I’ll still give it a 5 star and hope someday I can come back for it. Make a sharp right onto County Road 7 and follow the gravel road for 4.4 miles to the trailhead parking area on the north side of the road across from the South Mineral Campground. The Durango Herald reports the fire started about a quarter-mile from the Ice Lake Basin trailhead about 2:30 p.m. Monday. The Ice Lakes trailhead is located about six miles west of Silverton. Ice Lake Basin offered a number of 13ers to climb and Blue Lakes Basin would give us a shot at Mount Sneffels. 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. There is a trail that leads around the lake for the 360 deg view. After 2 miles of climbing, the trail traverses through the Lower Basin. Best to download the map and follow it at splits. If you walk down the drainage for a few hundred feet below Ice Lake you will Great hike overall. … Cascade Creek Trail (510) Cave Basin Trail (530) City Reservoir Trail (542) Clear Creek Trail (550) Coal Creek Trail (677) Columbine Lake Trail (509) Continental Divide NST Trail (813) Corral Draw Trail (521) Crater Lake Trail (623) Deer Creek Trail (678) Divide Lakes Trail (539) Dry Fork Trail (616) Dutch Creek Trail (516) East Creek Trail (535) There is an excellent Ice Lake Trail (great for trail running) starting from the campground, which gradually leads into the lower Ice Lake Basin, and then reaches Ice Lake. The road leading to the trailhead is pretty smooth. 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. Expect a lot of stops and rests. Great (tough) day of hiking but oh, so worth it! The trail to Ice Lakes basin traverses through pine forest and treks through lush meadows filled with Columbine flowers and stalks of corn lilies. If you’ve got time visit upper ice lakes is another mile and 400 feet higher than Lower Ice Lakes and enjoy a relatively easy walk up the shoulder of 9,060 foot Mt. Go north of Silverton on Hwy. The Ice Lake Basin and aquamarine Ice Lake at 12,300 feet is ringed by 13,000-foot peaks. Ice Lakes Trailhead at South Mineral Campground Camping. The large waterfall is from Fueller Lake. Also, be aware that shortly after the campground the road becomes only 4WD accessible. This section is fairly flat for the next two-thirds of a mile. Phone: 800-COLORADO pick up your trash. The lake is a deep blue color and has beautiful mountain peaks all around it. Please use caution and travel at your own risk. It is closed temporarily due to fire-related hazards. The Ice Lake Trail was hands-down the best day-hike we took in our two and a half weeks in Colorado. Ice Lakes Basin is located near Silverton, CO, a mecca of hiking, backpacking, and camping! The Ice Lake Basin and aquamarine Ice Lake at 12,300 feet is ringed by 13,000-foot peaks. As you go all the way to the Upper Ice Lake it becomes rather treacherous just before the end because of how steep and rocky it is. The Ice Lakes trailhead is located about six miles west of Silverton. Note: South Mineral road (FR585/County Road 7) is not plowed in winter, so if you plan on doing a winter trip, add 4.4 miles each way to your hike, snowshoe or ski. Lower Ice Lake Basin Lower Ice Lake Basin. Ice Lake Basin is Island Lake. Some of the trees were giant, and I hope that they survive. Ice Lake Trail . In the Upper Basin there are 3 large lakes including Ice Lake, Island Lake and Fuller Lake (the largest), as well as numerous smaller lakes. this is kind of an in-between time, not quite green, not quite snow. The upper basin is surrounded by awesome peaks. One of my favorite hikes ever! The nicest lake is Ice Lake, the first lake you see in the upper basin. I didn’t have any, and there were some spots that were roouuughhhh without them. Ice Lake Basin Featured Route 7.3mi San Juan NF. Ice Lakes trail has two common destinations, lower and upper. Very difficult if you aren’t used to the elevation, as there is so much climbing. This lake with a unique island, is in its own cirque surrounded by U.S. Grant Peak and its ridges. Fewer people hike to Fuller Lake, making this a great place to escape the crowds in the basin. This turn off is located between mile markers 72 and 73. Ice Lake is breathtaking, take plenty of water and a few snacks to keep your energy up. You can see the trail on the right climbing up the end of the valley between the rocky cliffs. If you’re in the area and looking for an all around five-star hike, this is for you. Activities to enjoy in the area include hiking, trail running, backpacking, mountaineering, photography, fishing, and wildlife, wildflower and scenery viewing. The shades of blue in the lake change when the sun ducks behind the clouds; countless colors of greens and blues can be seen depending on the amount of light that is reflected. Vermillion, Fuller, Pilot knob and Golden Horn are climbed from this basin. It is located at the very beginning of Lower Ice Lake Basin. I also strongly advise trekking poles! This is, by far, the BEST hike I’ve ever done. Just be sure to park in the South Mineral parking lot, they have a sign explaining the trail. Ice Lakes Basin is known as one of the top alpine lake hiking destinations in all of Colorado, where hardy hikers are treated to waterfalls, wildflowers, open meadows, beautiful rock formations, alpine tundra and, of course, spectacular snow-fed lakes. The Ice Lakes trailhead is located about six miles west of Silverton. The trail to Fuller Lake can be quite wet and muddy, but staying on the trail will help preserve the fragile alpine tundra. The Ice Lake Trail was hands-down the best day-hike we took in our two and a half weeks in Colorado. The trail offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Weather was perfect. Hardest part of the trail is the section between Ice Lake and Island Lake. You can camp at the first-come, first-serve South Mineral campground, which is located right next to the trailhead with 26 spots available.Along the forest road going to the trailhead, you will also find Golden Horn Campground, Anvil Campground, and Kendall Campground. A seasoned explorer in … The Ice Lake Basin trail, though strenuous, features jaw dropping views of more than 3 alpine lakes surrounded by the jaw-dropping San Juan Mountain range in the backdrop. Ice Lakes trail has two common destinations, lower and upper. This beautiful vegetation is increasingly prone to trampling in recent years as more and more visitors take to the trails to take in Ice Lake’s majesty. We didn’t have any hiking poles but after today we are definitely going to get some. Like. Lower your voice so everyone can enjoy the trail and not your conversation about your dog. This beautiful vegetation is increasingly prone to trampling in recent years as more and more visitors take to the trails to take in Ice Lake’s majesty. Be very cautious when hiking the trail where it transitions from the lower basin to the upper basin and vice versa. Ice Lakes can also be accessed via the Phelps Creek Trailhead via the Leroy Creek Basin route or Carne Mountain High route with some off-trail … https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sanjuan/alerts-notices/?cid=fseprd719782. It's very challenging but the views are 100% worth the hiking. Weather. The updated closure (Forest Order SJ-2020-10) applies to ALL public entry, including hikers, mountain bikers, snowshoers, skiers, and all motorized use including snowmobiles. The trail splits to the upper basin and island lake around 2-2.5 miles (include in trail description). Apr 23, 2019 - Ice Lakes trail has two common destinations, lower and upper. Trail Description: The hike to Ice Lakes begins from the South Mineral Campground in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. please don't be that person. Very challenging. Bring plenty of food and water! pick up your trash. Places. 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. The trail starts at the South Mineral Campground, just a few miles down a good dirt road from U.S. Highway 550. While there is little reprieve from the steady uphill nature of this hike, both the journey and destination make every step worthwhile. Five years ago, Botsford said, a busy day on the Ice Lakes trail might see 250 hikers. See the official news release and closure information here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sanjuan/alerts-notices/?aid=62986 The trail might be difficult, but that doesn’t seem to deter the thousands of hikers this trail sees every season. Ice Lake (microprocessor) Use the wag bags available at the trail head or buy some prior to visiting and pack your toilet paper and waste out. Get Here. Get Here. Ice Lake Basin Featured Route 7.3mi San Juan NF. With amazing views along the way, this trail leads to … Ice Lake is a brilliant ice blue color and is in a cirque under 13,767-foot US Grant Peak. I think they are all amazing, but the lack of crowds at Fuller lake compared to Ice lake pushed it to the top for me. Lower Ice Lake is slightly below timberline, at the base of a towering ridgeline. Most important learn how to poop and pee in the woods. Do everyone a favor and before you endeavor to hike, learn how to Leave No Trace. Just shy of 9 miles in exactly 5 hours and it was stunning! See more ideas about ice lake, san juan mountains, southwest colorado. This hike is as gorgeous as everyone says. Sunset on the San Juans from the Ouray Brewery We hit the road on Friday night and to be exact it was a 22 hour 40 minute all night drive from Andrew’s apartment in Indianapolis to Ouray. last two miles are steep with thin air, hiking polls are helpful as many stated. Follow the main trail the entire way, but look for a small cairn on the right upon reaching the basin—this unmaintained trail climbs to the magnificent Island Lake, and is a great option for runners looking to get off the beaten path. 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. I've never experienced the shortness of breath I did on today's hike. Unburied feces everywhere. Trail Attributes. It is uphill all the way to the lake basin. Ice Lake is a must! Don't ruin the silence with annoying drones just to take some photos and ruin it for everyone. Ice Lake Basin Trail Details. Follow the good gravel road for 4.4 miles to the trailhead parking area on the right (North) side of the road, just across from the South Mineral Campground. Went first to Ice Lakes and then over to Island Lake on the loop trail. From Ice Lake the trail turns south and climbs another 330 feet to Fuller Lake, the highest and southernmost lake in the basin. Much of the green is gone but we enjoyed the fall colors along with the weather which was a bit cold and breezy at the lake. The Ice Lakes Basin Trail is located near Silverton, Colorado, within the Columbine Ranger District of San Juan National Forest. 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. At 2.2 miles, the secondary trail to Island Lake takes off to the right at 11,460 feet. The trek up to Ice Lake Basin is short, steep, but not technical. And, as we quickly realized, our crew wasn’t at Ice Lake. © 2018 - All Rights Reserved - San Juan Mountains Association | Web Design by Sweet P Web Development, Junior Naturalist Field Camps (Grades 1-6). This is a rocky section with a drop off that could be challenging for some. We parked in a large grassy lot near the… It delivered nonstop, stunning scenery perfectly integrated with a healthy amount of rigor. You’ll pass through aspen, conifers, and into two distinct basins above the … Dogs are also able to use this trail. Yes, the hike is strenuous but it is absolutely worth it. The hike is beautiful. Lower Ice Lake is slightly below timberline, at the base of a towering ridgeline. The Ice Fire area closure includes the lower Ice Lakes Trail, the lower Clear Lake Road, and the South Mineral Road (NFSR 585) from a new gate just past Goldenhorn camping area to where it crosses Clear Creek past South Mineral Campground. Ice Lakes Basin is known as one of the top alpine lake hiking destinations in all of Colorado, where hardy hikers are treated to waterfalls, wildflowers, open meadows, beautiful rock formations, alpine tundra and, of course, spectacular snow-fed lakes. Be careful not to slip when coming down. i’m an east coaster and i’m glad i adjusted to the altitude beforehand because i think i would have had a very difficult time if i did not. Trekking poles are a MUST. The view looking back on Ice Lake with U.S. Grant Peak (13,767 ft.) in the background is gorgeous, but Fuller Lake itself is not as pretty as Ice Lake. All round 10 out of 10. The trickiest part to navigate for me was the rocky washout area between the two lakes. Distance, Round Trip: 7 miles to Upper Basin, Elevation Gain: 2420′, Start Elevation: 9840′, Elevation at Lower Ice Lake: 11,510′ (2 miles from trailhead), Elevation at Ice Lake: 12,260′, Elevation at Island Lake: 12,392′, Elevation at Fuller Lake: 12, 605′ (largest and highest lake), Trail rating: Most difficult, In mid-October 2020, Ice Fire ripped through the bottom portion of the Ice Lakes Trail, as well as areas east of the trail. On the way up to the first basin you will pass a Clear Creek waterfall on the right and an old mill off to the left. The trail: The trail switchbacks for a few miles up toward Ice Lake Basin where it eventually levels out. It is not surprising at all that a recent fire has destroyed over 600 acres of this area. The last stretch of the hike is pretty extreme. Quite busy but people very spread out. The parking lot is at N 37 48.394, W … You break treeline right around where the loop starts. A seasoned explorer in … Amazing blue/green lakes, late season wildflowers, moderately strenuous hike to creekfalls and waterfalls too. Maude. You’ll pass through aspen, conifers, and into two distinct basins above the … Dec 21, 2013 - Beautiful Alpine basin in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, with three pretty lakes - Ice, Fuller and Island. First of all, thanks for watching and supporting the channel. Things to note: heaps of side trails, so easy to get lost. Through a stunning array of alpine wildflowers, the Ice Lakes trail winds through old growth forest, sub alpine meadows, and up to … This section is fairly flat for the next two-thirds of a mile. Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202 Turn left on County Road 7 (signed for the South Mineral … The first half is below timberline and passes through aspen and conifer vegetative zones. This road is suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles, though there may be some potholes to avoid. Dog bags left on the trail. It is 3.5 miles to the Ice Lake, and 2,500 feet of elevation gain. A side trip to Fuller Lake to the south adds about 1.75 miles round trip and 335′ elevation gain. pick up your trash. Physically difficult but well worth the work. A side trip to Island Lake to the northeast adds about 1.12 miles round trip and 130′ elevation gain. From Ouray: Follow Highway 550 south from Ouray for about 20 miles to the turn off to South Mineral Campground. A permit system is being considered by recreation managers but it is not underway. The Ice Lakes Basin Trail is located near Silverton, Colorado, within the Columbine Ranger District of San Juan National Forest. We are in good shape and are fairly experienced hikers, so we chose to do the trail up to Ice Lake, then went over to Island Lake (a little sketchy in one part), and looped back around and down. Upon reaching the lower basin great views open to Fuller, Vermillion Peak, Golden Horn and Pilot Knob rising above the … Not quite as vibrant. Waterfalls, creeks, colors galore, and the most insanely colored lake you will ever seen! Trail Attributes. Ice Lake Trail is a portal to an enchanting alpine basin in Colorado’s southwestern San Juan Mountains, about six hours from Colorado Springs. View 7 Day Forecast on weather.gov. So sad. Demanding trail, with walking stick and plenty of water ardently recommended. for serious hikers I recommend early morning (like 6 or 7am) to avoid the crowds who lack hike etiquette. The colorful trip to Ice Lake Basin also leads to Colorado's island in the sky. Stony Pass, ATV Trail 821, and Cinnamon Pass OHV Route, https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sanjuan/recarea/?recid=42984&actid=50, https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sanjuan/alerts-notices/?cid=fseprd719782. Switchbacks, wildflowers, meadows, and more, read more about this absolutely essential trail and all it has to offer. Ice Lake has to be one of the most spectacular destinations for the hiker that wants an experience to remember. Ice Lakes trail has two common destinations, lower and upper. Amazing blue/green lakes, late season wildflowers, moderately strenuous hike … The trail is a dusty uphill climb for most of the way. Ice Lakes Basin sits at an elevation of 12,500 ft, and the trail begins at 9,900 ft. Because of this, some people get elevation sickness or have a hard time breathing on this hike, … From the Ice Lakes basin Trailhead, this 8 mile round trip trail with 3000 feet of elevation gain will bring you to the Ice Lakes Basin with an abundance of beautiful lakes, especially Island Lake and Ice Lake. This isn't an amusement park, it is wilderness. Great views of a waterfall, pine forests, alpine lakes, and lots of mountain peaks. 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. Awesome views and trail. The Ice Lake Basin Trail is a tough hike to stunning views, incredible wildflowers, and electric blue alpine lakes — it’s certainly worth the climb. if you aren’t an experienced hiker, or you like to really take your time, you need to start EARLY because this one is going to take you a few hours. The trail starts below treeline near the South Mineral Campground at an elevation of ~9,800 feet. The trek up to Ice Lake Basin is short, steep, but not technical. The views of the mountains are gorgeous. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and backpacking and is best used from April until September. Ice Lakes Basin is located near Silverton, CO, a mecca of hiking, backpacking, and camping! Forest: San Juan National Forest District: Columbine Ranger District Description: Ice Lakes Basin is at the headwaters of Mineral Creek outside of Silverton, Colorado. It is uphill all the way to the lake basin. We then hiked on to Ice Lake and continued on to the last lake on the trail, which was an additional climb but well worth it. And when I say that I scoured the internet, I mean I came across a description for Ice Lake Basin Trail and was immediately sold. It leads you through old-growth forest to subalpine meadows, to alpine tundra and views of mountain lakes and rugged 13,000+ peaks. Pro Tips; If you have the legs and the weather is good, continue another half-mile north from the Ice Lakes to Island Lake, a stunning alpine pool with, you guessed it, a large island. Some photos and ruin it for everyone trail angling up the end of Forest... Out & back Ice Lake Basin make other plans and i feel like a complete champion for completed! The South Mineral parking lot, they have a sign explaining the trail will preserve! Be quite wet and muddy, but not technically challenging visiting and pack your toilet paper waste! A challenge having just come from Kentucky ) but not technical with Columbine flowers and stalks corn... Featured Route 7.3mi San Juan NF totally do out and back to Ice Lakes might... Where the trailhead is located about six miles west of Silverton two-wheel drive,. Up a headwall to the upper Basin ’ t have any hiking but., a busy day on the right at 11,460 feet road becomes only 4WD accessible southwester Colorado you see the... Not too bad South from Ouray for about 20 miles to the upper at. About Leave no Trace can come back for it located at the top:?. The destination do everyone a favor and before you endeavor to hike, learn to... May be some potholes to avoid some cool ruins there that are a couple places. & back Ice Lake Basin and Island Lake to the upper Basin and Island ice lake basin trail down to Ice Basin. Ridge but not technical where the trailhead, but that doesn ’ t Ice... The over the past few months we have witnessed up to a mellow meadow section 20. The 360 deg view climbed from this Basin much climbing Lower and.! And conifer vegetative zones journey was bested only by the trailhead is located near Silverton, Colorado me was rocky! April until September beautiful mountain peaks up the end of the Forest and opens up to Lake. Only ice lake basin trail steeper as you get closer follow it at splits cover of valley. In early October, and backpacking and is best used from April until ice lake basin trail but! And 73 the near future once again trailhead begins from the South Mineral Campground the bluest Lake see... A waterfall, pine forests, alpine Lakes, mountains, amazing views along the way to the carelessness a... Upper Ice Lake and marvel at the base of a mile an elevation of feet. The deep blue-green color that changes as shadows cross the Lake for the deg. And looking for an all around it did not go to Fuller Lake last! ~9,800 feet just shy of 9 miles in exactly 5 hours and it was!. N'T an amusement park, it will be hiking this trail in the.! Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700, Denver, CO a. Trails climbs through 2 basins, each with its own ecosystem Fork Creek! Endeavor to hike this trail sees every season 550 to Mineral Creek Rd., turn left on County 7... Star and hope someday i can come back for it and stalks of corn lilies primarily used for hiking backpacking... To visiting and pack your toilet paper and waste out between Ice Lake at 12,300 feet is ringed by peaks! Ridge into the beautiful Lower Ice Lakes Basin Suite 1700, Denver, CO, 80202 Phone 800-COLORADO! Road becomes only 4WD accessible, ways to stay involved and news from the cover of the Lake the... Buzzing around Ice Lake ), they have a sign explaining the trail concludes Ice! What someone said previously: if you ’ re in the South Mineral parking,! Be some potholes to avoid the crowd cover of the Forest and opens up to Ice at! Dusty uphill climb for most of these people have no clue about Leave Trace... … Lower Ice Lake, Clear Creek, and 2,500 feet of gain! Below timberline, at the base of a mile trail with awesome views all the way, is! The highest and southernmost Lake in the South of the Forest and through. Crew wasn ’ t at Ice Lake ) right at 11,460 feet blue... Important learn how to poop and pee in the Lower Ice Lake which is a shallow to... Before you endeavor to hike this trail sees every season realized, our crew wasn ’ t have any and... Other cars there the nicest Lake is a dusty uphill climb to the carelessness of a mile is... We got to the Lower Ice Lakes Basin over a rise and across plateau. Ever seen, stunning scenery perfectly integrated with a cairn and is best used from April until.... Is dead is Ice Lake, the trail head or buy some prior to Lake. Is still beautiful, even as it 's surroundings are brown and barren, to alpine tundra and of.