Explore the most popular hiking trails near Ophir with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

It was a bit tiring but me and my girlfriend rocked that hike like champs, the first lake was amazing and the views are beautiful, you don’t need much gear to get to this point but we ll definitely recommend hiking shoes and not be afraid of heights if you wanna continue the short trip to island lake, there are parts that are a bit scary for first timers.

We ll definitely go back

Beautiful Hike! Definitely worth it

backpacking
7 months ago

Incredible hike, stunning views... can't wait to do this again!!!

Great trail with huge views! Agree with Tom and Alison's review, below, that the description and map are confusing. Out and back distance of 16 miles from Lizard Head Pass to junction with Cross Mountain Trail (below Lizard Head Peak), then back, sounds about right. But although there's plenty of uphill, elevation gain is nothing close to 5900 feet - map shows it's about half that, and that's what it felt like to me.
Saw nice flock of White-winged Ptarmigans - rather than taking flight at my approach, they "hid" from me, just a few feet away, some of them hunkered down right in the trail. Cool!

After seeing the blue water of ice lake this water was a disappointing green..,still it was pretty cool with the backdrop of the snow on the mountains. If you hike to ice lake...make the extra distance to this lake as well. Part of the trail is close to the edge of drop off...a little scary!

We hiked to Island Lake over Labor Day weekend. The scenery was great, but we liked Ice and Fuller Lakes better out of the 3 lakes. Giving this hike only 3 stars because of the condition of the trail to Island Lake. The trail was sketchy in a few places. I am afraid of heights and exposure, and there were 2 sections that really scared me. One was rocky, which required some scrambling, and the other one was a steep gravel slide path. We had forgotten to bring daypacks, so we had to maneuver around with our backpacking packs (although they were mostly empty, it was quite awkward). Very glad we had trekking poles!
There weren't as many flowers around this lake as there were around Ice and Fuller Lakes. You have to get creative going to the bathroom since it's above treeline. The water is much greener, and the island is neat. One guy swam across to the island, and his dog followed him. Brrrrrrr!

Really tough hike. Amazing views at the top

Great Hike and totally beautiful. Make sure when you come to the first creek crossing towards the beginning you follow the sign to ice lake trail. The trail continues just to the left of the creek once you cross. The map in alltrails seemed to lead a different way that is now blocked off by some fallen trees.

This is confusing to me. Maybe I missed a part where you are supposed to cut over trails to just Island Lake, but we made it up to Ice Lake first (which was amazing), and then got on a steep path up to Island Lake from there (which only took about 15 mins), so I don't know where this 7 mile timeframe comes from or where the base for that would begin. Besides that it was absolutely incredible! Didn't stay for long because the wind picked up a lot and it begin to lightly snow/drizzle. Very green water compared to Ice Lake. Super cool!

My favorite hike so far! I took the faint trail up to Island lake first before cutting over to Ice lake. Much less crowded and didn't see a single person until I reached the lake. Also I found a really nice knife sitting on a rock above Island lake if anyone is missing it! Would be happy to send to you if you can identify it. (Found August 10th)
Take plenty of water and snacks for this hike as it is tough with lots of elevation gain. Worth every second!! Start early. Parking lot was about half full at 7:45am on a Thursday in early August.

This is a beautiful, strenuous hike. There's plenty of shade and tree cover for the first half of the hike as well as streams for your dog to have a drink. Once above tree line you spend a decent stretch of trail walking through fields of wildflowers which grow more magnificent once you take the fork to Island Lake. The elevation gain makes for a great workout. Keep an eye out for marmots (I counted almost a dozen) and consider hiking poles for the steep descent and multiple stream crossings.

Heading out of Silverton, take Forest Road 679 for 4 miles to Ophir Pass. The road is unpaved and narrow and a little hairy in places, but then I don't have a great head for heights. We parked the car a mile from the pass (there is a small track that forks to the left and room for a couple of cars to park there) and hiked to the top. The views along this track are extraordinary - we were fortunate to have sunshine and clear skies. The wild flowers were amazing and we heard and saw pica. Now I have to admit we did not make it to Crystal Lake. The scramble up scree from the pass was beyond our capabilities - I would certainly not view this as a moderate hike... quite challenging due to the terrain and steepness, albeit quite short. We gave up a quarter of the way up and scrambled down. I would recommend this hike based on the views leading up to the pass and cannot comment on Crystal Lake itself.

The views are terrific, but this hike is not for the faint of heart. It is VERY poorly marked. The first ascent from Ames to the cliff tops is well marked, and the path on the ridge is fine, but in between there is a dense woods and the trail completely vanishes. I got lost both on the way up and the way down and had to forage and follow deer paths for almost an hour each time. GPS would help.
For a day trip, park at the electric power plant in Ames (very historical) and follow the road up along the creek until you get to a foot bridge over the creek. The trail begins at an unmarked gate on the other side of the bridge.
Dense brush waist high that you have to push through, for most of the low-altitude trail.

Moderately difficult, but incredibly beautiful hike and seeing Ice and Island lakes makes the trip well worth the effort. Went in early July and did experience a sudden, but short rain/hail storm that dropped the temperature dramatically. Thankfully that passed quickly and the rest of trip was fantastic.

Amazing! Ice is melted, still a few snowy patches, but easy to find the trail again.

Stunning view. Steep and challenging. Trail is clearly marked and easy to follow

Possibly one of the most beautiful, but challenging hikes I have done in Colorado! 7.3 miles seems like an underestimate as my fit bit read around 11 after going from ice lake to island lake and back down. Right now the flowers are all out and there are only a few snow patches that require crossing, but note there are a few large stream crossings that may get your feet soaked! Overall, it was totally worth it!!

One of my favorite places to hike to. The lakes are gorgeous!

Gorgeous views and a fantastic hike. Just make sure to get a good weather report before heading out. When we went in early June, we could not reach the top due to snow completely blocking one of the tighter portions of the trail.

hiking
11 months ago

This description and reviews and trail map are confusing as the map shows doing the whole loop including the Cross Mountain Trail. There are two trailheads right on the highway - the southern one is for the Cross Mountain Trail and the northern one (right at the pass) is the Lizard Head Trail. We hiked up the latter on June 8th, and were stopped by complete snow coverage just after the point where the Mt Wilson Meadow Trail takes off - slightly less than 3 miles in. Did have to cross a number of snow piles before that, but no issues there. Trail is wonderful - with good shade but gorgeous views and pretty little snow melt creeks to skip across. We turned around and came back down to the large talus field where the views are really open to eat our lunch - views of Vermilion Peak, Pilot Knob, and Fuller Peak. Loved all the false hellebore that has sprouted since the snow has melted.

backpacking
11 months ago

This trail was incredibly packed over Labor Day weekend last year (2016). We backpacked in, and ended up camping at the Ice Lake Basin. We woke up, finished the hike to the top of Ice and Island Lakes and then came back down, packed up and trekked back down.

I gave it four stars purely for the extensive foot traffic, but it was one of the more gorgeous hikes I think I have ever done (to be fair I haven't spent much time in San Juan National Forest area, but I can't wait to go back).

amazing trail!!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Snowshoeing this trail was challenging due to elevation gains but so worth the view.

hiking
Thursday, March 09, 2017

This is a scramble up the talus slopes that are found up on Ophir Pass. The trail is fairly easy to pick out at the pass, on the south side of the road, but it can be hard to find when you are ready to head back down. It is a short little jaunt to this pretty high country lake. The hike is on loose talus the whole way. I'd like to return some day when it's sunny as the day I was there it was overcast and drizzling.

hiking
Tuesday, February 07, 2017

I hiked to Columbine Lake by going over Oscars pass from the Ophir side. Super steep up to Oscars Pass, then down the other side into Bridal Veil basin. You leave the old road/trail shortly after going over the pass, and follow a use trail down to the basin and make a cross country trek towards Lewis Lake. Once around the lake, there is another faint trail that ascends to Columbine Pass. From the pass, Columbine Lakes incredible blue color can be seen. A short hike cross country from this pass brings you down to the lake. On the way back, I chose the opposite side of Lewis Lake just to mix it up. The views are stunning on this route. It took me just over 2 hours from my truck to the top of Oscars Pass. My Garmin read 2.45 miles, and 2,740' of gain. Then about another half hour to get to Lewis Lake and just about 4 miles. Then another 10-15 minutes and I was on top of Columbine Pass. 4.6 miles total to here. It was right about 5 hours to Columbine Lake from my truck, but I was in no hurry either. 5.4 miles per my Garmin. A good mix of steep and then mellow hiking.

mountain biking
Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hike it; don't bike it. Hardest mountain bike ride I've ever been on. Spent 80% of the time pushing the bike. Trail conditions were extremely muddy and rooted.

hiking
Thursday, July 14, 2016

Strenuous first 2.5 miles then levels out to beautiful views along mountain ridges. Recommend dropping a car at Lizard Head and then starting at Cross Mountain for a 7.9 mile hike

horseback riding
Thursday, November 05, 2015

Followed Slate creek up to the base of Mount Wilson and camped a few days, returned on Lizard head trail, beautiful country

Friday, July 17, 2015

Great hike - difficulty was its length. We crossed Blackface Mtn and views were amazing.

hiking
Sunday, June 16, 2013

Very fun hike. The trail gets hard to follow and can be easily confused with animal trails. But just continue up along the ridge and once you reach treeline, the remainder of the route becomes clear.

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