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Lake Isabelle Trail (Summer) is a 8.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 8.6 mi Elevation gain 987 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Backpacking

Hiking

Nature trips

Snowshoeing

Bird watching

Forest

Lake

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Muddy

Rocky

Snow

Fee

Description
Waypoints (0)

Note: Gate can be closed due to heavy snow however the trail is still accessible. Although this trail is almost entirely in the Indian Peaks Wilderness (Roosevelt National Forest), it starts in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. There is a $12 fee (cash only) to enter this area. From mid-October to Mid-June, the road to the trailhead is closed. Visitors must park at the Gateway Trailhead, at the closed gate. This route adds 2.5 miles one-way to the hike. The winter hike can be found on AllTrails here: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/lake-isabelle-trail-winter This hike starts at the Long Lake trailhead.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1182)
Photos (2001)
Recordings (588)
Completed (2926)
Bryce Ikeda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2020
HikingBugsFeeGreat!Rocky

Hiked this on a Monday getting there around 3 pm. We had no wait to get in but took the last parking spot at the trailhead. Saw two moose, a buck, tons of chipmunks and two brides walking up for a photo shoot. Gorgeous hike all around. Worth going the extra half mile around the lake to reach the small waterfall and stream coming down from the glacier. The view of the mountains are amazing. Would definitely recommend to anyone as it is not too hard.

Melissa Mersch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

Wonderful trail and definitely worth going all the way to the top!! Gorgeous lake

Kristen O
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingFeeGreat!

Super nice amazing views! Pretty easy hike I’m actually going to bring my mom on this hike in a few weeks because I think she would be able to do it. I got there around 11am on a Sunday so I expected horrible wait times and a packed trail and the wait was only ~ 20 minutes in the line for the fee station and the trail had people but it didn’t feel crowded at all!

Brenda L.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful destination and trail. Busy but not overcrowded. Please understand trail etiquette.. those who are ascending have the right of way and there are a few tight spots. We strategically arrived at 12 pm (I am not one to get up at the crack of dawn) when the gate/parking lots opened up again and it was not a long wait in line/plenty of folks leaving. I knew I did not want to hike uphill 2 miles to the trailhead. Since it is an uphill hike anyway to the Lake, my knees appreciated that in the end. Parked at Brainard Lake and hiked 3 miles steady incline up to lake, passing Long Lake. We saw a moose and a friendly begging chipmunk and dipped our feet in the cold water. We did not require hiking poles. Loved the shade, boardwalks, cool air, flora!

Samantha Gray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

I loved this hike. probably my favorite in colorado because it has a bit of everything and the gorgeous lake isabelle. However, the parking situation was frustrating. They gave me a parking pass for a lot far away from the trail head and then i got a ticket for the wrong parking lot. Although I arrived at 6am the lots were already full. Earlier you arrive, the easier it will be

Stacey Reynolds
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail, pretty easy and full of wildflowers. Got to the area at 3:00pm and found parking at the Long Lake trailhead... total hike is about 4 miles round trip if you start from there instead.

Laura Amelia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020

Lovely hike, I hiked to the hike so hiked for a total of 12.25 miles, I parked in the parking lot right before you drive through to pay the fee. It is a easy to moderate hike, not too challenging but you get a nice work out. Lots of wild flowers, I passed three other lakes before I got to Isabelle lake, wonderful smells through out the hike. I had a great time, loved the biome. It is a pretty well rounded hike. I got there at 12:15pm and had a great time, was done by 6pm.

Sam Sinkhorn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2020
HikingFeeGreat!

Absolutely stunning hike. It’s relatively easy with very little elevation gain. I would recommend getting there before 6 am. We arrived at 645 and parking was filing up. When we were leaving around 1230 it was truly shocking how many people were trying to get in/walking alongside the road/parking anywhere and everywhere. I might recommend doing this hike in the fall when there aren’t as many crowds. We saw a moose right near the parking lot, but the poor guy had a rope tangled around his antlers. He didn’t seemed too bothered buy it at least? Only rating 4 stars because of the amount of people. Otherwise, I’d do this hike again and again! The trail was really clean; we only picked up one cigarette butt, a dog bowl someone dropped, and a piece of paper in the parking lot. Help keep our trails clean! FYI - If you have a National Parks Pass you don’t have to pay the fee.

Nadav Newman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
HikingFee

How can I phrase this? The trail was stunningly beautiful, from the lake views on top, to the opening tree line as you ascent; even a brief glimpse at Moose and Elk across the glacial pass. Wow. I would read Addy’s review just below this, since the parking situation is a mess. We went a bit later, so there’s another slot after 12 at 1:30, then it’s open until capacity. Not that it detracts from the nature views, but it is extremely crowded and busy on the trail. People mostly separated when on route, but quite a few university aged people (not all) did not wear masks and did not respect distance. If you want a secluded trip, this trail isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for Switzerland-esque glacial lakes, it’s simply perfect.

Monica DeFazzio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking
View Monica's Recording
Eric Sapp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking

Fantastic views and scenery!! I arrived at the entrance to the park at 5:30am on a Sunday and was the 8th car in line. There was plenty of parking. $12 cash only fee to enter. I got my pick of parking right at the TH. Overall a very easy hike with big rewards.

View Eric's Recording
Addy Reddish
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking

This trail is fantastic. Easy enough for beginners, but has some seriously amazing views. Wildflowers galore still today (8/8) around every turn. Took a dip in the freezing lake for a refreshing arrival at Lake Isabel. It was fairly crowded, but that’s to be expected for a Saturday up here. A few logistical things: GET THERE EARLY! Cannot stress this enough. All lots were full by 6:45 AM this morning. Due to COVID restrictions, they are stopping letting people in once lots are full. At 8:00, 10:00, and 12:00, they resume letting a predetermined number of cars in. If you are far enough back in the line to the fee booth, you will not get in until the next “release” time when they let cars in. We ended up having to park the car while 5th in line for an hour, but simply walked back to the winter lot for bathrooms and to enjoy our lunch. Just something to be aware of. This trail is actually only 4 miles round trip if you are able to park in the Long Lake Trail lot. Enjoy! This is a beautiful hike, with minimal effort for maximum reward.

Sylvie Cubbage
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
HikingGreat!

Beautiful hike with scenic views. The first 30 min were the most strenuous of the hike and the rest felt like a breeze (very little incline). Many pretty waterfalls on the trail and a lot of vibrant greenery. I'd also recommend that once reaching Lake Isabelle, hiking up to the waterfall and look out point which can be seen at the bottom of the lake.

Edmund Kao
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020
HikingGreat!Scramble

National Park Pass gets you in for free! We were directed to the Brainard Lake Parking by a ranger because the closer parking lots were 80% full at about 8:45 am on a Thursday. Not sure why they stop at that point. We basically ended up tracing the recording exactly. Most of the trail is easy. The part around Long Lake is basically a walk in the park. Almost all of the wet spots are covered by bridges or boardwalks. Near the top, it gets narrower and more difficult. Really beautiful, very clean (only picked up a little trash and one abandoned poo bag). Quite a lot of hikers in the bottom ⅔ of the trail. Most wore masks. On the way out, we saw people walking the 2.5 miles to the overflow parking lot, right near the entrance to the park. I would avoid that by getting to the park earlier, or going later. At 2 pm, there was no one redirecting traffic away from the closer parking lots at the trail heads.

Bold Deceiver
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
HikingGreat!

Love love love love love this. Got there at 5:30 was maybe 4th or 5th to the Long Lake trailhead. When I got back at 10 or whatever there were still open spots in the parking lot, though there was a long line at the fee gate. Man, so lovely. Starts nice and gentle, wide, soft, trees, flowers. The creek running out of Long Lake has some beautiful trout (caught a few on black foam caddis dries and purple tungesten droppers today around midday). Gentle climbs, gurgling waterfalls, a few little rocky areas, beautiful lake (a couple was married there this morning), scree to the glacier toward the west, nice long views down the mountains to the east. I actually didn't go all the way to the glacier, as I was time-constrained, but it is on my list. Will do this one again as soon as I can.

Chris Minske
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking

This is one of my favorite hikes ever. Beautiful wild flowers, waterfalls, and lakes. Nothing difficult. A couple step sections, but very doable. Lots of water along the way for doggos.

View Chris's Recording
Alexis Bundy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking

Arrived Thursday morning at 6:20... Parking lot already full but let me park semi close to trailhead. Not too many people on the way up but a lot coming down. Get here bright and early if you want to avoid crowds! I’d say 5-545. Also saw a moose who has rope wrapped around his antlers... poor guy

View Alexis's Recording
Tuesday Stewart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
HikingBugsFeeGreat!RockyScramble

Gorgeous views. Moderate is an appropriate rating. Not too difficult, however, parking in any of the overflow lots will add mileage to the trail. Trail is in good shape and most people on trail followed mask common courtesy and pulled up a mask while passing fellow hikers. Trail begins to get rocky closer to Isabelle but offers incredible alpine meadow views as well in this portion of the hike. Do not forget bug spray- lots of mosquitoes near Isabelle. Also plan ahead for the likelihood of a quick shower. Each time I’ve hiked this it has rained on me. We began the hike around 1 PM and though it was definitely trafficked, we were able to enjoy many sections of the trail to ourselves.

Brett Cleary
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
Hiking

amazing trail ..it was crowded even for a wednesdy morning. but well worth it..the views are gnarly. but its not for the giant of hearted I'll say that

View Brett's Recording
Alyssa Sue
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
HikingGreat!

8/4: Got to the entrance at 7:10am, there was no line and was able to park at Brenard lake with ease. I did the Lake Isabelle trail via the Niwot cutoff. Saw 4 people on the way up. Saw many more on the way down. Most people had masks. Is just a breathtaking hike and would highly recommend. Saw two deer right off the trail on the way up. Saw three moose right off the trail on the way down.

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