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good exercise

This trail is gorggggg. We went during the week so didn’t have an issue with parking. I typically try not to repeat hikes since there are so many trails to be traveled in CO, but I’d totally do this again with visitors. It’s an easy hike and it’s beautiful the whole way to the lake. The lake itself was, as my visitor said, “the exact scene I wanted at the end of the trail.”

Great scenery. Easy route. Lots of people with lots of dogs. Very limited parking at trailhead, be prepared to start your hike from a remote parking lot.

Absolutely stunning. Even though wild flowers had already peaked, this trail is breathtaking.

I thought this was an alright hike. I’ve been earlier in the summer (June) and it was a beautiful walk in though we didn’t make it to the lake due to snow. Beautiful snow capped mountains and roaring waterfalls. Went again mid August and wasn’t nearly as beautiful walk in and the lake was nice but I’ve seen much more beautiful ones in Colorado. Probably best times are June and July and then fall which I assume will start in September/October.

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

nice quick hike up to the lake, not too challenging. awesome views at the top with a second lake if you continue which we didn't have time to do. the road up to the trailhead is very rocky so be careful driving. highly recommend.

hiking
3 days ago

UPDATED: The hike from Echo Lake to Idaho Springs Reservoir was beautiful, and only moderately challenging. Rocky, rooty and some elevation. We hiked to Idaho Springs Reservoir to fly fish Chicago Creek as it enters, but there was not much access and the creek was very small, so not worth the hike. We did catch a few small trout in the actual reservoir while we were out there, but overall, we won't be heading that way to fish again. If you are going to fish the reservoir, I'd recommend a spin rod to go after fish farther out in the lake.

hiking
4 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.

Gorgeous area. If going on the weekend, get there early, parking lot does fill up, and area from echo lake to the Idaho Springs reservoir can get quite busy. Well shaded, good distance, pretty lakes, creek, and reservoir. Also dog friendly, expect to see a few. Highly recommend this hike!

hiking
5 days ago

a beautiful hike

beautiful, moderate hike, very crowded on the weekends. recommend arriving at trailhead before 730am. diamond lake has plenty of space for the masses but is busy by 930am. recommended!

hiking
6 days ago

I started this hike at 7:30 a.m. (second car in the otherwise empty parking lot) on a Monday and returned somewhere between 1:15-1:30 p.m. This hike was definitely challenging for me as a flatlander and I had to stop to take breaks quite often. I also spent quite a long time up at the lake *maybe 45 minutes or longer) and took another longer break during my return at the reservoir to soak my feet before making the final uphill climb. I think this hike is moderate for people who live at altitude and hike regularly, or who are otherwise very fit. If you're not much of a fitness enthusiast and don't workout very often, this is going to be a very challenging hike. If you're fit-ish to average on physical activity, this hike is challenging.

It really surprised me to see so many folks without adequate hydration and starting later. Do yourself a favor and start by 7:30 a.m. because there isn't much shade after you get passed 10:30 a.m. All of the regular rules apply: bring sunscreen and reapply once you're up at the lake, wear a hat and sunglasses, bring more water than you think necessary, and pack loads of snacks. I brought 64 ounces of water and drank about 3/4 of it. Didn't encounter too many bugs other than curious bees at the lake. The only wildlife I encountered were birds (saw an eagle at Echo Lake first thing) and chiding squirrels. Trail rules indicate dogs are required to be leashed but most were off-leash - doesn't bother me but it's something to consider if you don't like dogs.

Some additional navigation tips:
-Once you complete the initial descent and get closer to the water, look out for the primitive log bridge to cross
-Exiting the woods, take a left to follow the access road for about a mile; if you're early in the day, you'll pass the Idaho Springs Reservoir and see trout jumping out of the water to feed.
-Follow the access road past the cabins; the trailhead will be ahead on your right with a no-fee permit station. Fill out your permit and take the trail immediately in front of you, not the unmarked trial to your right.
-You'll pass a second sign indicating that you're entering the Mt. Evans Wilderness; don't worry, you're on the right trail.
-I tried finding the trail to the upper lake and was unsuccessful. I ended up following some of the unmarked trails that go around the lake and wound up in a boggy area just before the lake. Maybe avoid that and do more research on picking up the trail to the upper lake than I did.

hiking
6 days ago

Great hike! Definitely not too difficult... fairly trafficked on the weekend as of you approach the Lake. Lots of fun waterfalls and little features along the way.... If you’re doing this on a weekend definitely make it to the trail head by 7-7:15AM or you’ll be in a jam to find parking! We made it at 8 and parked about a half mile down!

on Lake Isabelle Trail

hiking
7 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.

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike! It took us about 4 hours, not including the 20 or so minutes we spend at the top. Great views and plenty of places where the dogs can drink water from streams and lakes.

Amazing hike. Not that hard at all. Saw big horn sheep, mountain goats, and lots of marmots. Spectacular views

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
10 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.

Nice hike, relatively easy with lots of flatter areas. The reservoir and Chicago lakes themselves are pretty. Relatively quiet on a Thursday am. Took me 4 hours rt

hiking
11 days ago

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

This hike took us just under 7 hours. You’ll be going downhill at the start of the hike so be prepared to go uphill at the end. We ended recording about 11 miles going to the upper lake then back to the parking lot. It was a beautiful hike and I’d definitely do it again.

Beautiful. Well-marked hike.

This was a nice, moderate hike. We had to park a ways up the road because there were so many cars.
We saw plenty of people on the trail, but many were backpacking, so the parking situation made it seem worse than it really was. The first mile or so is shared with the trail to Arapaho Glacier and shortly after the split is a lovely waterfall. We hiked up the waterfall area near the lake as well, and I'm bummed because we didn't realize there were more lakes! We didn't explore as much as we should have.

hiking
13 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!

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.

Views are excellent. Don’t stop at the lower diamond lake. Keep hiking and you will find middle diamond lake and upper diamond lake. Beautiful!

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.

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