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Didn’t get up to area until 10:30am, on a Monday however no trouble parking at brainard lake parking. Beautiful lakes, meandering paths until you reach Mitchell lake then it is rocky path up to blue lake which is not difficult to navigate. Trails very well marked. Did not attempt little blue, however, it must be beautiful. I can only imagine. It must be a very steep rocky ascent. It wasn’t overly crowded however once at blue lake you certainly see and hear others. I can’t imagine it with more people. We did have a moose sighting which was a gift. This hike is now one of my must dos during my annual visit Home to Boulder

Quintessential Boulder hike. Went clockwise today - I prefer to tackle the big “steps” on the ascent and come down through the valley. Always nice to have bathrooms (across the street from the trailhead.) Friendly faces and interesting terrain. A perennial favorite.

hiking
2 days ago

This hike is great for a very easy hike with some awesome views. If you enter from Eldorado Springs you'll have to pay $8 to park your car, but you really see where that money goes while walk the well manicured trail with retaining walls on the side. If you park at the other end of the trail it's free (considered Boulder Open Space). The first half of the hike is very scenic, while the rest is pretty open and not as many views. I would suggest branching off to Spring Brook North Trail or Rattlesnake Gultch.

on Lake Isabelle Trail

hiking
2 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.

Busy trail, lots of dogs, but great views

"Stairmaster Sanitas" is a great place to get a very real workout in. We are in decent shape and climbed up Sanitas and went back around the valley loop trail within 2.5 hours. I would categorize this as "moderate to hard" given a few of the rocks you have to scramble over and how steep it is. While you can carry a child on a backpack up an down, it's not the greatest one to choose for that since you might have to shuffle a bit over rocks, etc.

Beautiful hike on August 6, 2018.

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.

beautiful setting, steep uphill climb. had a 7 and 10 year old on the hike, we had to stop many times as it's a long uphill climb. overall we really enjoyed the hike and views.

hiking
5 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.

Nice hike! A good bit of the first part is along I-70, and the sound of traffic is annoying. Once you get beyond that, it is a nice, moderate incline to the lakes at the top. We will do this one again!

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

I started up the Sanitas Valley Loop first. Beautiful views of urban Boulder and a smattering of homes in the hills. The moderate valley trail gives way to some steep inclines as it connects with the East Ridge trail. I was visiting from Atlanta so I had to catch my breath and steady my footing as the trail ascended. Had to get used to the change in altitude. Plan to take your time navigating the rocky, sometimes not well marked East Ridge trail if your new to it and out there alone. I got out early in the am and had a few hikers help me find the trail but I can see that this trail gets very well populated after mid morning. At the top of Ridge Trail I met some nice folks who directed me to Lion’s Lair trail just beyond the summit for a good trail run. This trail was pretty smooth and the decline makes for a steady tempo run. Don’t get too comfortable because the switchbacks will keep you on your game. Overall a fun trail to test your trail speed. The locals pointed directed me on how to go from the Lion’s Lair trail to a narrow barely there trail that runs parallel to Sunshine Canyon Dr. This trail led to me the Centennial Trailhead parking lot. Overall awesome experience for a trail runner who wants to mix it up with a hike and run.

Beautiful. Well-marked hike.

this incline is no joke! my poor pups paws were shredded after hiking these rocks. I ended up having to carry her 2 miles to the end. It was scenic but not as great as everyone makes it out to be.

A great training hike to get acclimated on in prep for the higher and longer trails.

A great, moderate hike. My wife and I didn't make it up to Little Blue Lake, and by the time we made it to Blue Lake, it looked like it was going to storm on the day we visited, 8-5-18. Blue Lake was still a great spot eat lunch and take some pictures. It ended up not storming, so we'll be back soon to do a complete circuit.

There were still plenty of wildflowers in bloom, and we arrived shortly after a lengthy bout of rain, so some of the streams were overflowing and added to scenery and enjoyment. We missed sighting a moose with her 2 calves by just a few minutes, but saw plenty of birds and rodents. The route was well maintained and not densely trafficked while visiting on a Sunday morning and in fact we had about a quarter mile stretch on the way back where it was just the two of us. Excellent photography opportunities along the way. I look forward to returning

hiking
9 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!

Very challenging, beautiful hike! Once you’re at the top there’s an option to hike down towards Sanitas Valley Trail via East Ridge Trail. There was a point along East Ridge Trail that we felt did not have ample signage as we ended up going down the mountain off the trail. Other than that this trail was awesome!

Nice trail to hike with oldest son and grandson!

Great hike, perfect length, great views and a variety. Storm rolled in at the top and while I was at the divide overlook, made the mistake of heading back instead of waiting it out - cleared back up in like ten minutes. Followed it up with the first little bit of Fowler. Decent amount of people (~11am on a Sunday) but I wouldn’t say it deterred too much

A dramatic backdrop, wildflowers, wildlife, multiple lakes and waterfalls... this trail really does have it all! (and has quickly moved up my list of favorite hikes to do in Colorado). Echoing the reviews already posted, yes definitely get there early... I arrived at 7 AM on a rainy Sunday and the parking lot was still filling up pretty quickly. Also, the rocky scramble up to Little Blue Lake is pretty challenging and not very well marked... beautiful up there, but certainly not for all skill sets. Blue Lake alone is still well worth the trip though!

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.

Nice mix of history, railroad and views

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
10 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!

Steepness was a bit more than expected. Id suggest going up the east ridge as it seems like it would be a bit treacherous to go down. Note that there are large steps that may make it hard for people who have any soreness in their knees. Great views at top!

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