hiking

views

forest

dogs on leash

wild flowers

wildlife

lake

birding

nature trips

walking

snowshoeing

backpacking

river

waterfall

I actually ended up hiking this path while trying to find Dorothy Lake, but am very happy I found this gem. If you’re brave enough to descend the mountain, there is a beautiful valley that you’ll likely get all to yourself. There were only a couple of birds in the area – otherwise it was completely silent and still. The trees and lake in the valley are pristine. Bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic to enjoy the valley.

You’ll want your energy for the hike back up the trail. It’s a series of very steep switchbacks with quite a bit of wind and sun exposure. All in all, it took about 6 hours for two semi-experienced hikers to hike the entire trail to Caribou Lake. While it’s a challenge to climb up and endure the return walk after the valley, the trail is rewarding. Bring plenty of water.

Walk the path by the river, it’s beautiful and is not nearly as rocky. We walked the river path up and it was gorgeous!! It brings you out at a nice place to lay out in the rocks and then you continue on to the main tail to the lake.

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.

Views from the top were amazing and there was only one other person at the summit on an August Sunday! Would rate this as difficult for sure and would definitely agree that you need to read other trip reports so you know the best way to get to the trailhead and how to get to the top of the mountain. The cairn located at 3.6 miles are a good start, going around the trees seems like whatever works for you, but once past the trees there is a faint trail and it worked well for me to follow the NPS fence posts.

Beautiful views: mountain-backed lakes, harsh ridge lines, and wildflowers. Well-marked trail.

We hiked clockwise, three days, two nights -camped at Bettie Lake and Devil’s Thumb Lake, felt alone at both. Jasper Lake looked like a popular camping spot, and there was a site by the stream right before the off-shoot to Bob and Bettie Lakes if you don’t want to leave the loop. We were skinny-dipping at Devil’s Thumb and realized there was a lone fisherman across the lake getting a great show, haha, but otherwise, camping was very peaceful.

I was thankful for layers because it was really hot during the day, but surprisingly cold as soon as the sun dipped. We made Nalgene hot water bottles to supplement our 20* sleeping bags.

We hiked mid-week (Aug 8-10) and saw more hikers and trail-runners than backpackers. Some people struggling, but then also an older couple of women crushing it, and a Dad with two young kids. I’m a beginner with a heavy pack and ended each day smiling.

Brought my 35lb pup - she wore off her front pads chasing marmot in the rocks... which wouldn’t have been a problem if I had kept her on leash. She loved it. Didn’t see many (any?) dogs out towards the peak, but lots at the trailhead. Leash definitely required for the first bit.

Elevation is no joke, but plenty of places to refill water, so keep drinking!!

Side note: we stopped in Ned on the way home and ate at the Thai restaurant - killer $10 lunch deal!

This hike starts with a gradual incline for about 1.5 miles through the spruce and fir forest. Once you break out of the trees at timberline, the rest of this hike (4 miles or so) is exposed high tundra hiking. IF YOU HAVE ARE BRINGING A DOG...there is no water at all on this trail. Just FYI. After treeline you get your first big views of north Arapahoe peak and Apache peak. You are also able to see the lakes down on your right associates with the Boulder watershed. The hike begins to climb from this point up the tundra with a few different switchback sections. You then end up on the south side of the ridge where you have great views of eldora ski area, Mt Evans, and all the mountains on the continental divide looking towards winter park. We could also see Grays and Torrey’s, and Bierstadt, and Pikes peak way off in the southern distance. You head along the ridge here for a couple miles at a pretty even grade until you meet up with 4th of July trail. At this point you can see the peak to your right which is the way to south arapahoe peak. This is why the trail has a hard rating in my opinion. It’s a steep rock scramble up to the top but well worth it.

The trail is beautiful and not too difficult. But I have to agree with other commenters that it’s very busy on weekends and the amount of loose rock is tricky. I still recommend it though because the lake and the waterfalls are relaxing. Also, parking at the Nederland park n ride and getting the shuttle is the way to go; it’s there every 15 minutes on the weekends and you don’t have to deal with the scarce parking at the trail head.

Arrived at 5:15 am on Saturday and there were a lot of cars parked on the side of the road but still plenty of space. People can't seem to agree on which way to go- I decided to go counterclockwise and I'm very glad I did.

I have been up to Jasper Lake a couple of times but this is the first time I tried the loop. In my opinion the north side of the loop is more scenic. It's best to do it in the morning when the lighting is better and you still have energy. Also I like steep inclines more than steep declines as they're more exciting and less stressful on the knees. Saw a bull moose about halfway up to Jasper Lake. That was pretty terrifying as he was only 25 yards or so off of the trail hidden behind some trees. I snapped a quick picture and got out of there.

The trail is pretty easy. The distance is the hard part. I was feeling pretty haggard on the last 3-4 miles. Got back to the parking lot a little before 3PM. I probably could of finished at 2 if I hadn't of taken so many pictures.

Overall an awesome hike! My favorite one so far

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
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.

The trail itself is great, definitely worth trekking it for the views at Isabelle Lake. Long Lake is beautiful too. The only downside is that parking is terrible, got there around 11am and it was full so I had to park about a mile down the road and hike up to the trailhead. Views were incredible though so it wasn’t too terrible. Don’t forget it’s $11 to enter, they only take cash or check. Highly recommend overall!

backpacking
6 days ago

Nice well marked trail that takes you up to Lost Lake, a clear, shallow mountain lake at about 10,000 feet elevation. It’s a bit tough on the way up, but a fun hike down. Nice Mountain View’s and shallow rocky rivers with a couple large waterfalls.

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

Beautiful. Well-marked hike.

The hike is well worth the view at Isabelle Lake and all the way up to the glacier if you can make it. We arrived at the trail head at 7am on a Tuesday and there was plenty of parking. Much less ice/snow than when we did the hike a few years ago but still fun to end up on the glacier. We were hiking with 3 kids (ages 9-14) and took a few breaks on the way - took us 5 hours round trip.

Fairly easy hike. Good trail improvements along the way. Definitely a lot of wildflowers, waterfalls, and scenery. The lake at the top is worth every step. We would definitely come back for a picnic lunch on a nicer day. The clouds started rolling in once we made it to the lake and we had to cut the chill time short. I definitely recommend blazing your own trail at the bottom to see a few waterfalls that aren't as easy to get to or see from the main trail. As other reviews have stated stay to the left.

I love this hike, great views, like waterfalls and rolling rivers. go early or go late

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!

We did about 5 miles out and back of this trail and it was a really beautiful hike, nicely forested and at least the first part wasn't too strenuous. Not many other people on the way out as we went early enough. I definitely hope to go back to do a more extended version of the hike.

Great hike! A bit rocky throughout. We had a little trouble knowing where to go to go around the lake. It was busy and parking was tight. Would go again!

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
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!

This hike has ton to see, moose, open meadows, snow melt streams and killer views. It ramps up in elevation from mile 2 to 3, and once you are above tree line the last mile to the top is steep but worth it. The Thumb is kind of an optical illusion, you will see what I mean when you get there.

The Mrs. and I hiked this trail last week and it was stunning. The wildflowers were out in force and the trail was in great shape. We arrived a little before 6a.m. and had no problem parking on Friday morning. Mostly had the trail to ourselves until the return trip where it was getting a lot of foot traffic. We’re planning for a backcountry hike in a few weeks and had loaded packs on. The hike was moderate - mostly flat with a few elevation increases. Got a little sketchy about 3.5 miles in with trying to follow the path but nothing major. One of the best hikes we’ve been on in the area. Highly recommended!

The wildflowers are still in bloom, and the hike to Isabelle Glacier was one beautiful view after another. If you are able to, arrive early to experience some peace. Lots of traffic on the trail coming back at 10:00 am.

Hiked this trail 7/31/18. Beautiful view of the valley from the summit. Saw a moose with a calf in the clearing. Many wildflowers in bloom. The majority of the well defined trail boarders the stream. My daughters (22 and 20) and I (53) completed in about 5 1/2 hours-2:45 hour climb, 1 hour lunch at top and 1:45 hour descent. First half fairly gentle climb then it becomes more strenuous with numerous switchbacks. We paused several times for pictures and breathers on the way up but rarely on the way down. We are all reasonably fit but not to the extreme. I clocked this at 4 miles each way. I felt google maps provided better directions to the trailhead compared to Alltrails. Much of the approach roads are unpaved and a bit narrow but were passable in a minivan in dry weather.

Load More