Ice Lake Basin Trail

HARD 234 reviews
#1 of 73 trails in

Ice Lake Basin Trail is a 8.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Silverton, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2998 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

snow

off trail

Ice Lakes trail has two common destinations, lower and upper. The upper basin is surrounded by awesome peaks. Vermillion, Fuller, Pilot knob and Golden Horn are climbed from this basin. Amazing blue/green lakes, late season wildflowers, moderately strenuous hike to creekfalls and waterfalls too.

16 hours ago

Hard but so beautiful. Went to Island Lake, also. Not as spectacular as Ice Lake, but beautiful. Trail to Island Lake was a bit sketchy in two places. Hiked it on September 20. We were blessed with sunny warm weather.

2 days ago

Amazing hike with great views. It is literally uphill the entire way so be prepared. We also headed over to Island Lake (it had a section of trail that washed out so it was kinda scary/steep for a tiny bit of the hike to island lake). We did 7.3 miles total for us and 6 hours with a serious break at ice lake for some lunch/enjoying the views!

hiking
4 days ago

Was an amazing hike- rated hard and for myself and my wife who live in Lower Michigan @ 600' "elevation"- this was hard but so worth it- Aspens were in heavy change to fall yellow/gold ! Waterfalls at the beginning were excellent- but getting heavy into hike- lots and lots of steep switch-backs and then it gets hard at mile 3.2 with a steep ascent and push to the top- coming over the last ridge and getting my first look at Ice Lake took my breath away- have never, even in Hawaii or the Caribbean, seen water so blue! Made the extra effort to make the trek to the right up to Island Lake- not as spectacular as Ice but gorgeous in its own way surrounded by high spire walls- round trip according to Map My Hike was 9.1 miles total up and back @ 7:05- I think this will be in my memory as on of my favorite hikes !

7 days ago

This spectacular hike features three elements. A nice tree canopy for the first 1/2, then amazing valley views above treeline, and the grand finale... Ice Lake. It's definitely one of the best hikes in Colorado. Don't let the 8 miles fool you, it's a steep trek and quite strenuous. Once you're out of the woods, you'll be sun drenched. And like most 12k+ mountains, the weather can be considerably different (colder and wetter) at the summit.

hiking
7 days ago

Truly a great hike - among the best I have done in over 6 years of living out west. We got an early start (which I highly recommend - at the trailhead around 7am) and were back to our car just after 12. We did the extra hike to Island lake and the time includes a stop at both ice and island. Although it's tough, I think the hike is pretty doable to anyone who is acclimated to mountain altitude and in decent shape. If you want spectacular views and don't want to tackle a true summit - this is a great hike to consider.

hiking
7 days ago

Most of the trail was not difficult. The town had their first snow so the mountains were snow capped....beautiful!

Tough one but it was soooo worth it !!! Highly recommended

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

One of the best trails I've ever done in Colorado. Absolutely stunning lakes and wide open meadows. Perfect hike to take your dog on too

backpacking
12 days ago

Amazing hike, really tough one when hiking with 25 lb backpack, but so worth it!

backpacking
13 days ago

We backpacked up to the lower Ice Lakes Basin over Labor Day weekend, and it was incredible. We arrived at the TH at 8am, and there were probably half a dozen spots left out of about 60+. The weather was great, and the scenery was spectacular. The trail was well-marked. We had lots of campsite choices in the lower basin. Ours was the best--about a 5-min walk to water, views of the upper trail for people watching (and there were lots of people and dogs!), and views of the neighboring peaks and the large "chalky" waterfall. Some backpackers camped at the upper basin, but we opted not to since there are no trees/shelter from storms and it's very wind-exposed up there. Although there were lots of people (probably about 40 people camping), we still managed to find solitude in the lower basin. Cross the wide creek and wander around where there are trees to the left/south of the basin, and you'll find a bunch of campsites along several foot trails. We filtered water coming from the "clear" (non-chalky) stream from Fuller Lake.
In the lower basin, a little bit of flowers remained. The flowers must be amazing in July! Fall colors were starting to come out on the leaves. Minimal mosquitoes.
The trail to Ice Lake was strenuous with minor scrambling in a few sections. The color of Ice Lake is unbelievable. It should be called "Blue Lake." There were lots of flowers in the upper basin (moreso than the lower basin), even in early Sep.
We opted to hike to all 3 lakes, and Ice Lake was our favorite because of the unique blue color of the water, the flowers, and the backdrop. Our 2nd favorite was Fuller Lake (the largest of the 3 and also where some people fish) because of the lack of crowds, lots of flowers, and incredible views looking back at Ice Lake and over towards Molas Pass. The trail to Fuller Lake was meandering and not difficult. When we arrived at the lake, there was only 1 person! We ate a peaceful lunch there and enjoyed checking out the dilapidated mining cabin that had an adjacent picnic table. It was the perfect finish to a wonderful hike!
According to the Fitbit, it was 3,192 feet elevation gain roundtrip including all 3 lakes (Ice, Island, and Fuller).

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

Fabulous hike. Among the best hikes we've done. Ice Lake IS beautiful, but the there are impressive waterfalls and views along the trail as well. Took us 5 hours (excluding time hanging out at Ice Lake) and that included the extra mile past Ice Lake to Fuller Lake. We did not do Island Lake. The hike is rated Hard, but I would say Moderate.

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

19 days ago

Awesome trail and hike. Good moderate stroll with incredible reward. Do the extra push to Island Lake. Its not much further but is worth it.