Explore CO Trip - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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backpacking
1 day ago

Lot was full by 10am but we squeezed on the road. We read there wasn’t many backpacking spots - and I found maybe 3, but were too close to water or the trail. We found if you go past (between) the final lakes and keep going (careful, the trails spur and we got turned around), you follow a stream on your right after 1/2 mi to approx 3 sites spread by a few hundred feet. It was a good first backpacking trip for my 7yo. There was plenty of water, moderate temps, and while we saw a bunch of bugs, only really got one or two bites. We encountered a cow moose about 30 feet off the trail about half way up!

I think technically this is in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and you need a permit in summer, but, sorry, it is ridiculous to print a form and mail a $5 check or to go to the office. Let me do it online. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/arp/recarea/?recid=80803

Overall it's not a trail I'd be super excited to get back to or take anyone to, but it was a nice short hike with shade most of the way. The final lakes/ponds are pretty with some views of the surrounding ridges. The lakes are small with quite a few people crowded around fishing or lounging. The first lake you pass is mosquito heaven and pretty yucky.

on Lake Isabelle Trail

hiking
1 day 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.

Very easy beginner trail but so beautiful everyone will want to go. I walked Bear lake trail first then took Alberta Falls Route. A lot of people on weekends.

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.

At over 12,000 feet not everyone would consider the uphill part of the trail easy. The views are spectacular. Of course there are too many people.

hiking
4 days ago

I combined this trail and the Emerald lake trail, for totally about 4 hours. The scenes along the trail are very good. Maybe because the elevation here is too large (~3000m), I was very tired although the trail is not hard.

hiking
4 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.

Hike to Alberta Falls was easy and nicely groomed but heavy foot traffic. Attempted trail to Mills Lake but ran out of time. that trail was equally nice. On way back hiked to Bear Lake (all up hill) but very nice.

hiking
6 days ago

I hiked this both from Bear Lake trailhead and Glacier Gorge trailhead. I preferred entering via Glacier Gorge trail because it was a little more scenic. The difference - hiking from Bear Lake trailhead, you'll descend for quite a while until you begin ascending toward the falls. If you start from Glacier Gorge trailhead, you'll be ascending. This starting point will offer you more cardio.
The walk to the falls is lovely and offers you views that span for miles. Gorgeous. ...but even more gorgeous if you pass the falls and hike to either MIlls Lake or Loch Lake. Trust me, it's worth it. :)
The reason why I'm giving it only 3 stars is for a couple reasons - it's populated with tourists who aren't equipped to hike to the falls. Point being, they're a hazard, so watch out. Secondly, although I thought the falls were lovely and the sound soothing, I thought they'd be grander. If you hike on towards one of the lakes further up the trail, you'll continue to parallel the falls, which is nice because that sound of rushing water accompanies you.

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

Beautiful. Well-marked hike.

Lovely, easy trail. The falls are just beautiful. Can get busy, but there's plenty of room for everyone to move around and enjoy. Keep going up to Loch Lake Trail, it's more challenging and worth the hike.

hiking
8 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.

“Not the size that counts but the motion of the ocean” lmao...ok ok but its perfect for this trail. Super short but alot of motion. Bout an hour drive from denver w construction traffic so bring lunch and enjoy it with the misty roar from the falls.

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
9 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)

my favorite trail

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!

hiking
10 days ago

A little crowded but easy to get through

Barely falls not impressed

hiking
12 days ago

I liked the hike through the aspen forests to get to the falls. Lots of great photo opportunities along the hike to the falls. I bet this would be beautiful in the autumn with all the aspen leaves changing. We were there in July 2018, recommend start your hike early to avoid summer crowds!

hiking
13 days ago

Did this hike with the family. Carried the kiddo most of the way up. The falls are nice, lots of rocks to climb over. As others have said it’s a busy spot but really enjoyable. Hike up farther for fewer people.

hiking
13 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!!

hiking
14 days ago

We picked this for our first RMNP hike as a way to get acclimatized to the 8500 ft elevation. It served its purpose. Relatively flat. Very popular hike. We saw a small crowd gathered watching 2 moose. There may be more wildlife if there were not as many people on the trail. The waterfall was nice. Refreshing to finally sit in the shade for lunch by the waterfall. Otherwise the path does not have much shade. Remember sunscreen, hat and sunglasses.

nature trips
14 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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