Lake Isabelle Trail (Winter)

HARD 21 reviews
#15 of 20 trails in

Lake Isabelle Trail (Winter) is a 11 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ward, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for cross country skiing and snowshoeing and is best used from October until May.

DISTANCE
11.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,030 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

cross country skiing

snowshoeing

forest

lake

views

wildlife

rocky

snow

no dogs

This is the winter route for the Lake Isabelle Trail. This route is different than the summer one because from mid-October to mid-June, the road through the Brainard Lake Recreation Area is closed. This trail starts outside the closed gate at the Gateway Trailhead. There is no entry fee for this trail, as it starts outside of the entrance gate. The summer route, starting within the park at the Long Lake Trailhead, can be found here: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/lake-isabelle

5 days ago

We hiked the road in from the closure up to the long lake trail head. No flotation required up until the first split between jean lunning trail and Pawnee pass trail up to lake Isabelle . We trenched a decent trail along Pawnee pass trail until the second trail split with jean lunning trail. From here Pawnee pass trail to lake Isabelle has not had any trail broken. We opted to turn around and eat sandwiches at Brainard Lake rather than break trail for a mile . Happy trails to anyone who makes it all the way ! I last did this trail in October . The lake is beautiful all year round but is especially pretty covered in snow !!

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Snowshoed up to Lake Isabella (12/12) Crazy windy if you're outside the trees, but beautiful especially with clear skies. Took the snowshoe trail up, which was wonderful and hard packed. You can find just left of the gate. Trails were fairly packed down until east end of Long Lake. After that it was a bit of trailblazing. Saw evidence of some xc skiers but otherwise empty on a weekday.

hiking
1 month ago

My friend and I did this hike on a Monday (10/29), and except for the road being closed to the upper parking lots, it was quite majestic!

I must admit that the 2-mile (4-mile round-trip) trek on a paved road absolutely sucked. The worst part about it was that the road to both parking lots was completely clear and could have been accessed by any vehicle. However, we didn't have to pay the $11 Brainard Recreation Area fee, so there's that.

But with it being a weekday and with the road closure, we encountered very few other hikers on the trail. This added to the beauty of trail, with only having to share it with a few other nature lovers. Be sure to follow the All Trail map very closely though, as we almost got lost heading up to the lake.

The lake itself was mostly covered in ice, with just a few openings showing where the water was. Initially it was quite pleasant at the top, so we stopped and had a nice little snack. But shortly thereafter the wind picked up and it turned quite chilly. So, we packed up, took a few pictures and headed out.

A lot of people have indicated in their reviews that it was close to 12 miles round-trip, but I clocked it at roughly 10 miles on my phone. Will definitively be returning to tackle the Isabelle Glacier when the road is no longer closed.

2 months ago

Beautiful hike the entire way. As someone else mentioned the road to Brainard Lake is closed. From parking and back we clocked a round trip of 12 miles to get to Lake Isabelle and back to parking lot. The trail had nice packed snow 90% of the way, the last part before the lake is a little slushy and muddy being exposed to sun which can cause it to be a little slick, so careful if you have some limitations. The lake was completely frozen on 10/20.

hiking
13 days ago

2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

cross country skiing
11 months ago

snowshoeing
Sunday, January 14, 2018

hiking
Saturday, October 28, 2017

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

hiking
Wednesday, June 07, 2017

hiking
Monday, June 05, 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

recorded

Saturday, August 15, 2015