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

2 days ago

If you do one trail while you're in the San Juans, this should be it. 2WD accessible trailheads are hard to come by here! Wish we had known about the loop, but our guide book was old so it didn't include that option. Island Lake is breathtaking. The altitude and gain make this a difficult hike but there is only one small scramble section up to Island. Trail easy to navigate.

Amazing hike! We went in mid July and wildflowers were in peak bloom. This hike has it all....wildflowers, Mountain View’s, and amazing alpine lakes. This hike is a must. I would recommend going early or going on a weekday to avoid crowds. Several great spots to camp of you wanted to turn it into an overnight trip. I would say this hike is moderate and not hard. Easy switchbacks the whole way up.

Hiked to the first three lakes. Gorgeous scenery. The weather was a little iffy on the hike because the monsoon season hit, thankful for it as the fire danger was high in the area. People were fishing. Camping along the trail. Every view was amazing.

off road driving
5 days ago

Awesome loop. Drove it in a 2017 Tacoma, with a 2 inch lift, wrangler duratrac tires at 25 psi. Took us a little longer than expected, about 5.5 hours. We did cinnamon pass and then engineer pass. Cinnamon pass was a bit more difficult and required 4x4 and higher clearance. Engineer pass was very easy and not quite as impressive. We then drove down to Ouray from where the trail splits. This was quite difficult but very fun. Wouldn’t recommend doing this in a stock vehicle... at least some nice tires.

awesome views going down into the valley. hike back up is a bit arduous but not bad. i only encountered one other group. this is one of my favorites so far.

Drove 2 1/2 hours to hike this trail a few days ago at 8 months pregnant. It was challenging but so worth it. We had some rain on the way up, but it passed and the view of Ice Lake and the majestic blue water did not disappoint. My husband and I had lunch at the lake and did not want to leave! If you can make it to the top, the hike back down is significantly faster and easier. It’s a must do!

This hike is absolutely fabulous. It is incredibly steep getting up to mile 2 - by far the toughest stretch of trail we hiked on our visit to the area. But once you get past mile 2 and the short distance through the saddle, the trail is flat and the views are raw beauty - the Rockies at their best. The lake color is spectacular. We enjoyed this more than the Ice Lake trail (which was also great).

A tip that we figured out the hard way: The road to the trailhead is a narrow “4x4 only” road. If you dare drive up the road anyhow, there is only room for 2 cars along the side - and if those spots are taken, there is not a good place to turn around. The easiest thing to do is park at the bottom of 679 after you cross the one lane bridge (by the camp sites), then hike up the road to the trail. The trail itself is 6.4 miles - adding the hike up the road made the total trip ~8.7 miles.

We only went 3 miles up and back down, but it was so beautiful!!! Lots of wildflowers and beautiful views of the mountains !

I love taking photos of my experiences and this was the hike of all hike to do just that. Note 1: when you get to the first water crossing don’t head up the river and bear crawl your way forward. Cross the river at the bottom. The obvious trail switch backs nicely to the top of the waterfall. From here it’s switch backs all the way to a beautiful meadow that leads to the final push of switchbacks. Once you get to the top and see Ice Lake, don’t stop there. Keep on the trail that continues to wind up. There’s another beautiful lake a bit higher that will offer amazing viewpoints down on Ice. There’s an old structure up there too along with a picnic table to have lunch. And since most hikers just stop at Ice to rest you’ll have this area all to yourself. After lunch and as you make your way back down to enjoy Ice Lake your eyes will be amazed all the way down to it. From here head to Island Lake. The emerald contrast to the blue you just experienced won’t be disappointing. Note 2: Keep heading around the Island Lake and keep an eye out for a faint trail that will loop back down to the trail you hiked up making your journey a loop. It’s a bit steeper going down this way but well worth the views and perspective of what your accent to Ice was like is very cool. See photos @jeanpaul574

Such a beautiful hike!! We went up to Island Lake on the wildlife trail on the right side when you first get to the base- glad we did it that way because of the elevation drop into Ice Lakes. Dog was fine and there were plenty of places for him to get some mountain stream water

off road driving
8 days ago

We used a rzr 900 on these trails. We thought this trail should have been rated as easy. The trail is fairly wide and smooth.

8 days ago

Beautiful. Hike up to ice lake basin is steep but manageable. Camping in the lower basin is gorgeous- bring the bug spray!! Lots of mosquitos! Was there 8-10 July 2018. Lots of day hikers- not the place to go for solitude, but the crowd does thin out quite a bit if you venture on past Ice Lake to Fuller Lake/Island Lake. Coming back to attack the basin 13ers next year- didn’t see or hear of one person attempting while we were there. A CO must hike!

Unreal hike! The bit of the hike past the meadows is tough, but once you reach the lake you won't regret a thing. I continued upward to Island Lake - definitely worth the additional trek once you're there.

Great hike! Beautiful lake! Take lots of water and snacks so you can enjoy the day there.

10 days ago

I LOVE this hike! Gorgeous wildflowers, lovely views and great hike. It is well traveled and popular.

One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done.

11 days ago

What an amazing hike! Wildflowers at every turn, two lakes, waterfalls, and some amazing views. I would also suggest to hike the small trail up to island Lake after you get to Ice Lake. I am from Texas and this hike kicked my butt, but it was so worth it. There was quite a bit of smoke also due to the fire out side of Durango. I can not recommend this trail enough!

11 days ago

I hked this trail on 6-30-2018. It was challenging, but oh-so-worth it. Wildflowers were in bloom in late June. Here are a few tips and observations: We started early, when it was still cool. The trail was getting hot when we came down that afternoon. I'm 57, weigh 170 lbs and don't work out. I made it to the top, but the headwall is a tough, rocky slog. The lake was blindingly blue. It was cold and windy at the top, but we only stayed about 30 minutes and didn't need a windbreaker. Some landmarks: there is actually a small forest and small meadow (together about 1.5 miles). Then comes the big (Steep) forest and the amazing meadow, also about 1.5 miles. The final mile or so consists of switchbacks up the headwall. Consider taking a small O2 bottle of Boost if not in really good shape (like me).

12 days ago

I did this with a friend on July 2nd. It was AMAZING! It was very challenging for us in places but so worth it when you reach the lake. We are both 54 and from Missouri. We have done some hard rated trails in Arkansas but this was hard. It took us about 8 hours to complete. Just take plenty of water and snacks. I would also highly recommend trekking poles. Hope to do this one again.

This is absolutely amazing! 10/10. Killer. Do the lower, the upper and then don’t miss Island Lake and return via trail behind island lake.

Incredibly beautiful. Definitely steep but worth the climb

The drive and scenery to the trailhead is just as good as the hike. A lot of waterfalls off the sides of the mountains. We started the hike and stayed on the trail for the most part, until we arrived at the rock slide area. We saw the trail on the other side, but had no way to get to the trail. We ended up rock hopping over to the trail. Made it to Lake Mary and the dogs swam for a bit. Found another way around the rock slide area and made it out of there. It is a very scenic hike with the stream. The higher you go, the better the scenery is. Highly recommended. Lots of loose rocks on trail, first hike I did with new boots. Tripped a few times or maybe just getting too old. Yeah, it was the boots.

I hiked this trail 3 days ago. Be sure to cross the first waterfall at the bottom, otherwise you will bear crawl to the top! I am 55 and in decent shape, it took about 7 hours with lots of breaks due to the elevation ( I live at sea level. Trekking poles are a must along with bug spray. Definitely a hike worth doing! No regrets.


17 days ago

Great hike, I didn’t find it as difficult as many made it out to be; did it with ease in just running shoes and no other gear (granted I’m 22 and in the military). Water crossings at this point in the season (late June) are really low and very simple. I highly recommend going to the left on the way up to ice lake and continuing on to Fuller lake. On the way back down it is worth the trek over to Island Lake. You won’t want to do it because it does require about another 300-400ft elevation gain but the views from that gain looking back on Ice Lake and the stop at Island Lake is totally worth it! Wouldn’t want to take this path on the way up as it is definitely much steeper.

Great hike with amazing views of several waterfalls. Pretty strenuous as it was a steady incline almost the entire way.

Awesome hike and perfect weather. Multiple waterfalls along the way. Great views the entire way up.

17 days ago

This hike was incredible. The lake and views of the surrounding peaks were amazing. Started out very steep and the first section full of switchbacks was a bit of a challenge, but gets easier after that.
There’s very little snow up there right now-easy enough to cross in hiking boots, and the wild flowers are blooming! Made it up in a little less than 2 hours and made it down in an hour and a half. Wish I had trekking poles a few times on the way back down.

This is a very well maintained downhill hike with wide switchbacks covering most of the descent. I really enjoyed the first section with the long range views, but at least 3/4 of the hike is in the interior of the forest with very little views until you reach the river. My dog did enjoy a swim once we got there! The climb from the bottom got a little monotonous, but no section was ridiculously intense. It took me 3 hours round-trip with a couple shorts rests coming back up.

18 days ago

This is one of my favorite CO hikes! Not only is the lake stunning, but the views as you make your way there (once you exit the forest) are amazing! The vertical is pretty intense, but pace yourself and just keep moving... even if it's very slowly. The last mile before you reach the lake has very little elevation gain and you will be glad you didn't turn back!

Note - There's a trail that shoots off to the left once you enter the clearing. Don't take that... you still have some climbing to do! :-)

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