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Amazing hike. We did this with our 11 year old Granddaughter. One you will never forget!

Me and a friend went hiking here yesterday, and it was so beautiful!! I haven't hiked in a long time, so this was very challenging, but once you get to Ice Lake, it's so worth it! Everyone that was hiking the trail was very friendly and helpful! I would love to go back!

great hike, a lot of elk on the trail and a lot of people as well. but the views are beautiful

Transplant to Colorado and have done a few hikes and this was one of my favorites. Hiked this today and it was tough. Gorgeous views from the top!! Definitely want to do this before it gets too hot out on your way down. A lot of rocks, shade and great trail.

One of my favorite hikes!


It was a fantastic hike! Very steep at the start but beautiful once you get to the top. Family-friendly experience, one of a lifetime! We saw a snake as well. Bring water!

Super easy and quick hike, can get a bit busy. If you’re experienced and looking for a longer trek take this trail further up to loch.

4 days ago

Did this hike and overnighter backpacking trip July 14-15, 2018. We had previously done this hike May 2013 and the ground still had some snowy patches that made it difficult to find the last steep part of the trail past the lower basin (if we had GPS, we would have found it just fine). Did it again July 2014 and made it to Ice Lake, but didn't do the full loop due to a storm with hail. This time we did the full loop to visit all three of the big lakes and it was MUCH more crowded than it used to be only a few years ago.

We started our hike at 7am and there were already several cars at the trailhead. We arrived at the lower basin shortly before 9am and that was with only one quick 5-min water/snack break. Set up camp in the lower basin before we continued on with our day packs. Weather forecast for the weekend was predicting a decent chance of rain all weekend and we've been up in these mountains several times with storms that produce small hail, so we didn't want to camp or set up our tent in such exposed weather by the lakes (but other braver people did).

As far as setting up camp in the lower basin, I would highly recommend venturing out far left (south) of the main trail. It's difficult to follow the rules and set up camp 100 feet from lakes and streams because it seems like there are streams all around in the lower basin (and where there aren't streams and the ground is flat, it seems like there is thick vegetation), but if we hadn't been as hasty to find a spot and hiked further away from the main trail, I think we would have been able to follow the rules properly, so we regret that. I also regret setting up camp so close to the trail as I didn't realize (as a girl) was that if you don't set up camp away from others, it's extremely difficult to find a private spot to pee. There were campers above us, below us, and beside us, in addition to people hiking through the basin that had a great view of the campers like us that didn't venture out further. Du-oh!

The hikes to the other two lakes, Fuller and Island don't compare at all to Ice Lake. In fact, there are several tiny lakes near all of the main lakes, but none of the smaller ones are clear or blue at all. It was cool to see the other main lakes just once, but if we went back, I would definitely spend more time at Ice Lake. Indeed, the other two main lakes are much more quiet though, if you are looking for solitude. We hiked up to Fuller Lake after Ice Lake and Fuller was not blue at all, but it had a really awesome waterfall shortly before it, along with several beautiful marshy streams on the easy trail up. After Fuller Lake, we backtracked to Ice Lake and hiked up to Island Lake (which was a steeper trek than Fuller) and Island Lake is only somewhat blue (mainly green-ish). There is a very obvious and steep trail up to the peaks above Island Lake, which would give a pretty awesome view of Island Lake if you were up for the extra trek; but again, we were worried about storms coming in and missed out on this cool option.

If you do the full loop trail and choose to keep going past Island Lake instead of going back the way you came from Ice Lake, this will be a good short cut if you're headed back down to the trail head, but if you're headed back to the lower basin for camping, you'll end up adding a tiny bit of extra mileage to get back to the main trail (but the part it spits you out at on the main trail is the part where it starts to get flat leading up to the lower basin, so you at least don't have to worry so much about trekking uphill again). We took the trail past Island Lake to get back to the lower basin and appreciated that it was much quieter and there were some cool views of the peaks in the distance. Some reviews said this trail was much steeper, so I had envisioned having to scramble down the trail, but that wasn't the case at all. It didn't feel any steeper than other uphill parts of the trail.

Not super hard and not a whole lot to see. If you love destination hikes (as I do) this one isn’t for you! If you’re wanting a nice workout this would be a great trail.

5 days ago

If you do one trail while you're in the San Juans, this should be it. 2WD accessible trailheads are hard to come by here! Wish we had known about the loop, but our guide book was old so it didn't include that option. Island Lake is breathtaking. The altitude and gain make this a difficult hike but there is only one small scramble section up to Island. Trail easy to navigate.

Was great for beginners. Not too rocky depending on which path you take. Didn't see much wildlife though, aside from a ton of butterflies and grasshopper. I would say light trafficking but I got there at 9am and stayed to 11am. (on my way out there were a handful of people coming in)

Beautiful scenery! This water fall is amazing. The trail is also very well kept up.

Amazing hike! We went in mid July and wildflowers were in peak bloom. This hike has it all....wildflowers, Mountain View’s, and amazing alpine lakes. This hike is a must. I would recommend going early or going on a weekday to avoid crowds. Several great spots to camp of you wanted to turn it into an overnight trip. I would say this hike is moderate and not hard. Easy switchbacks the whole way up.

We are new hikers and found the trail a great first 14.

Pretty nice overall. Parking lot was almost full by 8 so get there early. Zero issues navigating. It was a pretty moderate incline to finish the hike though.

Not a bad trail, however there is definitely minimal to no shade for 75% of it. We did it in about 2.5 hours in 95-degree heat with no cloud cover. If you're bringing dogs on the trail, make sure to bring plenty of water for them as there are no water sources along the trail. Great views along the way and once you reach the top though!

You go downhill on the first half, no matter which way you go and uphill on the way back. Cool creek at the bottom with rocks, rocky path. I like to go uphill then downhill which you can’t do here. Clean and pretty, it was fun!

Awesome trail! River is beautiful and has a lot of beautiful views. This trail also has a lot of natural rock pools formed by the river. Lots of water. Maybe a bit more harder than moderate. I would totally start on beaver brook trail, if you start the other way, it will be more difficult with lots of challenging uphill.

Drove 2 1/2 hours to hike this trail a few days ago at 8 months pregnant. It was challenging but so worth it. We had some rain on the way up, but it passed and the view of Ice Lake and the majestic blue water did not disappoint. My husband and I had lunch at the lake and did not want to leave! If you can make it to the top, the hike back down is significantly faster and easier. It’s a must do!

This is a must do drive every visit we make to the area. Have made the drive fifteen or more times...it never gets old. It’s fun to park at various points along the way and hike a little.

This was a hard one with two dogs but otherwise really enjoyed the hike. I started about 7:30 and by the time I finished about 2 hours later the trail was packed!

I love taking photos of my experiences and this was the hike of all hike to do just that. Note 1: when you get to the first water crossing don’t head up the river and bear crawl your way forward. Cross the river at the bottom. The obvious trail switch backs nicely to the top of the waterfall. From here it’s switch backs all the way to a beautiful meadow that leads to the final push of switchbacks. Once you get to the top and see Ice Lake, don’t stop there. Keep on the trail that continues to wind up. There’s another beautiful lake a bit higher that will offer amazing viewpoints down on Ice. There’s an old structure up there too along with a picnic table to have lunch. And since most hikers just stop at Ice to rest you’ll have this area all to yourself. After lunch and as you make your way back down to enjoy Ice Lake your eyes will be amazed all the way down to it. From here head to Island Lake. The emerald contrast to the blue you just experienced won’t be disappointing. Note 2: Keep heading around the Island Lake and keep an eye out for a faint trail that will loop back down to the trail you hiked up making your journey a loop. It’s a bit steeper going down this way but well worth the views and perspective of what your accent to Ice was like is very cool. See photos @jeanpaul574

Such a beautiful hike!! We went up to Island Lake on the wildlife trail on the right side when you first get to the base- glad we did it that way because of the elevation drop into Ice Lakes. Dog was fine and there were plenty of places for him to get some mountain stream water

Enjoyed this trail. Was with hikers that aren't used to the altitude and we spent about 4 hours doing it. Would recommend starting to the left, and also adding the walk down to the river on if you have time.

Super fun, casual hike close to Denver. You definitely gain some elevation, and the parking lot is small, but as a avid hiker we did it in about 2 hours.

fantastic views from the top. nice incline to get the blood pumping. wear shoes with plenty of traction.

11 days ago

Beautiful. Hike up to ice lake basin is steep but manageable. Camping in the lower basin is gorgeous- bring the bug spray!! Lots of mosquitos! Was there 8-10 July 2018. Lots of day hikers- not the place to go for solitude, but the crowd does thin out quite a bit if you venture on past Ice Lake to Fuller Lake/Island Lake. Coming back to attack the basin 13ers next year- didn’t see or hear of one person attempting while we were there. A CO must hike!

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