Explore the most popular snowshoeing 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.

The start of the trail is accurate, and we drove (high clearance 4x4) up to a gate prior to the true trailhead.

Followed what seems to be an old mining/now USFS road all the way up past marshlands (past cairn-designated trail off to the right that shows on this app but is not named) into the basin before realizing we were actually on a local single track trail. Could not find the shown Swamp Canyon trail past this point - The single track turns back toward Ophir Pass and we wanted to go further up the basin to summit the pass and look over to Island Lake. So we bushwhacked up to the point where we ran across the previous cairn-designated trail we’d decided against.

Following this up to the pass, the last mile is loose scree. The scramble up and over the pass is exactly that - take a hard look at it! We spent over an hour getting up and down this short section and while the views are beautiful, it wasn’t exactly safe or designated route. There’s a reason the highlighted Swamp Canyon trail ends well before the summit of the pass!

Overall, beautiful adventure of a morning. Tons of wildflowers, columbine everywhere in the lower meadows, lots of waterfalls and creeks flowing.

Beautiful views. I recommend doing an out and back from the Lizard Head trailhead to the first summit- it is 7.5 miles round-trip.

Possibly one of my most favorite hikes. There was snow right near the top but with crampons it wasnt that bad. Snow shoes are def not needed right now. I would recommend using a GPS as there were not enough tracks going to Island Lake to figure it out without the GPS. Both lower Ice and Island lake were still ice covered but you could see where it was trying to melt on the sides. Upper Ice Lake looked too hard to reach still. Really challenging but an incredible experience.

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
9 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.

hiking
Thursday, July 20, 2017

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.

hiking
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

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!!

backpacking
Tuesday, July 04, 2017

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

hiking
Monday, June 12, 2017

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
Sunday, June 11, 2017

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
Friday, June 02, 2017

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.

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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