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It’s 1.5 miles straight up hill. No gradual rises but totally doable. Went with my sons 5th grade Fieldtrip and had a great time!

This was a good hike! Not too steep not too difficult! Gorgeous views and we saw a moose right next to the trail.

Fun hike! Was fairly easy with a beautiful payoff at the end. So many lakes that can be seen!

hiking
1 day ago

As far as reward to effort ratio goes, you can't get much better than this. The walk from the parking lot to the viewpoints is short, paved, mostly flat and, understandably, pretty crowded. Actually, just finding parking space can be quite tricky. The views of the valley and especially the Half Dome are absolutely stunning though and I really can't recommend this highly enough.

hiking
2 days ago

It was a great trail for my kids and us to walk. Did explore a lot around the lake and a ton of rocky areas my kids climbed the afternoon away.

The view is amazing. Anyone that says differently is taking it for granted. Bring lots of water because it gets hot and it’s uphill the whole way up. Make reservations ahead of time and bring a jacket for the caves because it can get fairly cold inside the caves. Loved it!!

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
4 days ago

Very cool hike! We did the day hike to Lower, Middle, Upper Blue Lakes and to the Sneffels pass. I recommend camping at the trailhead for an early start. The lower lake is beautiful (it's better than the other two) but pretty full of campers. The best view is from near the middle lake looking down on the lower lake. The path can be hard to find going from lower to middle. The trail from upper lake to the pass was narrow and steep and did get boring, so you could definitely skip this and you wouldn't be missing out. The hike is quite steep in beginning sections, so it gets real old on the way back down (we saw two people who appeared to have twisted ankles from sliding or falling in these sections... both of whom were hiking in tevas, so do with that what you will).

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.

Tough hike. I took my 10 year old daughter on her first overnight backpacking trip. This was definitely a tough hike. Great fishing.

Hardest hike/climb I've done so far for it's distance (started 6 miles down), amazing view at the top, well worth it.

It was an unending stairclimber until it became a climb instead of a hike.

Have you ever heard of the boy who cried wolf getting eaten?
Don't try to take your 2wd low clearance rental car up this one, you may have to back up 50ft straight.
Class 3 scrambling? It actually exists and you can learn what it is on this trail. Some very exposed maneuvers, try to stay on the shale going up and don't trust any rock regardless of size.

Remember the dirt roads you took up to the actual trailhead sign, you'll see many options going downward.

Somehow the waterfalls were ignored by nearly everyone. They made the area way more than just a crowded 14er for me.

Start early to avoid the crowds renting Jeeps. 8:30am summit, a few other people. 9am summit, a dozen with more on their way up.

I saw a medium-small dog make it up, but he had to be passed between group members at the very top section (Larger dogs probably wouldn't make this section either). I heard him bark a good amount on their way down, I'm assuming out of fear.

Very nice hike. The views are incredible. And to have the stream right along the trail was awesome! Will definitely do this hike again

People are right, parking is hard to get there early. The view is also the best in the morning. It’s an easy short hike, though some children and seniors may find it difficult. There are good views from the bottom of the pile so even those with physical disabilities could enjoy the view of moraine.

A hard hike, quick elevation gain with many scrambles! But totally worth the challenge! Very rewarding and we saw goats!!

good short hike and very nice falls.

beautiful hike all the way through and the prize at the end the waterfall perfect.

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

Great hike. Day 1 we left Henry Fork trailhead and went in past dollar lake 2 miles to camp (9.5 total). Did this to make our summit shorter. Water was harder to find but it was less crowded. Day 2 we left camp at 7:30 am and hit the top at 11:15. We went the shorter but steeper route over the bolder field to Anderson pass. Back to camp just after 3:00 pm. Then packed up and went to dollar lake to camp to make day 3 shorter. Day 3 we left dollar lake at 8 and we were back to the trailhead at 11:00 am. Overall great hike with amazing views. Bucket list item checked off.

Great trail with amazing views. For the time and distance, the top is very worth it!

I agree with Chris, this is more of a moderate trail. By the end my friend and I were very sore. The pain was well worth seeing the falls. Take lots of water!

hiking
7 days ago

Grandkids loved the hike, ages 2-14. Not too bad until the last ¼ mile, it was steep, rocky, switchbacks. Parking was tough on a Friday morning. Beautiful views. While the wildflowers are almost gone, there was still a few to enjoy. Trail is very dusty. We plan on doing this again next year closer to Mid-July.

hiking
7 days ago

I did this about 3 years ago and there was some snow on the alpine section. This time, of course, no snow, so I was able to see more of what the landscape looks like. I had hoped to escape the smoke, but even the high Uintahs had smoke. A great, short, easy hike with some precarious-looking edges for those of us who are afraid of heights. Too many stupid-looking cairns at the top.

Parking is a bitch. So I started to walk the 12km road. Got picked up by a french couple. Starting walking down got picked up by a German couple. Ppl are super nice.

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 first hike to the summit of a mountain and I agree it is good for a beginner! I would not consider it hard or difficult. Definitely moderate. I only had to pause briefly closer to the top because of the oxygen level I suppose. Some parts were a little steep but much of it was very easy to walk. Hiking sticks are a huge help. Beautiful views at the top!

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!

This was definitely a tough hike! If you don’t have a high-clearance vehicle be prepared to hike about 7-8 miles in & out. Once you finally get to the actual trail, there’s a deceiving sign that says 1.2 miles to the summit—it’s pretty much a straight incline up the full 1.2 miles and there are rocks/boulders that fall while you’re hiking up. Since the hike is so steep, the rocks slip constantly so we recommend a helmet, like some people had, and possibly hiking poles for the trip back down. Heading back down was honestly the hardest part because it puts a lot of stress on your knees. There are several false summits so be prepared! When you finally reach the top & are close to the summit, you’ll have to scramble through a tight notch to reach the actual summit. Get someone to help you because that part can be tricky—especially if you’re hiking alone. All in all, it’s a beautiful mountain & I promise you’ll remember the hike forever.

Beautiful hike.

fun destination hike with a great payoff. falls were amazing. most of the trail is fairly ez, but there are a couple of steep sections.
took the whole family, my 9 year old struggled just a bit.
took 2 hours.
GPS had it at 4.3 miles.

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