The parking lot is at N 37 48.394, W … The electric, mineral-rich water beckons. The signed trail departs from the west end of the trailhead parking lot, located across from the South Mineral Campground (see driving directions below). (John Meyer, The Denver Post) While there is little reprieve from the steady uphill nature of this hike, both the journey and destination make every step worthwhile. Stunning views throughout the whole hike and well maintained trails. short side trail, on your left, which leads to the remnants of an old mining operation. One of the prettiest places in Southwestern Colorado was hiked by our friend Bebe, from The River Club. But my 6 year old was able to make it! If you look Any Activity. HEART LAKE. before using any information on this site. If there are no parking spots available, the national forest asks that you not park in the meadows, along the road, or in the campground across the road. I've never seen a lake with this brilliant of blue color before – it's quite amazing to see in person. OHV Riding (>50”) Nordic Skiing. Almost immediately, however, the trail enters the canopy of a thick conifer forest, and soon begins climbing a series of short switchbacks along a moderate grade. Length 8.2 miElevation gain 2798 ftRoute type Out & back We struggled to breathe a lot but found the, This was such a beautiful hike and it was great to experience it with my daughter. From the trailhead, a hike of a little more than three miles, with an ascent of about 2,400 feet, leads to one of the most spectacular settings in Colorado. Turn left on County Road 7 (signed for the South Mineral Campground) and follow the gravel road for 4.4 miles to the trailhead parking area on the right side of the road, just across from the South Mineral Campground. Ice Lakes presumably receives it name as a result of it freezing over during the winter; however, it could just as well be from the ice-blue color of the water itself when the sun shines on it. Gains over 2,000 ft in elevation and pretty consistently at a slope. more. After the winter snows melt the meadows in this basin bloom with a riot of wildflowers, and include varieties such as blue columbines, larkspur, chiming bells and aspen daisies. Lots of views throughout the trail. Our San Juan National Forest hidden gem is Island Lake, which is one of four amazingly incandescent bodies of glacial water (Ice, Clear and Fuller lakes are the other three) that can be found in the Upper Ice Lake Basin near the town of Silverton. If you have the time and energy you'll have the option of exploring more of the upper basin area before returning to the trailhead. Wonderful Hike This trail was recommended to us and it did not disappoint. to the sun, wind and the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms. The trail wastes no time gaining elevation, climbing 1,600-ft. in 2-miles through forests and wildflower-filled meadows to the beautiful Lower Ice Lakes basin. This extraordinary alpine lake is surrounded by several 13ers, including 13,761-foot Fuller Peak, 13,894-foot Vermillion Peak, 13,780-foot Golden Horn, 13,738-foot Pilot Knob and 13,767-foot U.S. Grant Peak, looking from left to right. This road is suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles, though there are a few potholes you'll have to negotiate over. Instead, they ask that you wait for a spot to open, or choose to hike another trail in the Silverton Area, such as Highland Mary Lakes or Columbine Lake. Ice Lake Trail is a portal to an enchanting alpine basin in Colorado’s southwestern San Juan Mountains, about six hours from Colorado Springs. After watching the start of Hardrock, our motley group of journalists decided to hike a portion of the course and trek on up to Island Lake in … Copyright As he puts it: "To look at the colors of Ice Lake … Great trail but difficult for kids. We have never seen so many wildflowers in one place. Ice Lake Trail. We read that it was less slope to take the trail to Island Lake first and then over to Ice Lake before heading down. 9NEWS Producer Will Swope shares his experience climbing them. The head of the South Mineral Valley is the starting point for Ice Lake, one of the premier hikes in the San Juan Mountains. Is this a must-do if you are traveling with a, Is this a romantic place or activity that you would suggest for, Are the prices for this place or activity, Would you recommend this place or activity to a friend looking for an, My husband and I are both fit and active but this hike put us in our place! After passing the mine the trail rises sharply and begins climbing strenuously towards the Lower Ice Lake Basin. Motorcycle Riding. To reach the trailhead from the intersection of Highway 550 and the turnoff to Silverton (Highway 110), drive 2 miles north on Highway 550 to County Road 7, located between mile markers 72 and 73. The trek up to Ice Lake Basin is short, steep, but not technical. The typical growing season for this area is from late July through August. Ice Lake Trail . The hike begins from the head of the South Mineral Valley where you'll enjoy brief views of the mountains towards the west. Forest: San Juan National Forest District: Columbine Ranger District Description: Ice Lakes Basin is at the headwaters of Mineral Creek outside of Silverton, Colorado. The trail offers a number of activity options. Featured Routes. Be sure to bring your camera and a snack to enjoy at the lake, it’s really that unbelievable. It may be even one of the prettiest hikes in the entire state. Ice Lake is breathtaking, take plenty of … There … Hiking. The hike begins at Ice Lake Trailhead across the road from South Mineral Creek Campground. One of the Hikers should always be aware of lightning risk while hiking in the Rocky Mountains, especially at the higher elevations. Although the hike to this lake is strenuous, the views of nearby Grant Peak and other lakes in the Ice Lake Basin make the trek worth the journey. The sheer, stunning beauty of Ice Lake lures day hikers, trail runners, and backpackers to tackle the 5-6 mile roundtrip hike up a heart-pounding, thigh-burning 2,420 feet of elevation gain. From the trailhead, a hike of a little more than three miles, with an ascent of about 2,400 feet, leads to one of the most spectacular settings in Colorado. ATV Riding. Ice Lake One of Colorado's Most Gorgeous Hikes To get to the trailhead, drive up Clear Lake Road and park at the first switchback. As you ascend along this stretch of trail the views of the lower Snowmobiling. Ice Lakes. Hiking to Ice Lake and Back Out to Trailhead [Day 3] After catching the sunrise, we packed up at 7:45 am [Sunday, Sept 1] and headed to Ice Lake before looping off the mountain. The lake is simply beautiful with. Hiking the Ice Lakes Trail. Nestled high in the San Juan Mountains, well above tree line, the Ice Lake Basin is home to one of the most brilliant cobalt blue lakes in all of Colorado. Wonderful hike. To reach the trailhead from the intersection of Highway 550 and the turnoff to Silverton (Highway 110), drive 2 miles north on Highway 550 to County Road 7, located between mile markers 72 and 73. The hike to Ice Lakes begins from the South Mineral Campground in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. It's very challenging but the views are 100% worth the hiking. Roughly a quarter-of-a-mile past the waterfall you'll reach another It’s a moderate hike with a few more challenging parts at the switchback start and at the final end portion but worth the effort. A bit crowded but everyone was courteous and there were no issues. This is my favorite hike in Colorado! No wonder this is such an extremely popular hike! Island Lake surely got its name from the flat-topped rock that is visible whenever water levels ebb. There were literally thousands of them as far as the eye could see. Look for side trails that lead to Island Lake, located northeast of Ice You’ll pass through aspen, conifers, and into two distinct basins above the … The air was clean and the hard work culminated i, The other reviews are spot on that this is a difficult hike. Like. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. @ document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); RockyMountainHikingTrails.com. The 4.3-mile hike to Heart Lake begins at the east portal of the Moffat Tunnel. There were several times I thought I wasn’t going to make it hit truck through it, it’s worth it! Although we didn't have any problems during our hike, you might get your feet soaked when water levels are higher. Distance: 8.1 miles Elevation: 3,093 feet Difficulty: Difficult Hotels near San Juan County Historical Society, Hotels near (MTJ) Montrose County Airport, Hotels near (TEX) Telluride Regional Airport, Points of Interest & Landmarks in Silverton, Game & Entertainment Centers in Silverton, San Juan County Historical Society: Tickets & Tours‎, Silverton Visitors Center: Tickets & Tours‎, Silver San Juan Gallery: Tickets & Tours‎, Poughkeepsie Gulch Trail: Tickets & Tours‎. At just over nine-tenths of a mile hikers will reach a short spur trail on the right that leads to a close-up view of that same waterfall. I had never seen so many d, We are mostly sedentary, 45-50 years old, relatively unhealthy, and live at about 700 ft elevation. If you’re new to Colorado hiking, know that this state presents some unique … Colorado Trail Explorer. You'll also notice a couple of waterfalls streaming down the cliffs of the surrounding mountains. From the Ice Lakes trailhead begin hiking through a meadow that quickly enters the forest and begins to climb. The trail over is short, only 30 minutes (shorter if you don’t stop for all the photos of the wildflowers) and all downhill from Island Lake to Ice Lake. Ice Lakes Basin sits at … You should also note that the restroom near the parking lot is for paying campground guests only. The overall scenery was absolutely stunning, and might be one of the best hikes I've ever taken. upstream from the bridge you'll see a nice waterfall flowing off the cliff above. After roughly four-tenths of a mile the trail begins passing through a series of small wildflower-filled meadows, and at roughly one-half mile you'll cross Clear Creek on a rickety log footbridge. We read that it was less slope to take the trail to Island Lake first and then over to Ice Lake before heading down. basin and the surrounding mountains are simply outstanding. When the sun shined on the water it was the most intense cobalt blue I've ever seen in nature. The colors of the trees were in multiple shades of yellow and green. As a general rule of thumb you should plan to be off the highest point on your hike before noon in order to avoid the notorious afternoon thunderstorms that frequent the mountains during the summer months. Ice Lake and Island Lake Hikes – Silverton Colorado. At almost 2.5 miles hikers will pass Lower Ice Lake. Ice Lakes Trail [CLOSED] is a 8.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Silverton, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Type: Out-and-back. From here, you can identify the obvious, delta-shaped mountain to climber's left, known as Fuller Peak (13,761ft). Horseback Riding. At 2.9 miles hikers will cross a stream without the benefit of a footbridge. Snowshoeing. Soon the trail emerges from the cover of the forest. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and backpacking and is best used from April until September. It is moderately difficult, clocking in right at 8 miles with a total 3,000 feet of elevation gain, but the waterfalls, fantastic lakes, and wonderful views below and above the tree line are absolutely fantastic. Get Here. 26. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Please choose a different date. Just beyond the junction hikers will reach the eastern shore of Ice Lake. It took us 11 hours to ice lake, island lake, and back. Colorado Hiking Tips. The hike to Ice Lakes begins from the South Mineral Campground in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. It was steady but all the time up the hill. Trail on Ice Lake, Clear Creek, and South Fork Mineral Creek in San Juan National Forest. From this point forward you'll be exposed After working our way back, Not for the faint of the heart or lungs, this trip has some serious altitude gain after already starting at 10,000 feet, but it’s well worth every step! Even during our late-August hike there were still quite a few wildflowers left. A little further up the trail, at roughly 3.65 miles, you'll arrive at the faint side trail that leads towards Ice Lake. A great choice is crossing the outflow stream from Ice Lake - there are several places to cross and an obvious trail heading back out of the basin to the left of where you entered - follow this path up another 250' and.5 mile to a smaller basin and the beautiful Island Lake at 12,400'. At roughly 3.5 miles you'll finally reach the upper basin. After crossing the stream the trail begins climbing steeply once again, gaining more than 660 feet over the next six-tenths of a mile or so. Another iconic alpine lake hike in Colorado, Ice Lake brings you unbelievable brilliant blue waters. We speculated that it might be the result of limestone leaching out from inside the mountain. the scenery is just fantastic. Hikers should also be prepared for extreme sun exposure, high winds, cool temperatures, and rapidly changing weather conditions while on the trail. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Be sure to plan a full day for this; though the distance. Make sure you have the proper gear with you, and know what safety precautions you need to consider beforehand. The Ice Lake Trail takes hikers into one of the most spectacular areas of the San Juan Mountains after a steep but relatively short journey of 3 miles, gaining 2,600 feet. Our second time to hike this trail. The trail will climb ~1,600 feet in the next two miles. Nearest Accommodation: … Ice Lake, about 6 miles west of Silverton in the heart of the San Juan Range, is one of the most beautiful spots in Colorado and a gem for hikers. Lake, and Fuller Lake, located south of Ice Lake. Combine this with outstanding mountain scenery and several thousand wildflowers and you have one of the best hikes found just about anywhere. Sky Pond. Hikers should note that citations have been issued for illegal parking. As you proceed deeper into the basin the landscape becomes progressively more scenic. Colorado Hiking to Ice Lakes Basin, Colorado Ice Lakes Basin is located near Silverton, CO, a mecca of hiking, backpacking, and camping! The hike begins from the first switchback and almost immediately brings you to a waterfall crossing. All rights reserved. The hike up to Ice Lake and Island Lake in Colorado's San Juan Mountains is truly an amazing one. From there it is a steady uphill climb to the Lower Ice Lake Basin and then to the Upper Ice Lake Basin. Please read this Disclaimer / Privacy Policy Ice Lake Basin Trail [CLOSED] is a 9.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Ophir, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Days Required: 1 day. Begin by hiking the Ice Lakes Trail for 3.5 miles, which will take you to Ice Lake. Gains over 2,000 ft in elevation and pretty consistently at a slope. Hikers should note that parking for Ice Lakes is very limited, so you should plan to arrive early to secure a parking spot. At roughly 2.2 miles, and an elevation of 11,400 feet, hikers will reach the Lower Ice Lake Basin area. Ice Lake has to be one of the most spectacular destinations for the hiker that wants an experience to remember. Hard but beautiful The other reviews are spot on that this is a difficult hike. The trail doesn't actually visit the lake, but you'll have a nice view of it lying amongst the trees roughly two hundred yards off to your left. Highland Mary Lakes. High in the mountains of southwest Colorado sit a pair of alpine lakes. This hike to Ice Lake Basin involves scenery of the latter variety. During our late-August hike the alpine wildflowers in the upper basin tundra were out of this world. During the short growing season you may see a wide range of varieties, including alpine forget-me-nots, moss campion, sky pilot, fairy primrose, purple fringe, columbine, chiming bells, neon pink paint brush and spring beauties. MTN Town Magazine Activities, Hike, Treks & Travels 0. The trail starts below treeline near the South Mineral Campground at an elevation of ~9,800 feet. The Ice Lakes Basin Trail is located near Silverton, Colorado, within the Columbine Ranger District of San Juan National Forest. Distance: 8 miles. There are several different route options off of this trail too, but we just stuck to the Ice lake trail. Ice Lake in the San Juan Mountains. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. These citations are expensive. The Ice Lakes Basin trailhead begins from the dirt parking lot across the road from South Mineral Campground. Ice Lake is located in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. This majestic landscape could easily be one of the most scenic in Colorado. There’s a flatter portion thru wildflower. Biking. 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