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Absolutely Incredible hike! Easily my favorite hike I’ve done in the 7 years I’ve lived in Colorado! Very challenging but worth every moment of struggle. The entire trail is filled with breathtaking views, each one better than the last!

Start early!! Limited parking if you don’t camp at the trailhead and a big majority of the hike is in the sun so it gets very hot very quickly. We started at 7:20am and were back at the car at 12:30pm (If doing it again I would start even earlier.) The 5 hours included water, snack, picture breaks and about a 25-30 min stop at Ice Lake soaking it all in. We went up to Ice Lake first and then over to Island Lake making the way back down a little more pleasant avoiding incredibly steep loose rock.

We saw a lot of overnight tents through the hike and a couple handfuls at Ice Lake itself. When we got up there just before 10am it was pretty busy and only getting busier by the minute. The hike to Island Lake is about 10 extra minutes and although not as blue still very pretty.

On our way back down we ran into packs and packs of people on their way up which got pretty obnoxious as part of the trail is single track and hard to step off and no one actually has their dogs on leash. So, again, start early and avoid the crowds.

hiking
3 days ago

Tough hike in general, but easy for 14ers. No hike is easy when with so little oxygen though, so don't underestimate it. The climb is relentless, and due to loose gravel and steep grade you'll want good hiking boots for the way down. Saw several people slip and fall, and 2 out of 3 of us in my group with good hiking boots took spills going downhill as well. Very rewarding for such a short distance. Go on an early weekday to avoid the crowds. And summit before noon to avoid electrical storms!!!

My tenth 14er and goes down as my favorite because the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a little deceiving because you’re surrounded by a forest and creek for about half the climb and you can’t see the exposed tree line area at all, but it’s nice this trail spoils you a little bit before the hard work starts. The trail was nice until the very top of the summit where there were big boulders. We had a Boston Terrier who struggled on this part a bit, definitely more class 3 terrain at the top. We only saw 4 other people and had the summit to ourselves, a first for me! The descent was nice and easy since it’s not too steep and you also end in a beautiful forest to reward yourself from the tough climb! Highly recommend.

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.

5 days ago

Did this on 7/23. Parked at 3:00 AM and was only headlamp I could see on the trail above tree line. There were several cars in the lot and many Long’s Peak hikers. Very windy and steep then when trail splits to Chasm it gets much easier. Views were breathtaking and this is one of my favorite hikes of all time. Add this one to your list and do it. Sunrise on Long’s was worth it all.

on Estes Cone Trail

5 days ago

If you’re not parked in the parking lot (which fills up really early), be VERY careful where you park as they tow cars parked on the side of the road on the side of the yellow curvy road sign that is closer to the trail. As per an officer, you’re ok if you’re not parked after that sign (on the way up), not in front of a no parking sign, and have both wheels completely off the road, i.e. to the side of the white line.

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

hiking
6 days ago

Wheeler Lake is a great hike for the morning. Start early as Trailhead parking is unpredictable (there’s not a parking lot, just various intersecting roads you can park on the edge). There’s also no Trailhead sign but it’s correctly marked on AllTrails. There’s very little tree coverage and shade on the trail so I recommend sunscreen and a hat. There’s plenty of running water and streams throughout the hike and up to the lake which is great for canine companions. Keep an eye out for vehicles (we didn’t encounter any on our way up but we started at 8am). The lake had tons of wild flowers around it and a rushing waterfall from an upper lake. We sat up there and enjoyed the views and a snack. Keep an eye out for the many marmots near the lake.

hiking
6 days ago

We did a portion of this hike as a day trip, starting at the trail head and turning around at the camp site near the large waterfall, about six miles from the trail head. We were walking on a weekday in July and only saw a handful of other people all day (two small groups of backpackers on their way up in the afternoon as we were coming down). Despite the dry weather, there was still some flowing water in most, but not all of the side drainages, which came in handy to refill our filtered water bottles. Note that the road between the rest room/parking area and the trailhead was doable with a garden variety small SUV, but lower clearance cars would struggle, in my opinion. The entire hike is amazingly beautiful, from the stunning rock formations to the stands of aspen to the meadows. Can’t wait to come back here and go for the pass next time!

backpacking
7 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!!

This was my 2nd 14’er (Bierstadt was the other) and the first for my son and sister who was visiting from sea level. We hit the trailhead at 9:00am on the first Sunday in August. There were quite a few others hiking, but most on their way down.

It took us a bit under 2.5 hours to summit with a number of pauses. The ridge was super windy, but it was quiet at the top with great views of Leadville, Turquoise lake in the distance as well as the surrounding mountains despite the fire haze. Hiking poles helped as there is plenty of loose rock and ankle twisters to hike across on the way up.

There are a lot of cool abandoned mines and mining equipment to look at right near the trailhead. That can make the bumpy drive worth taking even if you don’t complete the full summit.

It sprinkled a little on our hike and was cold near the top so we were happy to be prepared with rain and warmth layers. I saw a number of hikers who weren’t as prepared.

I agree it’s a great first 14er due to the short distance of the hike, but don’t let that fool you, it’s still a climb at altitude and my legs were complaining afterwards!

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!

8 days ago

Did this hike today. Gorgeous views and worth it to get to the top. Incline to the lake is demanding with loose gravel and rocks but so beautiful at the top.

hiking
8 days ago

Second time doing this hike. We got to trailhead at 6 am. Parking lots was full but I parked on the side along the entrance so didn’t have to park down the road. We got to lake at 9am. So took us 3 hrs to get there with minimal breaks. It was sunny and no clouds in the sky. Couldn’t hAve asked for a more perfect weather. There’s definitely an incline and last half mile requires scrambling up rocks but it’s so worth it!! One the best and moderate trails to do!

hiking
8 days ago

Absolutely beautiful - one of the best, if not the best lake hike in Colorado!

We arrived 6am Wed. Parking lot was full. We parked 1/4 mile down the road from the trailhead.

The trail runs 8.4 miles roundtrip per Rocky Mtn Natl park website. It is a moderate hike, IMO (some will find it easy, some hard, depending on conditioning). The final climb to the lake is a steep rock scramble, under 0.2 miles. This portion of the trail is generally intuitive and partially marked by cairns. If you can't ascend, you'll miss the lake but still be treated to the majesty and splendor that lies before you.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE respect the mountain and weather. I saw one person who had no water or backpack, and people hiking in sandals and one in overalls. If the weather holds, you'll be ok. But cotton is the worst thing you can be wearing if you get wet. Rain means windy and temps in the 40s, or lower.

Be prepared, that includes but not limited to, hiking shoes, plenty of water, food, trail mix, energy bars, rain gear, sunscreen, jacket. Enjoy!

9 days ago

This is definitely not a moderate trail. There's an extended area of narrow trail and you have to do some scrambling that's actually climbing. It's beautiful and challenging!

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!

hiking
10 days ago

This and Mt Ida are my favorite RMNP trails. Really amazing and spectacular. Parking lot was full by 8:15am. We parked about 1/4 mile down the side of the road which isn't too bad. We had perfect weather with clear skies. No dark ominous clouds. Rangers were making trail improvements on a segment of the trail. Turns out they use horses to carry logs up.
Steady incline throughout entire trail with gorgeous view once above tree line. There is excellent view of Long Peaks about 1 mile out where there is also the first privy stop. Great place to take a break. Then the trail flattens a bit along a narrow path by the side of mountain with view of waterfall. The trail crosses on top of that small waterfall. At the base of Chasm lake, there is another privy stop. The last 0.1 mile was a bit of scramble up the rocks to get to Chasm lake. It was steep but that was also quite fun especially knowing that the lake is just above on the other side. Well worth the last bit of scramble.
Took us a little over 3hr to get up (with plenty time to rest and take pictures and absorb the surrounding scenery) and a bit over 2 hrs to get down. We spent a good 40 min by lake to have lunch and soak up the beautiful scenery. Highly recommend.

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.

hiking
10 days ago

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!

10 days ago

Amazing hike, started at 4am and got to chasm lake by 7am. Hike is pretty strenuous for someone from the flatland. Overall amazing views and would do this hike over and over again!

hiking
10 days ago

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.

11 days ago

Started this hike at 7:25 this morning and finished around 2. Parking lot was full so be prepared. Used this as our practice for Longs Peak and I would rate this hike as hard, not moderate. First portion isn’t difficult. Once you get past the small boulder field and on the actual trail for Chasm it contains some pretty narrow areas but with great views. Some scrabbling is required to get up to the lake and that part of the trail isn’t marked very well. Very easy to get lost in that area. Have plenty of water and sunscreen because that sun can be very hot above tree line. Highly recommend using hiking polls too, I’m 20 years old and an athlete but the polls saved my legs a ton.

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful all the way through.

hiking
11 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.

rock climbing
11 days ago

my pedometer says 10 miles, and 3500ft vertical. Another Thing To Know Is That This Is A climb, not a hike. you are going up, at least 30 degrees, the entire time. A hike is at least half flat.

storms hit this mountain every day, yes, every single day. I don't Care what your weather app says. bring layers, be prepared for rain and hail, thunder if not lightning. there is a shelter hut by a privvy about 75% of the way up, can't get in but can hide in doorway.

Devote 12 hours to this, bring plenty of food, I recommend caring water cantina and filter, as carrying water up a mountain will be incredibly hard. plenty of people take 2 days on this hike, its a serious physical feat.

hiking
11 days ago

My first 14er

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