Explore Denver - 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
1 day ago

Couldn't have asked for a better hike today. The weather was beautiful, we had to park at the Brainard Lake Lot after getting there at 9am. It wasn't nearly as crowded as I had expected
Everyone we did come across was super nice and very quiet. If someone can tell me of a place that is this easy of a hike and even more beautiful please let me know. I'm not sure there is a place.

Well maintained trails that are surprisingly pretty busy. Definitely take some water with you and wear the right shoes, rocks can get a bit rough at some parts. Plenty of hills and the views are gorgeous but if you’re not used to the elevation, I’d recommend taking it slow at first. Only down side is it’s a state park so you have to pay to enter.

on Lake Isabelle Trail

hiking
3 days 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.

Wonderful views at the top and several different paths to get there. Right in the middle of a cute little town, too.

My sister-in-law and I hiked this trail late afternoon and it was great! I’m not in great shape, so it was challenging, but the view was well worth it. If you’re wearing “open” hiking shoes, like Keens or Chacos, be prepared to get some sand and dirt in your kicks. Also, since the trail is sandy, be ready for extra umph to get you up, and extra grip to get you down. I would 100% recommend hiking poles if you’re not fit or only slightly fit. Bring lots of water on a hot day!
We took the north loop up and south loop back.
Even in late August the wildflower foliage was very pretty. Not a boat load of blooms, but still good. In the end, the view from the top is gorgeous.
The hike down was super easy, but because of that rocks/sand don’t forget those good grip shoes.
Again, great hike!

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.

Definitely not an easy hike but we did pretty well. The views are incredible and we went right as it was about to rain so at the peak of the trail we were surrounded by clouds and fogs rolling in over the mountains. According to our fitness tracker it was about 3.2 miles up one side of the loop, up the full north path, back out and down the other side of the loop.

A challenge going up, but worth the view at the top.

hiking
6 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.

Easy trail with amazing views of the Flatirons.

Well maintained trail, nice views.

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

Beautiful. Well-marked hike.

The cows made my day! Nice views otherwise.

Close to Golden, so quite busy. Close to the road leading to Lookout Mountain. So nowhere you really can’t hear the road. The views are nice though. Does get hot. Many mountain bikers, so stay alert.

hiking
10 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!

hiking
11 days ago

It was so beautiful!! Near the end we saw the cows drinking from a pond close to the trail. It’s free for people who live in Boulder. If you don’t, you’ll have to pay a $5 fee. Just make sure you bring some cash. I didn’t but luckily my friend did.

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.

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
11 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)

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!

Great hike! A bit strenuous at the beginning but well worth it. Make sure to take the Walker Ranch Loop down to the falls. Awesome views!

The trail tends to not be fully marked. Better to be completed in the morning rather than in the afternoon, great bouldering available!

hiking
15 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!!

nature trips
16 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

Very pretty and very busy

Hiked this in about 2.5 hours with a 20-minute lunch break at the top of Lookout Mountain. 7.4 miles total to the top of Lookout. Plenty of parking spots available on Sunday afternoon. Warning: encountered two rattlesnakes on the descent (within the final mile). Both rattlesnakes were sunbathing in the middle of the trail. One snake moved into the brush as soon as it heard us. The other was more aggressive - after it started up the side hill, it turned and lunged at the nearest person and was rattling and hissing before assuming the coiled position in the middle of the trail. We had to wait it out about 10 minutes before the snake moved into the brush and we could safely pass. Keep an eye out!

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