Explore Colorado Road Trip 1 (Telluride-Pagosa Springs) - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Colorado Road Trip 1 (Telluride-Pagosa Springs) Map
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Amazing!!! And worth the hike up!! ❤️ Spouting Rock was spectacular as well!!

Awesome hike, but very steep at times. If hiking with younger children, be prepared to take frequent rests, water breaks and snacks. The view is worth the effort. Make note due to popularity, they will limit daily access to 615 people starting May 2019.

up hill the whole way but definitely worth it for the views and knowing you climbed a mountain

I realize that this is a relatively short hike, but I am still surprised that this isn't listed as "hard." The climb up to the lake is super steep with no switchbacks - you just follow the path of the creek the entire way up. The lake is, of course, pretty amazing. Deep turquoise water with trickling falls feeding it from the other side. Mossy rock faces and rugged canyon walls on either side of the valley.

Worthy of its reputation, for sure.

hiking
19 hours ago

This hike is beautiful and it is steep. The hike is not that far of a distance, but with the elevation gain it takes a lot longer than a normal 3 mile hike. The views are amazing and the lake at the top is magical. My favorite part is actually just before the lake where there is a wonderful look out of the steep, chiseled canyon. Not too many other places in the US where you can see something like that!
The drive through Glenwood canyon to get here in the first place is pretty spectacular, as the highway follows the river through the canyon. This hike follows another narrower side canyon. There were lots of people on the trail when we went on a Wednesday in August around lunch time. Parking was tight and we had to circle the lot a couple times before getting lucky and getting someone's spot as they left. Unfortunately there's nowhere else to park further away as the road only takes you right back to the highway entrance.
I would definitely recommend this hike for some great views and a beautiful blue lake, but be prepared to fight for parking and climb some elevation. Its definitely worth it!

Amazing!!!!!

Hike was a challenge for our seven and nine-year-old but we were able to push them along and they were glad they made it to the Falls! What a spectacular seen. The trail is beautiful framed by mainly Aspen, with some stunning scenery of the cliffs.

One note: as the write up says this is a very popular hike, so there were plenty of other people, dogs, and trail runners but all courteous and friendly.

Hard but short hike up! Totally worth it a

Absolutely Incredible hike! Easily my favorite hike I’ve done in the 7 years I’ve lived in Colorado! Very challenging but worth every moment of struggle. The entire trail is filled with breathtaking views, each one better than the last!

Start early!! Limited parking if you don’t camp at the trailhead and a big majority of the hike is in the sun so it gets very hot very quickly. We started at 7:20am and were back at the car at 12:30pm (If doing it again I would start even earlier.) The 5 hours included water, snack, picture breaks and about a 25-30 min stop at Ice Lake soaking it all in. We went up to Ice Lake first and then over to Island Lake making the way back down a little more pleasant avoiding incredibly steep loose rock.

We saw a lot of overnight tents through the hike and a couple handfuls at Ice Lake itself. When we got up there just before 10am it was pretty busy and only getting busier by the minute. The hike to Island Lake is about 10 extra minutes and although not as blue still very pretty.

On our way back down we ran into packs and packs of people on their way up which got pretty obnoxious as part of the trail is single track and hard to step off and no one actually has their dogs on leash. So, again, start early and avoid the crowds.

The view was worth the hike!

Very nice trail, mostly on an old forest road but be prepared for some extended hiking on rocks in places. A good balance of shade and sun. If you take your pup, there are a few small stream crossings where they can get a drink. Near the top there is a nice area to see the falls from about a quarter mile away, but the hike to the falls itself will reward you with some great views back toward the valley.

This was a great hike. Great day and a beautiful hike.

It was a little longer than a mile, honestly wasn’t worth it. It was beautiful, don’t get me wrong but it’s so small and the fact you can’t swim in it anymore makes it out for a little disappointing. Other than that the trail has 7 bridges you cross before you get to the end, was super rocky and the scenic views were gorgeous.

excellent hike. beautiful

A great hike to get acclimated to the altitude. If you get an early start then you’ll likely have the falls to yourself. The views are fantastic along the way. We wrapped up the hike around 11:30 after relaxing at the top for 40 minuets, and the trail was pretty crowded at that point. Only 4 stars due to the sheer beauty and solitude of other hikes in the area.

Easily the best hike in all of Colorado - The lakes, the mountain views, the wildflowers. It's just tough enough to be challenging and is beautiful throughout the entire hike. I suggest camping near the trailhead, makes for an easy start and no parking issues (but seriously, if you get to a popular trailhead after 9am and are pissed it's full... you're an idiot). We started around 5am; about an hour in we heard a huge group of coyotes howling off in the distance, presumably about a recent kill, and it was very cool. We didn't see anyone until we were past halfway and started seeing backpackers coming down. When we got to Ice Lake, we were the only ones (on a holiday weekday!) and it was extremely special. Island Lake is definitely worth the additional short trek, but it's not as electric and jaw-dropping as Ice Lake.

Really awesome hike - short but steep and worth it. Saw a snake around 1 pm today. Definitely got lucky with parking!

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

Arrived at the trailhead around 4:45PM on Friday. Easy climb With most traffic coming down as we were going up. Only another 6 people at the lake at the same time. Still pretty, but looking rough. Since I was there in 2013 the lake is not as clean with trash was floating on the surface and foam covering the water up to about 10’ from shore. Disappointed and don’t expect to be back.

Absolutely beautiful! A tremendous amount of work to get to Ice Lake (upper) but 100% worth it!

Pretty. Parking not an issue before 7am on a Saturday, and a lot less people to contend with. I have to say one of the best things about this is that no dogs are allowed on the trail. So rare to hike a mile without seeing a single poop bag or someone's special exception running around off leash.

Hiking back down around 9 there was a steady flow of people making their way to the top and the rangers were only allowing one car in when another car would leave.

The lake is amazing......such an unexpected "tropical" wonder in the mountains!!! Parking was very tough and the trail was a bit crowded- but well worth it!!!

Great hike! The views were amazing! Totally worth the climb.

hiking
6 days ago

It's not a trail for seeing the black canyon. I think it's for seeing the plants. A little steep and I'm tired when going up.

hiking
7 days ago

Really beautiful hike. A nice short warm up for an easy 14’er. We finished at 10 am and the park rangers were already blocking off the parking lot. Lots of people and kids for a Friday, We started out around 7:30 a.m., but stopped a few times for pic’s and a snack. Glad we got this one checked off before the restrictions are enforced next year...

backpacking
7 days ago

I backpacked from the trailhead to Ice Lake (upper Ice Lake in this app’s description) and set up camp then visited Island Lake with just a day bag, returning to Ice Lake for the night. I then hiked back out via the same route to the trailhead the next morning. Most people on the trail were day hikers but on a Tuesday night in August, four other groups of backpackers stayed the night at Ice Lake. This hike has some of the most beautiful vistas I have seen in Colorado!

The trail starts with a moderately difficult section of well marked trail into the woods. It opens to a beautiful waterfall with a view back into the valley. The next small stretch of wooded area guides you past abandoned mining equipment and to a section of steep, sunny (hot!) meadow. Again, there a great mountain views.

The next big chunk is steep and wooded. This is where I really began to feel the work I was putting in. The switchbacks help but many sections are pretty strenuous, especially with my 30lb overnight pack. By the time we leveled off to the generally flat section I was more than ready for a break.

The view of lower ice lake basin is about 2/3 of the way through the hike both in elevation and distance. We stopped in the trees and took off our packs, sat about twenty minutes to rest and eat. This was necessary for our group with packs but many day hikers just kept moving through.

After Lower Basin Lake (or Lower Ice Lake Basin) there’s a stretch of flat area that is more exposed (total of about a mile of relatively flat hiking) and then you get another creek/waterfall view where the trail crosses the water and gains about 700ft in steep, rocky switchbacks. This stretch was difficult (we hit it in the afternoon heat do to delays getting on the trail in the morning) plus it’s steep and more loose compared to the beautifully padded trail for the first approx three miles. It is also the most incredible views of Lower Ice Lake and the meadow, valley, and mountains surrounding. I loved this stretch of the trail.

Then finally! The top! Ice Lake was both our end point for setting up camp as well as most day hikers’ final destination. The lake is STUNNING. The rock deposits give it the most incredible blue color. It is well worth the climb! There is running water if you bring a filter to purify more drinking water. There is a faint trail around the lake. There are multiple places to sit or set up camp without smashing the wildflowers. You’re above the tree line at this point so you’ve got open views in all directions.

It’s a quick little hike up to Island lake although one short stretch is loose and near the edge making it a little intense if you’re scared of heights! Island lake is worth seeing but mostly it’s the view along the hike that makes the journey up worth it, even after a long hike to Ice Lake.

We did not journey to Fuller Lake and no one we talked to along the way mentioned plans to head that direction.

We each drank about 3L of water on the way up and at least one more liter on the way back down. If you’re doing a day hike you may not go through as much water but I’d say most people should carry 3L or bring a purifier to get more water along the way.

This is a beautiful hike and although it is challenging it is more than worth it. The sites are incredible. If you’re in the area and feel up for a good workout, this hike is unmissable. Enjoy!!

A hike to Ice Lake is a great way to spend a day while in the Silverton area. While it attracts many hikers, there is a reason! Go!

hiking
7 days ago

The Lake and Spouting Rock (don’t miss this) are some of the most beautiful rewards at the end of any Colorado hike we’ve done. Just beautiful. The hike itself is pretty short, but it is challenging. We started at 8am and it was crowded throughout. Total time was 1:45 with a generous break at the top. Be aware there is a sign that says they are going to reduce access starting in 2019.

Definitely worth the short semi steep hike. Runnable for those who like to trail run

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