Yipsilon Lake Trail

MODERATE 27 reviews
#41 of 127 trails in

Yipsilon Lake Trail is a 8.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is best used from May until September. Horses are also able to use this trail.

8.2 miles
2395 feet
Out & Back



nature trips


horseback riding




wild flowers


no dogs

1 day ago

This's was an absolute gorgeous hike. I would recommend getting an early start and make sure you are wearing shoes with good traction on them because it might be a little muddy due to the last of the snow melting off the trail. The lake at the end is absolutely worth it, and a great spot to have a mid hike lunch.

8 days ago

9 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike through a tree lined path. Nice river views and a waterfall that flows into Ypsilon Lake. Snow started around upper Chipmunk Lake and soon completely covered the path. Used GPS to help guide me to the falls and Ypsilon. Many downed trees made it difficult to get a good picture of the falls. This has been my favorite hike so far (ran into less than 15 people).

21 days ago

This is a beautiful hike, especially descending near sunset. I didn't make it all the way to the lake due to snow conditions and lateness. Currently, patchy snow starts at 10,300 and is solid by 10,600. At about 10,700, tracks in the snow go off in different directions, and on the north-facing slope down into the lake, snowshoes are needed to avoid deep postholing. I will definitely return here in a few weeks. FYI, some reviews from last year indicate a sketchy creek crossing at the Ypsilon trail branch. There is now an "official" log bridge across the creek.

28 days ago

This one was tough for a first time backcountry backpacking trip. We learned a tough lesson about cheap packs and packing too much. Stayed at Upper Chipmunk (no other campers) so it was awesome. Made the rest of the trek up to Ypsilon to check out the waterfall we could hear from camp. Even though it was rainy and cool, it was beautfiul. Would have liked to see more wildlife though. Just saw chipmunks, a few different species of birds, and a marmot. Even though it was tough, it was worth it. I would recommend it as a day trip so you can pack lighter. If you plan on camping, go during the week when less are on the trail.

28 days ago

Great hike, but you can't currently (as of 5/28) get past the boulder field about 3.7 miles in, without snowshoes. The snow was melting and quite slippery for the last half a mile before the boulder field. This hike is mostly through the forest, which I like. You won't get a lot of grand views, but a beautiful hike nonetheless.

29 days ago

Had hoped to make it to the lake-so much snow at boulder field and
I didn't have snowshoes. Don't think they would have helped with such snow and melting fast.

1 month ago

2 months ago

3 months ago

7 months ago

Mostly flat to the fork, goes next to the river with a view of the alluvial fan. Uphill most of the way through forest, flattens out for the last half mile at the top before dropping a few hundred feet to the lake. You pass chipmunk lake first, but keep going another tenth mile to ypsilon, go on to the south east side of the lake for better views of the surrounding mountains. Took 4 or 5 hours round trip

8 months ago

8 months ago

10 months ago

3.5 hours to get to lake. steady hike uphill weather was beautiful just a little warm.

10 months ago

11 months ago

This approximately 9 mile round-trip trail took us (reasonably fit Colorado folks) about 8 hours. It was a little over 2k of elevation gain. The trail was pretty crowded up to the river (lots of families and tourists) but after the sketchy river crossing it definitely thinned out. There were a few fallen log options and the water was fast, so use safe judgements about your ability. We thought Chipmunk Lake was more scenic than Ypsilon. Lovely, challenging hike if you're up for it! If you have a filter you could refill your water at the river and the 2 lakes (we carried all our water, not knowing).

Saturday, June 18, 2016

This is a great hike and I would do it again! A few notes that may help:

-As of June 2016 the bridge is still out. We crossed via some logs in a narrower section, but I don't recommend this for children or those not in good physical condition. Fall River was moving very fast due to the runoff.

-it is actually 4.5 miles to Ypsilon, meaning 9 miles round trip

-June 2016 still had lots of snow!

-We tried to get up to Spectacle lake but couldn't quite make it because we frequently lost the trail due to snow. However we did determine you need to stay right of the creek almost the whole way.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Friday, July 18, 2014