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
10 days ago

Easy hike with beautiful views!

Hiked on 10/27. Doable for sure but lots of snow— wish I would have had spikes but can be carefully done without. If you have gaiters use them. My feet were soaked.

I was plenty warm with a long sleeve and puffy vest.

The directions lead you to trailhead accurately.

I went on past ice lake but could not make it to island lake as the tracks stop right now due to snow.

I’m 34 and in good shape and it took me about 2:45 to get to ice lake. I also drank near 5L of water. Totally epic views if you follow tracks up about another 500-800 feet of vert— about 1/2 mile distance.

hiking
18 days ago

Breath-taking in more ways than one and our favorite hike on our honeymoon. The 'difficult' rating is no joke for low-elevation folk like we are, but it was worth the sweat. Above the treeline it's like Tolkien county, a different world than our Minnesota. We hiked on a Sunday in late September; we started early - around 7:30 - and only ran into a few other hikers. It was much busier on the descent.

Very well traveled with magnificent views

hiking
1 month ago

Most beautiful hike I've even been on. The reward at the top is unbelieveable. I've never seen anything like it. The wildflowers were blooming like crazy when we went in the end of August. It was very difficult for us being from Nebraska due to the elevation but I would do it again!

This hike was truly incredible. Went on 9/28/18. Amazing views, so much to do, waterfalls to climb while on you’re way up, etc. Weather was perfect!!Getting to see that beautiful blue water was so worth all the effort to get up there. Pictures can’t show how clear and blue it really is. I highly recommend hiking the summit peak directly behind Ice Lakes. You will have a great birds eye view of the lake, you can see the other side of the mountain, and I got LTE up there to make a FaceTime call!

Take plenty of water and snacks. The hardest part is the very end of the hike as it becomes really steep before you hit the ice lake. I will definitely be back!

As beautiful as this lake was, I say Columbine Lake was even more beautiful and there was more to explore and do. We went on back to back days and I highly recommend both!

hiking
1 month ago

The best hike I have ever done - and I've been on many hikes throughout the US. The bluest blue I have ever seen in a lake - rivals Crater Lake in Oregon. Definitely worth the lack of oxygen... Took us around five and a half hours round trip with many many stops to catch our breath and take in the scenery. We are in our early 30's, pretty good physical shape, but we're flat landers from below sea level so the elevation change really tired us out... bring plenty of water (we ran out of 2L before the end of the hike) and snacks.. best to come early so that you can take your time and stop as often as needed. Listen to your body especially if you are from below sea level. Saw many dogs and a few kids doing the trail as well. The first lake is within 2.25 miles of the start and the 2nd lake (Ice lake) is another mile after that at around 3.5. My app calculated 7.20 miles round trip. There is another lake after Ice lake but we didn't have time nor energy to get there.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing! Recommend to anyone. Be prepared and start early, met many hikers that did not bring enough water and food.

backpacking
1 month ago

One of the most beautiful hikes that I’ve ever gone! Prime color season so it was amazing.

Went in late September. The weather was perfect and the fall colors were at peak season. The hike is not long, but the first half is straight uphill, so be prepared for a workout. The lake is amazing and well worth the work it takes to get there.

hiking
1 month 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 month 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

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

Its a beautiful trail. A few steep inclines but all and all good hike. Up and down in 3 hours with a 30 min lunch at the falls.

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
2 months ago

Extremely difficult but equally rewarding

backpacking
2 months 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
2 months 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.

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
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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!

hiking
2 months ago

My wife, brother, my two kids (my son is 4, he rode in a backpack carrier, but my 6 year old did the hike) and I hiked up to Venable Falls.
According to my Apple Watch, the falls are 2.6 miles from the parking lot trailhead. There is a sign there clearly indicating the falls, and it’s a relatively easy climb down to the falls.

It was an awesome time and the falls were awesome to see.

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.

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