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
20 hours ago

I LOVE THIS HIKE! The first time I did it was a few years ago for 4th of July, and unfortunately the lake was iced over, but the plants were in full bloom and so pretty! The second time was this year for labor day and The lake was amazing and there was no snow, however all the plants were dying. I would recommend doing this hike early August to mid August. This hike literally has all four seasons. It was sunny to start and then rained and snowed all in one hike lol. The hike isn't too bad as far as toughness but it will have your heart going. We also hiked to island lake and it was a lot closer than expected, it isn't too far from ice lake. I highly recommend just pushing a little further. There is just so much to see on this hike.
As far a the road getting there it isn't bad, you don't need a 4WD unlike other hikes in this area.

on Ice Lake Basin Trail

scenic driving
1 day ago

Ice Lake Basin and Island Lake are the most beautiful trail in Colorado IMHO.

One of my favorites. This trail is increasingly popular so getting an early start is key if you’re interested in a quieter experience. Catching the sunset from the upper basin is incredible and completely worth it — be bear aware if you are going up ahead of the crowds, and definitely push for Island Lake if you’ve got the time!

You won’t hold the consistent (and, at times a bit brutal, haha) elevation gain against this trail when you see the payoff at the end. The lakes are unbelievably beautiful and the views are insane.

Amazing

favorite lake hike in Colorado

Short easy hike to falls. Nice to have two trail options- main or primitive. Primitive trail is steeper and rockier. Falls were pretty but more of a trickle this time of year. On the flip side, aspen were turning!

hiking
8 days ago

The bluest blue water that blew my mind! Most of the hike was not too bad until the last 45min. Completed the loop rather than out and back.

Challenging but so beautiful! The scenery was incredible - glad I made it to the Colbert blue lake!!

Unreal hike! Took in total 5 hours out and back, we moved at a slower pace. The views from the top are beautiful and the meadows are spectacular.

A must if you are in the area! The lake was unbelievably blue and beautiful! Felt like a straight up and straight down hike with only a very small portion that was flat. Seeing ice lake at the end makes every step you have taken worth it though!

Great views the entire time and will do this hike again when I'm back in Silverton.

backpacking
12 days ago

Extremely difficult but equally rewarding

backpacking
12 days ago

I never been hiking before but, this trail changed me. Greatest trail I’ve done within my two weeks of being in Colorado. It was difficult but, worth it.

hiking
13 days ago

My favorite hike ever! I hiked to Ice Lake for the 3rd time on 7/19/18. The wildflowers were in full bloom and absolutely stunning. We hit the trail at 6am and it took us 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach Ice Lake, including many stops to take photos and catch our breath. The hike is very strenuous but worth every step Don't layer too much because the incline will have you sweating 10 minutes in. Absolutely make time to continue to Island Lake as well.

Great hike with the family! My 3 yr old ran the entire way up and Gma & Gpa were not far behind. Even though it’s short, I’m glad we brought hiking poles for uneven ground and some steeper/slippery areas

I hiked this trail on 7/21/18 and it’s probably one of the prettiest hike I’ve been on.
The weather was perfect at this time of the year but I would suggest to go as early as possible in the morning cause it usually thunderstorms in the afternoon. We got to the lake around 11, and the storm was already brewing so we didn’t get to stay as long as we wanted to. There are also different trails to lakes around the ice lake you could visit. There’s one particular one called island lake I wanted to visit but didn’t get to. Next time, though!

The lake was so so so beautiful. It was so blue. One of the guys jumped in the lake and said it was freezing.

The whole trail was pretty tough with the elevation gain but you don’t notice the difficulty cause every second of the trail had such an amazing view.
I would definitely do this trail again.
On the way up fresh wildflowers were blooming right and left. It felt like one of this magical Ireland hikes.
20/10 would recommend! :)

Great views nearly the entire time. Friendly hikers and good footing. Less strenuous than Columbine Lake but still a good workout.

If you have time for only one hike in the area and are in good shape, this or Columbine are it.

on Ice Lake Basin Trail

hiking
18 days ago

Great hike with a few areas I consider difficult. A beautiful reward awaits you at the top!

Hiked up to the misty overlook. It was difficult for me as I have a bad knee and am out of shape. But what an amazing hike, beautiful views and the magnificent feeling when we made it to the top. Will do it again

hiking
19 days ago

The views are worth the climb! Beautiful! The trail keeps a consistent incline the whole way. The section from the lower to upper basin is definitely the most strenuous, but you're rewarded with the most amazing blue water once you get to the top. We started our hike around 7 am and reached the lake around 10 am. It took us about 5 hours round trip including stopping for pictures along the way and a snack break at the lake. I would definitely recommend starting before 8 am to beat the crowds - we passed a lot of people on our way down.

hiking
20 days ago

This is definitely my favorite hike ever. The trail is varied: it goes through a forest before getting above the tree line and opening up into tundra, and the lake is the most amazing alpine lake I've seen. It's easy to access (our Mazda did fine on the dirt road), and we got an early enough start (8am) that we had the lake to ourselves for a bit. We got caught in a hail storm that forced us back down the mountain, but it passed within 20 minutes.

Amazing! Lots of people, but never felt crowded. 9 and 11 year old did great, but was a challenge for us all. It's worth taking a dive, the water is even more brilliant while wading. Just be sure to rest before you jump in, as it is aptly named and one wouldn't want to cramp up or induce a heart attack after a strenuous hike. A must do hike, we'll be back again!

Worth every step. Steep inclines but once you make it to the top you can see why so many people recommend this hike. My 9 year old had a blast! Beautiful country from start to finish.

hiking
22 days ago

This was a great hike - easy to access - No 4X4 needed. Lots of variety and an amazing reward in the end when you finally see the royal and turquoise blue lake. We did not do the loop but took the left at the "Y" and went directly to Ice Lake. The last uphill, which took approximately 1 hour from lower basin was long and hard - I thought when I finally got up over the ridge that I would finally see the prize and it was a few more hundred feet of walking before it finally came into view. Well worth the effort to get there. We started about 8:30 and there was a steady stream of hikers going back and forth, so it could be done alone on a weekend if you want to see other hikers in case of an emergency. If looking for solitude this is not the hike. We were coming from 2000' so the elevation gain was tough for us but seemed to give the locals no trouble at all.

Amazing hike, beautiful views the whole way up. It is quite steep and makes for a difficult hike but worth it. The lake is unlike anything I've ever seen. It has over 400 5 star reviews for a reason. Definitely a lot of people on the trail.

Gorgeous! I only did a short section of segment 25, but the views are outstanding. I am coming back to do a longer section. Trail seemed well marked and not difficult-at least the section closest to Little Molas Lake. Lots of mountain bikers out today.

Great views of Durango.

Nice hike. Heavily used. Drones flying at Ice Lake not cool.

Amazing hike! Very hard. I was sore for days after this hike. It’s a very steep uphill especially the final mile up to Ice Lake. The Lake is amazing. Unlike anything I have ever seen before. Definitely go the extra half mile to Island in the Sky (or whatever it is called). I think you have to venture up the ridge a bit to see the true beauty of that lake which I did not have the energy to do.

I would note that the trail splits at one point to go to Ice Lake (left) and Island in the Sky (right). I would go left. The trail is flat for a bit but then there is a decent uphill to the lake. I came down the other way and my legs were so tired. The path is steeper and more loose rock. I slipped a couple of times so it’s definitely a little harder.

The trail is easy to follow. Someone said it wasn’t clear in a review. Follow the All Trails map and you should be fine.

Amazing hike.

camping
27 days ago

Also make sure to camp at south mineral campground, it's right next to the trailhead and is really nice.

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