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Lake Isabelle Trail (Summer)

MODERATE 957 reviews
#2 of 22 trails in

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.

Distance: 8.6 miles Elevation Gain: 987 feet 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

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.

hiking
snow
21 hours ago

Road is closed, started at Brainard lake. Saw 3 moose! A bit of snow but still doable.

hiking
1 day ago

The road to the trail head is now closed as of 10/19/19. It’s approximately 9 miles round trip from the Brainard Gateway Trailhead. Stunning views despite the overcast day. Surprisingly saw almost no one on the trail this chilly Saturday morning (started at 0930). Saw more people on the way back. No moose :(. Small areas of snow and ice, no extra traction needed.

hiking
rocky
snow
6 days ago

hiking
muddy
snow
7 days ago

Beautiful hike! The trail was a bit icy but nothing too extreme. Took 4 people visiting from Texas on this hike, they handled it like champs & it was the highlight of their trip. 10/10 recommend this hike. The lake itself is super windy so plan to picnic a little before the lake.

hiking
7 days ago

beautiful trail.

hiking
snow
7 days ago

hiking
snow
8 days ago

Completed 10/11. Was able to drive to TH. Road conditions were icy. Trail is snow packed with several sections extremely icy. Wore trail shoes but would recommend microspikes if you are not comfortable on ice in those sections.

hiking
13 days ago

Well, she said, "yes," and we had a lovely photoshoot by the lake afterwards. it was a perfect day. As for the hike, it was challenging enough (for us sea level visitors) without kicking our asses too bad. It was fun, beautiful, and a place I will return as soon as I'm able.

hiking
muddy
rocky
15 days ago

I highly recommend this hike! Stunning views along the way with beautiful lakes to venture to. Quite a few people on the trail but I also started later in the afternoon which can be nice because everyone else was leaving! Plan to stop for a snack and bring plenty of water. It is getting chilly so I definitely recommend dressing in layers. I did the hike 3 weeks ago and I was happy I brought my long sleeve. I took my 6 month old pup with me and she crushed it but was pooped at the end along with myself! Can get very windy as well. Overall very rewarding. I would say this hike isn’t extraneous by any means but it is on the more difficult end of “moderate”. If hiking in this area I highly recommend using the 3 days out of the pass and checking out blue lake which starts at Mitchelle trail head!

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful!! A must do! Not a ton of elevation gain, but still a workout. A little bit rocky on the trail, but not bad. Lots of water to take in!

running
18 days ago

Ran this today and loved every minute of it. The end portion at Lake Isabelle isn't so runnable as it's a rough trail but it was definitely worth it. Gorgeous fall day! Also note that if you have a National Parks pass they will honor it and you won't have to pay the $12 entrance fee!

hiking
rocky
19 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

beautiful destination!

hiking
21 days ago

This is my 2nd Time doing this hike in September, and prolly one of my favs! Today I went on a Sunday and was there by 7 and the parking lot by the TH was full. We ended up parking down by the lake, which added a mile. Did a total of 11.1 miles! Went to the 3rd lake, which was a peaceful, but little more difficult. Was my boyfriends first time and he crushed it! Highest point reach today was 12,035 ft above sea level. Also the colors were amazing, and I saw 5 moose across the lake. Can’t get any better than this!

Splendid hike, moderate foot traffic, hikers of all ages. $12 cash-only parking. Remarkable views! Coming back with snowshoes this winter.

hiking
23 days ago

We weren’t ten mins down the trail, next to Long Lake, when a party of three and a dog came running down the trail yelling, “Run!” We asked why and as they passed they said, “We were just charged by a moose and it’s right behind us!” We looked down the trail and sure enough, there was a huge bull moose stalking down the trail in our direction! The person who commented on here last was definitely from that group! Haha. I recognize her from her profile photo! After a half hour, there was no sign of the moose so we decided to continue on to Isabelle. We didn’t see the bull moose again, but we did see a female further on. I’ve never heard of Moose in Indian Peaks, especially right next to the parking lot! I wonder if their habitat is changing due to climate change. Very strange.

hiking
23 days ago

Charged by a MASSIVE bull moose ON THE TRAIL today! Be very careful; it's rut season!

hiking
24 days ago

First time in Colorado and this hike did not disappoint! Incredible views, challenging, and this is a great time of year to visit with the fall foliage. Took us approximately 4.5 hours with a few breaks. Next time we're out we're going to attempt one of the famous Colorado 14er's!

hiking
28 days ago

This is by far one of the most relaxing and enjoyable trails I’ve been on! Such a beautiful view and an easy morning hike. Started at 6 am in the dark and was at isabelle lake by sunrise. Total trip time 4.5 hours with 30 minutes at the lake. Keep on mind I parked at the long lake parking lot not where alltrails says to park!

hiking
28 days ago

Didn't realize there was closer parking by Long Lake TH. Ended up parking by Brainard Lake which added a mile each way. Went in the afternoon and there was a good amount of people. Not too many which is always a plus. Tons of different trails and lakes to check out. THEY ONLY ACCEPT CASH!!! $12 ENTRY FEE. covers three days.

hiking
29 days ago

Super chill (flat) hike with insane views at the end. The beginning is a little weird bc you hike on a road (with no cars). If you can get there SUPER early there is a parking lot right across from the trailhead. Rangers said that was already full at 6:20 am (we went on a Saturday). We parked in the next lot and got there around 7:30 am and had no issues parking and it wasn’t a bad hike to the trailhead. Absolutely gorgeous hike, well worth the drive and the early day I would absolutely go again. Aspens were just starting to change so I’m sure it’ll be all yellow in the next couple of weeks! $14 cash or check to get into the park. Get there early!

hiking
1 month ago

great hike but get there early the parking can be tight.

Absolutely amazing hike! The hike itself was not too strenuous with a pretty gentle upward grade the majority of the trail up to Josephine Lake. We hiked in the dark on the way in and were met by two large bull moose bedding down next to the trail. Other than getting our blood pumping the moose gave us no problems, and we gave them a wide berth. Watching the sunrise and the light hitting the peaks behind Josephine lake is a memory I am not soon to forget. This has to be my favorite hike in Colorado so far!

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked this one yesterday and it was absolutely beautiful! I would definitely recommend not parking in the free parking spots and hiking in because after hiking 8 miles it’s was an extra 5 miles on my trek & I was exhausted. Still had a great time even seen a deer grazing out in the grass before long lake !

hiking
1 month ago

Moose! Phenomenal trail. One of the best I’ve done ! About 8 miles total. Beach at the end. Water streams- everything you need.

hiking
1 month ago

This is definitely one of the best trails I’ve done in Colorado, lots of different terrain, but not so tough that you don’t enjoy it. Beautiful time of year to hike and see the mountains and lakes! Will be bringing people back!

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite hikes in Colorado. The views are stunning. Today was my second time hiking this trail and we luckily spotted some moose. It was awesome!

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