Explore Silverton - 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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off road driving
20 hours ago

Fantastic drive. Lots to see. People are polite

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.

off road driving
2 days ago

Best trail that I know of in the area! The trail itself is more challenging than others, which I appreciate, and the views are amazing!

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

backpacking
4 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!

off road driving
5 days ago

Great views. Can be tricky with loose rock and off camber sections. Worth the time.

A beautiful hike with stellar views. The color of the lake is like nothing I’ve ever seen and I’ve been all over the west and Hawaii.. You should be warned that the elevation gain is real, this is not an easy hike. The grade is steep almost the whole way up and doesn’t ever level out. There is an exposed rocky scramble for the last leg leading up to ice lake that took us a long time with lots of breaks. Expect a difficult but rewarding hike!

Great trail. Scenic and a good trail for your first one.

Amazing hike. Worth the early start. Bring good socks and lots of water. Lake can be windy so something to break the wind at the top is recommended. Don’t let the parking deter you. Hiked last Saturday and arrived at 7:45am. Things were getting packed but there were still spots.

This was the best hike I’ve done to date, and I’ve hiked all over Colorado for over 20 years. We stayed in Ouray and got up early to make the drive and get a get a spot. My 12 and 14 year old girls killed this hike. It’s hard but not too hard. The hardest part is not stopping every 5 feet to take another picture! Anyone who gives this less than 5 stars because they didn’t plan ahead is only thinking of themselves. Treat yourself to the hot springs in Ouray afterwards, you’re gonna need it!

Heads up, if there are no parking spots, wait for one to open up or find another trail to hike. Do not parking in the meadows across the road from the current parking area. The parking lot is small. Get an early start. Parking tickets are very expensive.

Ice lake was of the prettiest lakes I’ve ever hiked to! Fairly steep incline most of the way up, with some loose rock towards the end. Made the hike up to Island Lake which was also really pretty and definitely worth it, but not as impressive as Ice Lake. Camped at Ice Lake and had great weather! Clocked about 9mi total.

Advanced hiking trail with an incredible view.

on Corkscrew Gulch

off road driving
7 days ago

Did this as a 4x4 tour. Lots of fun, want to come back and drive it myself.

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful all the way through.

hiking
7 days ago

Excellent hike, Upper Ice Lake Basin is just stunning. Wildflowers are past their peak, but still very pretty. Went on to Island Lake, which was worth the extra effort, though not quite as beautiful as Upper Ice Lake.

This is my second time doing this hike. It’s seriously the most beautiful hike I’ve done in Colorado, and I’ve done a lot. The entire trial is amazing and though it’s steep, it’s not dangerous or difficult as long as you take your time (if you’re not a seasoned hiker).

off road driving
8 days ago

Easy driving trail. Several places to pass. Maybe one moderate area near top but nothing crazy. I like doing this trail in the evening, great sunsets make for amazing pictures.

off road driving
8 days ago

Pretty intense trail. Was doing great until we hit the steps, scraped the side of the truck a bit. All in all well worth it!

Made this trek in my 2012 Nissan Titan crew cab, pretty much stock with slightly oversized tires

hard, but so Beautiful!!

Great hike! Definitely a challenge but well worth it. Recommend camping off the county road 585 past the trail head so you can make it to the trail head early. It was a absolutely beautiful hike the entire way and the lake was breathtaking!

off road driving
9 days ago

Went early and avoided tourist traffic. Easy 2wd until the last ¼ and hen aired down and put in 4 hi most of the time. A few spots needed 4 low and we stayed in low most of the way down during the steep part. Great hiking and views at the top. Next time we are there we’ll try some of the basins to the south of the trail. Stock Sahara, 32 AT no lift.

Great hike! Amazing views! A little challenging for the inexperienced but worth it! Lake was amazing and the views are beautiful!

This hike was gorgeous. I hiked with a 5 year old and 6 year old who are both reasonably seasoned hikers and it was challenging for them but they accomplished it, being by far the youngest ones at the lake that day. The lake and vistas are well worth the climb.

This hike was extremely frustrating. Let me explain.
You’ll notice the description of this hike states that dogs are okay ON LEASH. The amount of people on a Friday doing this hike whose dogs were roaming around, who couldn’t control those roaming dogs, whose dogs barked at people or other dogs (even lunging at said other dogs) and who didn’t even HAVE A LEASH ON HAND, was absolutely insane.
If you are that owner of those dogs, I just want you to know that you’re what’s wrong with the world we’re growing into. One where people only think about themselves, and not others.
So, if you’re the type of person trying to hike your dogs on leash, prepare yourself for the many other dog owners who will not be doing the same. I know it sounds like I have hyper-aggressive dogs, but I don’t. I have an extremely playful dog and a dog who doesn’t like other dogs lunging at her. You’d think we would’ve been fine.
NOW THAT I’VE GOTTEN THAT OFF OF MY CHEST. This hike was the most beautiful hike I’ve ever done. My husband and I will be returning without our dogs. When we got to the bottom, we were so mentally exhausted from dog and owner confrontations, that it unfortunately took away from the scenery.

off road driving
10 days ago

Cruises up the first chunk to the bathrooms. Amazing views, not too crowded. All types of vehicles including a mountain biker crushing it uphill. Understandable why this is a popular trail. Continued to California Gulch onto animus forks. It got pretty busy after that.

One of the top trails in Colorado

Finally did the Ice lake and Island lake. Took us 2 and a half hours for the ascent and 1 and a half for descent. The part after ice lake to island lake is the most difficult, but totally worth it. The lakes were even more beautiful than the pictures!

off road driving
11 days ago

Did this trail in my Jeep from the West side - starting off of 550. Talking to people who came up from Lake City and looking over the map, this route is much steeper but a lot of fun. A couple of off camber shelf stretches that were a little hair raising but not that many people till the top. Great drive, well worth it

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