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so beautiful at the top. highly highly recommend. get there as early as possible for parking.

hiking
3 days 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.

Lots of boulders to scramble and hop over. Lots of shade and running water to enjoy. Watch out for moose and bears. This was a very enjoyable hike. High altitude, cooler temps, lots of lush forest and beautiful scenery. Most of the people that we met on the trail were really nice and chatty.

A little trail etiquette goes a long way. We were passed by a large group of hikers, blasting their favorite jam, along with three dogs running at top speed - obviously off-leash. One of the dogs almost knocked me off the trail and covered my legs with mud and dog hair. There was no acknowledgment from the hikers in the group or an apology. Not cool. Lets be considerate.

Beautiful trail! perfect challenge for two sea-level-dwelling moderately fit people. the first two miles are a piece of cake, last mile is steeper and involves some light scrambling. We got there around 10 am on a Sunday and it was fairly crowded on the trail, but if you appreciate friendly fellow hikers and cute pups it's not a problem.

Great, challenging hike. You must go early to get a parking spot.

on Lake Isabelle Trail

hiking
5 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.

The first mile was OK but after that it is just cut down dead trees and not very pretty. We turned around after two miles in...kind of a disappointing hike. Maybe further in it gets better but not from what we could see.

When we do this one again, we will probably make it an out and back vs a loop. Half of the loop is on a gravel/rock road and isn’t very pretty. We preferred the tree-covered dirt trail.

Great hike! Parking was a bit chaotic but didn’t see a ton of people on the trail. We had a large group with several kids ranging from 7-16 yrs old. We enjoyed the hike through the forest and seeing the falls. But the best park was making it to the lake. Our dog jumped in right away to cool and swam around. Highly recommend this trail to families with kids!

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.

hiking
8 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.

hiking
10 days ago

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

Beautiful. Well-marked hike.

Great hike. Done 2nd year in a row. I’ll do it 3rd year next summer. We have 14 yr old, 11 yr old, and a 7 yr old. It’s a challenge for the young ones, but the views and waterfalls are worth the challenge. Recommend you hike back on the road.

hiking
12 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!

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
13 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!

hiking
14 days ago

There is just one "Fancy Lake." The trail to it is about 2.6 miles with an elevation gain of 1,500 feet. (The contours on these maps are confusing because the contour interval is 10 meters (about 33 feet) whereas every fifth contour is labelled with the elevation in feet.) The first 1.5 mile passes through pine forest before some meadows with wildflowers start to appear. This part is moderately difficult.

The trail from the lake to Fancy Pass gains about 870 feet in 0.7 mile, of which the last half is especially steep and difficult. In particular, it is easy to miss where the trail jogs to the right, and climb up a natural rock chute that was used for dropping mine tailings to a lower elevation. The trail is difficult enough, but the mining chute still has loose tailings in it and is worse. It is hard to appreciate the scenery while focusing on your footing, but as others have said, the view from the pass -- particularly to the north down the valley of Cross Creek -- is spectacular.

Most people who get to Fancy Pass continue to Missouri Pass and return to the trailhead by way of the Missouri Lakes Trail, which starts at the same parking area. I think that that route has better alpine scenery with less extremely difficult trail conditions than the Fancy Pass Trail described here.

hiking
17 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!!

It was a beautiful day for a great hike through the aspens and the lodgepole pine forest. We did not make it to the falls because they were working on building a new bridge. It was not a challenging hike but was a well marked path. To get to this trail head you take Royal Buffalo up to a Y in the road and stay right. You will be on a gravel road. At the top you take a right and it will take you to the trailhead at the end.

nature trips
19 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

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