Explore Colorado - 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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hiking
3 days ago

We did this trail last December. Ended up being about 13 miles round trip from where we had to park, but totally worth it. Gorgeous in the summer, but if you can brave it and don't mind the wind, do this in December-March. The snow makes the hike a good bit harder, but provides an unbelievable view once you reach the lake. Doing this again on 09/23 with the doggos this time!!

awesome! tough in the winter in March. lots of ice and snow. can't wait to do in summer again.

Arrived 7:15am on a Monday in September. Only 3-4 other cars in the lot and saw no one else on the trail until we hit Isabelle. Water level is low (drained)but it was still a worthwhile hike and there’s still a decent amount of water left. A lot more foot traffic heading up to the lake when we were heading out. Back at the parking lot at 10:30am and lot was full with cars circling to find a spot. Easy hike-the elevation gain comes right before the lake.

Such a beautiful and fun hike! So many water features on the way up and beautiful foliage. Love every mile!

hiking
6 days ago

Great hike - semi quiet going up around 8:30am - lots of good flat parts with few rocky areas. Good forest, mountain and lake views. Parking near trailhead was full so parked at the Brainard Lake lot (past the pay area) so overall mileage out and back was closer to 7.3-7.5 miles.

Fantastic hike with gorgeous pay off. beautiful the whole way.

Beautiful, scenic trail! After parking and walking around the lake, it came to 7.3 miles on my Apple Watch. Very busy trail.

Very challenging but rewarding with views. My wife and I saw 2 cows and one calf moose.

hiking
11 days ago

This is an absolutely beautiful trail. Lake Isabelle was really low, but it didn't matter at all. It felt like we were on a movie set. It was a great, easy hike. Definitely go during the week. We had no issues parking or with overcrowding. Coming from Texas, the heat doesn't bother us. We got there around 3P. It's very shaded so the sun wasn't an issue.

incredible views from the summit if you manage to stay on the trail

hiking
12 days ago

This hike was ok, not my favorite. The entire hike is in dense dry pine forest, I guess I prefer more lush scenery. And the only panoramic view is at the summit, and you still have to scramble to the top of the highest pile of boulders to see it. The last mile to the summit is also very steep and rocky, hard on the knees. I don’t recommend it for kids. I hiked it in September and was hoping for some views of the changing aspens, there were a few trees along the trail that had changed but other then that not good for aspen viewing.

Great views and some challenging terrain! Super packed. Get here early or you'll add about two miles to your trek because the upper lot is usually full and you have to hike another mile to the trail head. Overall a nice easy/ moderate trail.

hiking
13 days ago

I thought the crowds would thin after Labor Day. I was wrong. This is a beautiful hike just be prepared to fight the hoards. We had to park up the road which added two miles to the hike and kept us from going all the way to the glacier. Despite the crowds the views are spectacular. Fairly easy hike with only a couple of steep spots. Lots of water throughout. This is a great one if you don't mind all the people.

Nice, easy trail, and great scenery.

Loved this hike. It was tough but well worth the views when getting to meadow mountain. ♥️

hiking
17 days ago

This is a truly beautiful hike, but absolutely mobbed. Get there as early as you can stand it -- we arrived by 7am and the parking lot was already completely full, we had to walk up from Mitchell Trailhead. By the time we were heading back around lunch, it was a madhouse. My advice is to get started around 5:30-6am, bring a nice picnic breakfast to enjoy at the lake, and then head back before things get too crazy. Even with the people, though, it's absolutely worth it --- completely breathtaking scenery.

hiking
19 days ago

Arrived around 10:30am... had to wait about 20min to get through park gates. Admission is $11.00 (cash)... Parked in Brainard Lake overflow parking. *Note: This adds 1 mile to your hike. Take trail/road to right of lake. There are signs to Mitchell Lake... follow to upper parking lot area. From there... follow signs to lake isabelle glacier for 2 miles to lake. Overall, great mix of trees, meadows, and minimum incline. Totally worth it.

Arrived at 10:30 AM on Sun (Labor Day weekend), waited in the car 45-60 mins to get in. Staff were patient and friendly. They walked up to cars to complete the payment before driving up ($11 cash or check). Parked at Mitchell Trailhead lot- heard there was a moose sighting on this trail (late morning!) You may follow signs to Long Lake Trailhead (you'll pass this lot). People and dogs on this trail were very friendly. Stopped many times to take in the views from Long Lake to Lake Isabelle. Lake Isabelle still has water today! The area just before the Lake is empty though so it seems this may be empty soon. Bring plenty of water and layers as the predicted weather was 100% wrong. My dog is 17lbs and did this entire hike no problem.

This was my first hiking experience since moving to Colorado, and I can say with confidence you will not be disappointed! The cool thing about this trail is that you not only get to see Lake Isabelle, but you pass by Long Lake on the way! There is a cute little wooden bridge towards the beginning of the trail that offers a beautiful view of Long Lake and the creek. Don't forget to bring layers! It was very windy by Lake Isabelle despite the warmer weather at the start of the trailhead. I even got to see a moose as I was driving to the parking lot (it was about a mile away from the parking lot, just eating and minding it's own business!) I highly recommend this trail!

Hard hike but worth the view!!

hiking
24 days ago

Arrived around 8:00 AM on a Friday. We got the last spot in the parking lot. Great hike for out of town company - easy enough and beautiful views. There was very little elevation gain until the last part.

on Lake Isabelle Trail

25 days ago

Monday on this trail was highly trafficked, but worth the views! Got there at 10am and had to start at Mitchell lake trailhead which added 3/4 mile both ways but there are new trails so you don’t have to take the road!

Lone Pine Lake was worth the trek. The hike took us 5.5 hours plus 30 min relaxing on the mini island in the lake. Definitely gets your heart pumping on the way there.

hiking
27 days ago

I bet there aren’t a half dozen hikes this visually
stunning in all of Colorado.

For a Saturday in the summer, the trail didn’t feel crowded at all above Lake Isabel. We arrived at 630 am and Long Lake TH had one final parking spot.

Gaining 2100 or so over 4.5 miles sounds more like a moderate hike, rather than hard. But then you do it. Because so much of the vertical is in that last 1.5 miles to the pass, it’s a lung buster to the finish. The terrain is rocky but completely non-technical or more complicated than a few talus crossings. That being said, I was glad to have trekking poles for the descent.

hiking
28 days ago

More like 12 miles including (pleasant) hike from day use area. You should just plan on that and count yourself lucky if you get a spot at Long Lake trailhead. We arrived 830 on Saturday, but suspect a lot are gone to overnighters.

Busy trail but we'll worth it. Please think about taking leash reactive dogs to other trails! This one is popular and narrow in places. It must be exhausting to have to so actively manage their behavior every few minutes.

Never seen Lake Isabelle so dry! First pond was empty in late August. Main part still had water and was as beautiful as always. Trail past the lake gets significantly tougher both up and down, so allow time.

We got to the trail head early and it was so worth it. Moose were at Brainard lake on the drive in. Wildflowers were very nice and abundant. Went to the glacier also. Even the rocks are colorful. Our dog loved it! Our camera loved it!

Great hike! Easily found the trailhead: forks off of ski road. It was pretty easy until you get to the tundra and summit the peak. Definitely felt longer than 8 miles. The views are amazing and the trail is very well kept thanks to Ranger Jessica!! Beautiful.

Beautiful scenery and a pretty easy hike!

Beautiful area of Colorado and worth a trip! I recommend backpacking to truly experience it but you could definitely do a day hike (leave early in the AM!). We did 3 days/2 nights and it took about 4.5 hours up (total) and 3.5 hours back with our heavy packs. Our first night camping was in the Cascade zone and second night was in the Crater Lake zone. There's 12 designated backpacking sites in Crater Lake zone - 3 of them about half a mile below the lakes, 2 at Mirror Lake, and the remaining 7 at Crater Lake. Unfortunately we were hit with pouring rain for most of our visit, which isn't particularly fun when you're backpacking (we were damp and a little grumpy on the way back). We plan to come back to take more advantage of the area with better visibility and less rain-soaked gear :)

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