Yipsilon Lake Trail

MODERATE 55 reviews
#39 of 146 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.

DISTANCE
8.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2378 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

1 month ago

It was quiet!!! Loved that. Brought snowshoes but didn't end up using them; although the snow was a little soft nearer the lake. Pay attention to the ice as well.

4 months ago

Good long up & up hike with reward at the end!!

hiking
4 months ago

Not much in terms of views until you get to the lake. It's quite a workout too.

hiking
4 months ago

Perfect hike on a beautiful day. Peaceful with stunning views

hiking
5 months ago

Did this late spring when the lake was still frozen, and lots of snow on the trail, kind of bummed me out. I'm so glad I returned even though this hike is all up hill with quite the rocky trail. Its so worth it. The lake is beautiful, waterfall is beautiful.

5 months ago

Nice hike! Definitely all uphill! Check out the waterfall at the lake and make sure you go all the way to the lake!

hiking
6 months ago

A nice hike from the lawn lake trailhead in RMNP, even though this area is more lightly trafficked than other be prepared for heavy crowds after 10 am. A steady climb to the lakes is well worth it, with great views and some peaceful solitude if you get there early. Continue on past ypsilon lake to the spectacle lakes by climbing to the left of the waterfall until you reach a series of wooden foot bridges which will eventually lead to a boulder field marked with rock cairns. Even if you don't make it all the way to the spectacle lakes the climb to the top of the waterfall will reveal a panorama of smaller falls cascading from Chiquita lake. It is well worth the effort to make to extra scramble. Happy Hiking!

hiking
6 months ago

We just hiked up to Chipmunk Pond, and found the view there to be very rewarding and beautiful. Quite a lot of steady elevation gain, so be prepared for that. We saw a bear on the trail as well, but we kept our distance and he ran off. Overall, great hike we'd do again.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked on 6/25/17. Very little snow at descent to Chipmunk Pond. Fewer than 10 people at Lake. Downed trees have been removed. Bear sighting about .75mi from the Roaring River foot bridge. Bring your lungs. This is a decent uphill hike most of the way.

6 months 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.

hiking
7 months 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).

hiking
7 months 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.

backpacking
7 months 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.

hiking
7 months 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.

7 months 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.

hiking
Sunday, October 30, 2016

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

hiking
Monday, July 04, 2016

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).

hiking
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.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

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.

Friday, October 11, 2013

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.

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