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so beautiful at the top. highly highly recommend. get there as early as possible for parking.

Nice hike with not too many people on a Friday in summer, but be aware that Jasper Lake (a reservoir) gets drained this time of year (like Lake Isabelle up in Brainard Lake Rec Area). We found a nearly empty lake when we arrived, but had planned on continuing to Devil's Thumb Lake anyway, which was quite nice.

The hike, while a little long, is pretty moderate throughout with a bit of rockiness in many areas, so watch your footing. It is in and out of the trees, so a good mix of sun and shade, and no issues with exposure/dropoffs.

Overall, I recorded round-trip stats of 13 mi/2,600' elevation gain from the 2WD TH to the end of Devil's Thumb Lake.

backpacking
1 day ago

trail is not easy by any means but easier than your average 14er (just to give a comparison idea on the steepness). it's mostly uphill the whole way but does drop off a bit here and there for a break. be warned, to get to the campsite is almost an extra mile so the route round trip is more like 12 miles instead of 10. camping by the lake is phenomenal but be sure to bring bug spray! also keep in mind that the camping area is almost at 1200 feet so it is colder up there than expected. Our second day we had some beautiful fog and saw a moose! I was carrying about 35 lb. and others in my group were carrying about 50 lb. and we made the trip in a little under 5 hours. with a bit of preparation and knowledge of the difficulty, it is a great hike!

My girlfriend and I hike to Jasper's lake 5/25-5/27. We intended to do the whole loop but there was to much snow. Snow made it a little miserable but also fun. At some point there wasn't a trail just branching paths of foot prints. We got lost two or three times but nothing a little back tracking couldn't solve in a few minutes.

The hike to Jasper's was gorgeous. Will probably hike the whole loop at some point but when it's warmer for sure.

This was a beautiful hike. My wife and I did it in about a day and a half. We hiked it counter-clockwise, starting from Hessie. We left our car at 12:30, and camped at Devils Thumb lake that night, arriving around 6:30. The next morning we were on the trail at 6:30,and back to the car at 2:30.

As some others have said, I felt that the north half was the prettiest, but the whole thing is great. Also, aside from right near Kings Lake, and the first mile of the trail, we didn't see too many people.

I would definitely do it again. And splitting it up the way we did was nice, because we didn't have to do the whole climb up to the continental divide in one day.

hiking
3 days ago

Couldn't have asked for a better hike today. The weather was beautiful, we had to park at the Brainard Lake Lot after getting there at 9am. It wasn't nearly as crowded as I had expected
Everyone we did come across was super nice and very quiet. If someone can tell me of a place that is this easy of a hike and even more beautiful please let me know. I'm not sure there is a place.

hiking
5 days ago

Hiked it on a weekend and was not very crowded. We parked just past the point where the stream crossed the road and the hike was 7.5 miles round trip (from car to the lake and back). Very pretty hike, very challenging. Would recommend it.

Excellent hike. Upper Ice Lake Basin is just stunning. Wildflowers are past their peak, but still very pretty. Went on from Ice Lake to Island Lake, which was worth the extra effort, though not quite as beautiful as Ice Lake.

on Lake Isabelle Trail

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful BUT: The Lake is now drained. There's only little water left. no more waterfall, and compared to a month ago most of the wildflowers are now gone.
Still a nice walk/hike, would suggest going later in the day as it gets crowded in the morning.

Beautiful views: mountain-backed lakes, harsh ridge lines, and wildflowers. Well-marked trail.

We hiked clockwise, three days, two nights -camped at Bettie Lake and Devil’s Thumb Lake, felt alone at both. Jasper Lake looked like a popular camping spot, and there was a site by the stream right before the off-shoot to Bob and Bettie Lakes if you don’t want to leave the loop. We were skinny-dipping at Devil’s Thumb and realized there was a lone fisherman across the lake getting a great show, haha, but otherwise, camping was very peaceful.

I was thankful for layers because it was really hot during the day, but surprisingly cold as soon as the sun dipped. We made Nalgene hot water bottles to supplement our 20* sleeping bags.

We hiked mid-week (Aug 8-10) and saw more hikers and trail-runners than backpackers. Some people struggling, but then also an older couple of women crushing it, and a Dad with two young kids. I’m a beginner with a heavy pack and ended each day smiling.

Brought my 35lb pup - she wore off her front pads chasing marmot in the rocks... which wouldn’t have been a problem if I had kept her on leash. She loved it. Didn’t see many (any?) dogs out towards the peak, but lots at the trailhead. Leash definitely required for the first bit.

Elevation is no joke, but plenty of places to refill water, so keep drinking!!

Side note: we stopped in Ned on the way home and ate at the Thai restaurant - killer $10 lunch deal!

Arrived at 5:15 am on Saturday and there were a lot of cars parked on the side of the road but still plenty of space. People can't seem to agree on which way to go- I decided to go counterclockwise and I'm very glad I did.

I have been up to Jasper Lake a couple of times but this is the first time I tried the loop. In my opinion the north side of the loop is more scenic. It's best to do it in the morning when the lighting is better and you still have energy. Also I like steep inclines more than steep declines as they're more exciting and less stressful on the knees. Saw a bull moose about halfway up to Jasper Lake. That was pretty terrifying as he was only 25 yards or so off of the trail hidden behind some trees. I snapped a quick picture and got out of there.

The trail is pretty easy. The distance is the hard part. I was feeling pretty haggard on the last 3-4 miles. Got back to the parking lot a little before 3PM. I probably could of finished at 2 if I hadn't of taken so many pictures.

Overall an awesome hike! My favorite one so far

Great little hike. Got there at 830 ish and had to park further away.

Beautiful stream and gorgeous lake

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5), had hiking child carriers.

I’m honestly hesitant to give this a review because of how good it is. This is a hidden gem (from tourism) and perfect alternative to the emerald lake, dream lake, lily lake, etc. It’s also not only easy, but a great duration. I suggest an evening hike for the sunset at Lake Isabelle, absolutely incredible. Check weather though for any afternoon hikes, always.

hiking
8 days ago

This trail was gorgeous but we went on a Wednesday and it was extremely busy. It was a pretty easy trail for an amazing view.

hiking
10 days ago

Best hike in Colorado! Beautiful views and an easy hike without a lot of elevation gain

Beautiful. Well-marked hike.

hiking
12 days ago

BEAUTIFUL! Really easy hike and great for dogs, took mine and he had an easy time going on the trail

Highly recommended views were amazing. The trail is very well maintained. So beautiful!

Great Hike , close to Denver .
loved hiking next to creek all throughout the time.

great cascades, beaver ponds, flowers, birds, meadows

Lake Isabelle did not disappoint, we saw a moose! Hike is mostly easy- towards the end I might describe as moderate. Take extra water- the altitude bothered me a bit. I also think that from 10am onwards some of the early birds are leaving because several parking spots opened up.

This is such a beautiful hike. Definitely one of my favorites in Colorado so far. I recommend going early as the parking lots fill quickly.

hiking
13 days ago

As an avid hiker, I have to admit that I had my doubts when reading reviews that said “best or one of the best hikes”. However, I have to agree. This hike is amazing and perfect for the whole family. We got there fairly early (6:30ish), but parking at trailhead was already full so we had to park at Brainard Lake, which was also filling up quickly. But the little distance it adds is no big deal. Lots of beautiful wildflowers, gorgeous views, waterfalls, marmots and we saw 2 big bull moose at the first lake you pass. The only negative about this hike is the popularity of it; if I’ll do it again, I would make sure to be there earlier. (On a side note, if you own a National Park Pass, bring it. Mine was safely at home, because I thought it was $11 cash only)

It is beautiful up there today! We got to the full parking lot at 7:30, we stayed and waited for good half hour to park and it was rainy so waiting in the car was no big deal. The sun came out about 8:30 and it was glorious! This hike is easy and fun. You can’t beat the scenery! I would do it again!

Well worth the trip from ice lake, a little challenging but worth it and fun!!

This hike has ton to see, moose, open meadows, snow melt streams and killer views. It ramps up in elevation from mile 2 to 3, and once you are above tree line the last mile to the top is steep but worth it. The Thumb is kind of an optical illusion, you will see what I mean when you get there.

hiking
17 days ago

This is one of my most favorite hikes, ever. Once you get to Ice Lake (amazing), Island Lake is a short but very steep journey over the ridge. The trail to Ice Lake is pretty straightforward (and steep) but to Island Lake there is some scrambling. It was extremely windy and quite cold in the basin around both lakes, even though the rest of the trail was warm.

AllTrails says "moderate" but I would rate this as difficult, ESPECIALLY if you are from lower elevations.

I started at 8am on Wednesday in August and had the trail almost to myself. While I enjoyed the view from the top, hordes of people were on their way up. This trail is popular for good reason.

Nice hike/run/equestrian trail with a variety of moderate work (some stiff elevation gain in the sun) with a variety of terrain, vegetation, and water features. Between the beetle kill and blow down, forest looks stressed. Friends of Mountain Evan and Lost Creek Wilderness are working hard to ensure all trails are open without having to scramble over downed trees. Long drive in, but close enough for a fine day hike in the Denver Metro region. Plenty of elk in this area if your timing is good. Recommend an early start as parking is limited.

hiking
17 days ago

Our favorite family hike in Colorado... Isabelle has everything, from the verdant lake at the beginning and end, the gentle climbing with boulders and a rushing creek for taking breaks, waterfalls, bridges, and a serious climb just before Lake Isabelle, where you can stop for snacks while looking at Isabelle Glacier. Not great for anyone with bad knees, but awesome for families with kids of all ages and dogs, too. We saw several backpackers who had been camping at the glacier and they said the entire trail was now passable. We all agreed this is a “moderate” difficulty trail, but so worth it.

As a Colorado native and avid hiker, I can honestly say this is the best hike I’ve ever been on! Had to park at Brainard lake (lake Isabelle parking lot is small and fills up quickly) but was not a problem at all. It only added a mile or two to the entire hike. Most hikes are pretty with a nice view at the end, but this was absolutely breathtaking every step of the way. I’ve never seen so many wildflowers in one place before. Also, I’d rate this as moderate, not easy, due to some incline/rocky areas. I’ll be back again!!

nature trips
19 days ago

Easy terrain. Beautiful hike with lots of options from short to long hike. Parking is tough. Parked at Brainard Lake and took Niwot to lakes. Marshy/wet at times. $11 entry fee

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