Isabelle Glacier Trail

HARD 55 reviews
#18 of 109 trails in

Isabelle Glacier Trail is a 10.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1673 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

snow

Directions from Ward: Take Brainard Lake Road (CR #102) to the Long Lake Trailhead.

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

Such a wonderful experience even with the lake mostly drained. Don't rush the trail; take the time to look around. Didn't quite make it to the glacier because of incoming weather.

28 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

This is one of my favorite trails in Colorado! It's absolutely stunning!! This Trail has so much to offer. You walk by several open fields of flowers, through Forest, past several beautiful waterfalls, finally up to Isabel Lake. I highly suggest continuing the trail along the lake and going up to the glacier. I did this in about 5 hours with multiple breaks and photo opportunities. I went on a Friday morning and the trail was not very crowded and then hiked again on a Sunday which was definitely more crowded but still not overwhelming. There is a $11 fee to get into the forest but it's well worth it. Highly highly recommend!!

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Great trail! Beautiful views!

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

First off, to the lake (3 miles from trailhead). Definitely not a 'hard' hike. Little to no elevation gain and the trail is very well maintained. Breathtaking.

The glacier is a different story. I would rate it more moderate than difficult but trail conditions could make it a hard. Tons of scrambling, poor footing, stream crossings, and mud- all of which make for a super fun hike. I had two dogs with me, both of which are very agile and used to climbing, and we all lost our footings. The gaps in boulders can be pretty scary for little legs so I wouldn't classify this part very dog friendly. If you get up to the glacier pond early enough, keep climbing to get to the upper glacier! Beautiful views and you can see everything in the little valley.

Also, as usual AllTrails is just a little off in terms of distance. I clocked my hike in at 11.5 miles but we also took some detours!

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent trail! Lots of water crossings and rock scrambles but the views are incredible. Got the last parking spot at 6:20am so go early. $11 or NP pass to enter.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome hike! We got lucky with the weather.
Strenuous after the lake. Very easy upto the lake. After that get prepared for rock hopping over several boulder fields, navigating thru snowfields, crossings over waterfall & stream, slogging thru narrow barely perceptible trail through the willows with very wet marshy trail until the final steep switchbacks at the end. Trail is hard to find. I was with Colorado Mtn Club where the leader knew the trail. I would have been lost alone for sure. So be aware and have good navigation skills because the trail is hard to find over boulder fields, snowfields and marshes.

Reward is awesome views throughout and at the end of Navajo and Apache Peaks (see attached pics). Beautiful wildflowers, saw Kings crown, Elephant head flowers, among others. Although wildflowers were not as abundant as say Diamond Lake. Lotsa marmots and pikas. Some cheeky marmots, as usual, approaching us for handouts when we stopped for snacks. Of course, NEVER feed the wildlife however cute they might look.

Hurried back down to avoid storm which loomed 1/2 way back. Made it to the TH just in time as it started raining. Our pace on this hike ended up much slower than usual because of trail conditions. Although, as we were going to the Glacier we met a 20 something girl who told us she had just climbed Apache peak! Wimpy us! I was content to look at Apache Peak from below at the Glacier. Haha!