Explore the most popular lake trails in San Juan National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

230 miles of Pure beauty. Start early, as you will want to stop for many pictures and a lunch, weather a picnic or stopping at an eatery. I highly recommend Baked in Telluride. All homemade and very reasonably priced.

An excellent hike and or an overnight x2

Very pretty hike but be prepared to hike in snow knee high at times.

This is probably one of my all time favorite hikes! I suggest getting there early in the morning to avoid crowds and to make sure you give yourself enough time. This is so scenic, everywhere you look is picture perfect! Wear layers, goes from hot to cold quickly. Bring snacks and plenty of water

Beautiful but busy! I left about 7 and made it back by 2. It's a bit of a burner but honestly the water is breathtaking and well worth the work. There were Llamas just chillin by Ice Lake which was random and amazing. I did continue up to Island lake which was awesome as well. People were fishing there and I sat for a good 10 minutes admiring the view. on the way there were quite a few people headed up. A few early morningers met me on the way up.

Good hike but well traveled at times.

Purely amazing

hiking
24 days ago

Rough drive to the trailhead. SUV or pickup truck is best. You need the ground clearance. Once there, it's an easy hike. Especially beautiful in Autumn when the leaves are changing. Be advised that if you want to take a dip, the water is very cold. Don't ask me how I know.

hiking
29 days ago

Easy, short hike

1 month ago

Great hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely amazing!!

My first real hike in the San Juans. Gorgeous.

walking
2 months ago

This was a beautiful hike however be aware that the road (county road 7 I believe) is closed. The last 4.4 miles of driving become walking. Also the snow was very deep (up to my waist at points) so bring snowshoes. It was still beautiful but be warned that this 8 mike hike is a 17 mike hike in the winter!

snowshoeing
2 months ago

I actually went up the road to Little Giant Basin to the east. Not sure why it isn't listed as its own hike. Wonderful views, lots of cool old mining structures.

I was only able to make this in Feb b/c of the lack of snow this year. This would've been feet deep on any other year, making it largely impassable or just too dangerous to attempt.

2 months ago

I saw beautiful nature during Autunm season! Very beautiful!

We wanted to do this trail but found a road closed sign when we came to junction close to trail. We went ahead and walked the closed road which had : ft of snow. We enjoyed the walk and the beautiful scenery. We did not make it all the way to the official trail.

It was a bit tiring but me and my girlfriend rocked that hike like champs, the first lake was amazing and the views are beautiful, you don’t need much gear to get to this point but we ll definitely recommend hiking shoes and not be afraid of heights if you wanna continue the short trip to island lake, there are parts that are a bit scary for first timers.

We ll definitely go back

One of my favorite hikes.

snowshoeing
3 months ago

Very difficult with snowshoes, but worth the effort. I didn't see a single person out and back, just a lot of wildlife tracks. Including big kitty. Navigating is very tricky because of the snow, so I brought my GPS watch + compass and it worked out fine. Bring an Ice axe, as some of the switchbacks can be deadly if you take a fall.

Love this spot— challenging hike, especially once you hit tree line, but well worth it!

3 months ago

A must!

probably the most beautiful hike we've done. the time of year may have helped as the change from 50° at the bottom to about 20 up top with almost a foot of snow made it feel like a fairy tale. will be back. not an easy one but may be one of the easier "hard" labeled hikes we've done in CO. I feel like there should be more ratings on here than easy, moderate, hard. If this is hard, there are hikes that are definitely VERY HARD.

One of the most beautiful hikes in the state. Hands down will be hiking it this winter.

hiking
4 months ago

My favorite hike!

Beautiful Hike! Definitely worth it

hiking
4 months ago

Difficult hike for us middle-aged hikers, but we pushed through and it was worth it! beautiful lake and amazing echos! We need a day to recover, though. Even our dog was tired!

hiking
4 months ago

Did ice lake and island lake on Nov. 24th. The lakes were almost complete frozen, but the view was still astounding! Bits of snow in the woods, a lot of packed snow on top. Brought microspikes which were really helpful, wouldn’t need snow shoes though. Will definitely come back in summer!

backpacking
4 months ago

epic views, love the goats, we even took a bath in the creek - it was freezing! the train ride in makes this trail even more epic! i tried to get some film too! https://youtu.be/2iDmEsqbobA

We just completed this hike in the beginning of winter (not advised). It’s really steep, slippery and the narrow trail cuts along the side of the mountain almost the entire way. The views are amazing and it’s worth it to head up to the top and see the ghost town. One of the coolest and hardest hikes I’ve done! Would be more manageable without snow and ice on the ground :)

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