Lake Isabelle Trail

EASY 490 reviews
#1 of 13 trails in

Lake Isabelle Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. 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.

DISTANCE
4.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
462 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

$11 entrance fee, cash only.

2 minutes ago

This hike was magnificent!

hiking
12 hours ago

Very scenic, easy trail. You may be waiting close to an hour or more to be allowed into this trail on the weekends after a well known hiking magazine named this as one of the best in Colorado. (*definitely not the best, just very scenic for how little elevation gain there is). There is a stopping point about 2-3 miles before the trailhead where you are forced to wait for a parking spot to open - one in per one out. We were told the parking is typically full by 6:30/7am on the weekends. There is a side lot just to the right of the station where you could drive on the shoulder past the line of cars, park, and walk to the trailhead which is obviously adding quite a bit of extra (non-scenic) walking. We were able to hitch a ride up pretty easily. One of the employees said there is typically not a line around 3pm onwards on the weekends.

18 hours ago

Stunning views. Amazing hike. Don’t arrive at the TH parking after 6:45am because you’re going to miss out.

18 hours ago

great views

1 day ago

I love this hike! I’ve gone two weeks in a row. Saw moose both times. Note: we arrived before 6:30 am to find the trailhead lot completely full. Had to walk an extra mile both directions. Worth it!

As long as you go early, it’s good. I can’t imagine waiting in the line to get into the park, or hiking with everyone and their dog. However, the higher you go, the less people there are.

This hike is stunning. Huge reward for less effort than usual.

hiking
2 days ago

Previous reviewer took the last parking spot Thursday which should have been mine, ha ha! Yes, get there early not only for a closer-in parking spot (I had to park about a mile away, but that was just fine), but also to catch lovely early-morning golden light if you’re a photographer. This hike is the most amazingly beautiful hike I’ve ever done! Wildflowers on steroids, waterfalls splashing down snow capped mountains, and MOOSE!! Doesn’t get any better. I want to go back next week and take a friend with me. Question: does anyone happen to know the date that the lake (reservoir) gets drained this summer?? (Some company drains it every year in late July-early August.)

hiking
3 days ago

Great views for an “easy” Colorado hike. Took our flatlander friend and she was fine. Most of the elevation gain is by Lake Isabelle but it’s minimal and worth every step. Gorgeous views of the area 13ers encircling the lake. Saw an elk, a marmot, and about 6 bull moose (moose were off the road getting to the trailhead). Wildflowers still look great and there’s a flowing creek most of the way, along with a waterfall near Lake Isabelle. Took the side trip around Long Lake on the way back, which made it 5.15mi. We got there at 6:55am today (a Thursday) and got the last parking spot at the Long Lake TH. Go super early; saw droves of people walking up the road from less convenient parking spots.

4 days ago

Start early to avoid the crowds and take bug repellent to avoid the mosquitoes. Good trail, amazing scenery. A great hike!

hiking
4 days ago

Like walking through screen savers. We went early am mid week and got to take in almost everything uninterrupted.

hiking
5 days ago

Easy hike that is absolutely gorgeous. There are some hikes you do for exercise and there are some you do for the views. This is for the views. Take your time and look around. We added in the Long Lake loop as well. Our dog loved splashing in all the streams.

Parking filled up before 8 am. We just hiked to the hike from the free lot outside the gate. It added about 4 miles onto the trip.

6 days ago

Amazing hike today to Lake Isabelle. All the recommendations and suggestions with regards to parking were very helpful from the past comments. We departed Denver at 530am arrived 715am. Obtained one of the last parking spaces. An easy trail with amazing views at every turn. As we arrived at location 7 moose were along side of road. This started our day on a fine note indeed!

7 days ago

Get there early! Parking lot will fill up around 8AM. Got there around 9AM a few weeks ago and we waited in line at the pay station for over an hour. Worth the wait if you have the time!

Bring sunscreen and plenty of water. Pretty crowded tail. If you don’t want to add time to the hike try to park at Long Lake. I

hiking
7 days ago

Lovely hike with great payoff. I have hiked this 3 times and done the 11-mile snowshoe to it when the access road was closed. Regarding the post for the hike on 6/29/18, you ***CAN*** use your RMNP annual pass, but you need to tell the people manning he Brainard Lake entry station that it is an "Access Pass" or "Interagency Pass". Any of the Federal annual or lifetime passes will work at Brainard. You just need to classify them as stated above because many of the people manning the entry booths only understand the passes when they are classified as above. I know this from experience and also received this exact info directly from the Boulder Ranger District.

9 days ago

Great hike! Bring your National Parks Pass and no need to pay the $11 fee. A ton of mosquitos once you get to the lake, so bring bug spray.

9 days ago

Great 4th if July hike. Fairly easy and well maintained.

9 days ago

incredible views and easy hike! wish it was less crowded with tourists but the rangers manage the area and parking well!

hiking
10 days ago

11 days ago

Easy distance on a good trail to so much beauty, but you won’t be alone. Lot full by 815 today. Parking at Mitchell adds 2 mi RT

hiking
13 days ago

I wanted to add that at 6:30am on a Monday, the parking lot was only 1/3 full. When I got back around 9, it was completely full.

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful and easy! I could have spent hours sitting at the lake if I had heeded the advice to wear insect repellent! Lots of mosquitos, especially as you get close to the water. Other than that, spectacular. Very easy hiking until right towards the end - it gets steeper as you're walking alongside the waterfall just before Lake Isabelle. Still not bad, though. I did not stop for a picnic - only short photo stops for me and sniffing and swimming stops for my dog. Walked a moderate pace. It took us 2 hours and 15 minutes in total. Wildlife sightings: deer, marmot, duck w/ ducklings

14 days ago

This hike was easy and beautiful! I could’ve spent hours just sitting at Lake Isabelle. Even the bathrooms were clean! The hike starts at 10,000ft so you’re up there. Even though it’s an easy hike without much of an incline, I was still breathing heavy at times due to elevation...so keep drinking water.

14 days ago

My husband and I hiked Pawnee Pass on 7/7/18. He thinks he left his camera sd card up there. He left it on the flat area up there before the final climb to the top. He left it on a flat rock in the middle of that area. God willing one of you finds it, we will pay a 300.00 reward once we confirm it is ours. Please email me at kbrewer@lps.k12.co.us.

15 days ago

I have gone twice, easy hike. Short time to get there, but so beautiful!

hiking
15 days ago

This is an AMAZING trail! Today was my first time hiking it and I was so happy! The weather was sunny, with rain coming after noon, off and on. Trail is mostly shaded. The views, mountains and lakes, waterfalls, flowers were all great. The trail was good length. I would maybe suggest that the level is more easy to moderate, I saw some people struggling with altitude and incline. PARKING MIGHT BE AN ISSUE! Please plan accordingly... rangers told us lot was full at 6 am, we were there at 8:20. Had to wait about 20 minutes to get in and park ($11 CASH). We were shown where to park, not offered options. I ended up logging 8 miles today instead of planned 4.5-5. I heard a few people say they saw moose around Long Lake, but I did not. My husband fly fished at Brainard (lots of little fish caught and released), had better luck on St. Vrain, just below Brainard (several bigger caught and released). Super fun day, we will be back!!! (maybe not on a Saturday, though!)

15 days ago

My favorite trail since I have moved to Denver. A must do! Long but easy... inclines aren't steep for long. Beautiful views, quiet, dog friendly, child friendly and snow in the summer. Make sure to take pack layers. *PLEASE Keep dogs on a leash, you might know your dog but you don't know someone elses.

15 days ago

Beautiful trail! Excellent views and a great beginners hike.

hiking
15 days ago

My wife and our 100lb German Shepherd hiked this trail for the first time. Easy trail. Great scenic views. Plenty of places to stop and let our dog enjoy a refreshing water plunge and drink. An absolutely gorgeous hike. Plenty of wildflowers this time of year. Great way to spend our last day of vacation in Colorado!!! A MUST do!!!

hiking
15 days ago

Absolutely stunning hike. You get amazing alpine views with one of the easiest trails I've ever done. The pups loved swimming in the three lakes along the trail to Isabelle. The wild flowers were breathtaking right now and three moose were in the meadow north of Long Lake. We went early at 7 am and the trailhead parking lot was already full. On our way out at noon I have never seen so many people in line...it was absurd. There were at least a hundred cars in line. Go early if you go on a Saturday is what I recommend!

hiking
16 days ago

Fabulous views. Good for the entire family. We had 8 of us there ranging from 4 years old to 70. The scenery changes enough too from a walk in the thick forest to beautiful meadows. We did have to wait almost an hour to enter the park once we arrived because it was one car out, one car in given the lots were full, so time your arrival well. Either first thing in the morning or 2:30ish when the rains come.

hiking
17 days ago

Nice trail.. easy to follow.. gorgeous weather to get away from heat!

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