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.
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
3.5 hours to get to lake. steady hike uphill weather was beautiful just a little warm.
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).
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.
As of yesterday the bridge is out crossing the river. We saw three people cross the river but many more turned back. Water was moving fast too.
My wife and I hike this back in April and did not anticipate the amount of snow that we would run into. We had to turn around about 1 mile from the lake due to the snow going up to our waists. To that point that we had to turn around it was a great hike. Excellent views of many different mountains. It provides a excellent view of the alluvial fan. Fun hike will go back when there is less snow.
It is a beautiful trail but you need to be in a good physical condition as it is pretty steep.
Excellent Hike! the first three miles or so are up up up, and for the most part deep in the trees, not a lot of vistas or views. But once you get the Ypsilon Lake and the falls it's makes you forget that uphill climb. I would call it a moderate hike good for beginners. Not a crazy amount of traffic as we started around 6am.