a difficult hike and there was a spot that was very steep and was at a high elevation which made it feel strenuous. Of course, very beautiful!
Windom peak was my first 14er. We rode the train from Silverton to the trailhead. Buy tickets in advance! Small town but free parking unlike Durango. Hiked to base camp - lots of sites but it can be crowded for a reason. So beautiful with many waterfalls and accessible water along the way. I carried 2 liters but could've gotten away with 1 bottle. We summitted Windom and saw how crazy the others looked so we went back to base camp in the rain and took a rest day the next day. Met amazing people and followed the creek for photography shots. The day after that we hiked out. The elevation is what makes this so hard. That and all the rocks you have to rock climb so put away those hiking sticks when you get past Twin Lakes. It was chilly at night dropping below 30 but we had enough gear and food. Lots of deer. Strangely we didn't see any mountain goats but heard they are normally so persistent that you have to pee on rocks and pack out #2 & all TP in bags that they give for free at the register box.
We hiked out to Highland Mary Lakes on Saturday -such a beautiful hike! The next morning we went out to fish verde lake and caught several fish. We also passed lots of fisherman coming from that lake. We almost lost the trail coming from the lake but after some backtracking, we realized you had to follow the posts. After leaving the lake there were some incredible views! My favorite part of the trip. After you loop around and towards the end it is a pretty steep decline. I'm glad that we hiked down it instead of up it, but still very hard on the joints!
Went in August and the trail was in good shape!
Absolutely stunning views. We tracked our hike with our phones and Apple Watch, it was 4 miles from the parking lot to Ice Lake, one way. I'm not sure why the trailhead map says 2.64 miles, but it's not accurate. The last 3/4 mile is the hardest, which is also due to the elevation, but it's really pretty. In my opinion, the views on the hike were better than the lake itself. Overall, great hike, but not for the faint of heart (literally and figuratively)!
After a recommendation by our friend Debra VanWinegarden (see her blogspot) we enjoyed shoulder high wildflowers and gorgeous views. Our time was short so we only hiked to the "bus stop" log and after a quick snack got back to our car just in time before an afternoon storm.