At roughly 2.2 miles in and an elevation of 11,400 feet, you’ll reach Lower Ice Lake Basin. The area will have been forever changed for sure. The trail concludes at Ice Lake, which is the bluest lake you will ever see. Not quite as vibrant. We went to the upper first then down to ice lake which is a color blue that barely looks real. The trail from the junction up to and through the Lower Ice Lake Basin is very easy compared with what you have experienced thus far. 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. At 2.2 miles, the secondary trail to Island Lake takes off to the right at 11,460 feet. Ice Lakes trail has two common destinations, lower and upper. https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sanjuan/alerts-notices/?cid=fseprd719782. Round Trip Distance: 7.3 miles to Ice Lake & 8.4 miles to Island Lake; Difficulty: Strenuous; Elevation Gain: 2,430 feet to Ice Lake & 2,550 to Island Lake; Peak Elevation: 12,265 at Ice Lake & 12,400 at Island Lake; Amount of Time Needed: 4 to 5.5 hours; Trailhead Coordinates: Ice Lake Basin Trailhead, Silverton, Colorado The Ice Lake Basin and aquamarine Ice Lake at 12,300 feet is ringed by 13,000-foot peaks. This is, by far, the BEST hike I’ve ever done. The trail now climbs steep switchbacks up a headwall to the Lower Ice Lake basin. The Ice Lake Basin and aquamarine Ice Lake at 12,300 feet is ringed by 13,000-foot peaks. Places. I've never experienced the shortness of breath I did on today's hike. 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. You should see a faint trail angling up the slope near the bottom of an old mine tailing. The Ice Lakes Basin Trail is located near Silverton, Colorado, within the Columbine Ranger District of San Juan National Forest. The Ice Lakes Basin trailhead begins from the dirt parking lot across the road from South Mineral Campground. 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Dogs are also able to use this trail. So sad. It is uphill all the way to the lake basin. last two miles are steep with thin air, hiking polls are helpful as many stated. The trail: The trail switchbacks for a few miles up toward Ice Lake Basin where it eventually levels out. The upper basin is surrounded by awesome peaks. And, as we quickly realized, our crew wasn’t at Ice Lake. Maude. 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. please don't be that person. 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. At roughly 2.2 miles in and an elevation of 11,400 feet, you’ll reach Lower Ice Lake Basin. 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. Phone: 800-COLORADO As we found out, the Ice Basin Trail is a big lollipop loop with Island Lake sitting on one side of the loop and Ice Lake sitting on the other. I went clockwise, although either direction looks good. Vermillion, Fuller, Pilot Knob and Golden Horn are climbed from this basin. In heading left, we hiked our tired legs straight to Ice Lake, and completely missed Island Lake. 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. Turn left on County Road 7 (signed for the South Mineral … 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. 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. The Ice Lakes Basin trailhead begins from the dirt parking lot across the road from South Mineral Campground. Loving nature means respecting it. Amazing blue/green lakes, late season wildflowers, moderately strenuous hike to creek falls and waterfalls too. Unburied feces everywhere. Follow the trail across a flatter approach to Ice Lake and marvel at the deep blue-green color that changes as shadows cross the lake. It delivered nonstop, stunning scenery perfectly integrated with a healthy amount of rigor. Featured Routes. 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. 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. It is located at the very beginning of Lower Ice Lake Basin. trail is beautiful, but much of the foliage/grass is dead. Quite busy but people very spread out. 13er's surround the lake - Fuller, Vermillion, Golden Horn and Pilot Knob. pick up your trash. But it is worth it. The trail is a dusty uphill climb for most of the way. Just be sure to park in the South Mineral parking lot, they have a sign explaining the trail. 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. 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. Very difficult if you aren’t used to the elevation, as there is so much climbing. You’ll pass through aspen, conifers, and into two distinct basins above the … View 7 Day Forecast on weather.gov. The Ice Lakes Trail offers a lot of variety. The colorful trip to Ice Lake Basin also leads to Colorado's island in the sky. Phenomenal trail. Rewarding hike, moving counterclockwise on the loop to hit Island Lake prior to Ice Lake. It is not surprising at all that a recent fire has destroyed over 600 acres of this area. You break treeline right around where the loop starts. Best to download the map and follow it at splits. It delivered nonstop, stunning scenery perfectly integrated with a healthy amount of rigor. The Ice Lake Basin and aquamarine Ice Lake at 12,300 feet is ringed by 13,000-foot peaks. The Lower Ice Lake Basin. upper lake is still beautiful, even as it's surroundings are brown and barren. From Ice Lake the trail turns south and climbs another 330 feet to Fuller Lake, the highest and southernmost lake in the basin. While there is little reprieve from the steady uphill nature of this hike, both the journey and destination make every step worthwhile. The Durango Herald reports the fire started about a quarter-mile from the Ice Lake Basin trailhead about 2:30 p.m. Monday. … Amazing blue/green lakes, late season wildflowers, moderately strenuous hike to creekfalls and waterfalls too. It leads you through old-growth forest to subalpine meadows, to alpine tundra and views of mountain lakes and rugged 13,000+ peaks. Went first to Ice Lakes and then over to Island Lake on the loop trail. Weather. The lake is a deep blue color and has beautiful mountain peaks all around it. 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. pick up your trash. 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. These are non-system trails that are not maintained by the San Juan National Forest. I also strongly advise trekking poles! Be very cautious when hiking the trail where it transitions from the lower basin to the upper basin and vice versa. The Ice Lake Basin and aquamarine Ice Lake at 12,300 feet is ringed by 13,000-foot peaks. Ice Lake Trail is a portal to an enchanting alpine basin in Colorado’s southwestern San Juan Mountains, about six hours from Colorado Springs. 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. You’ll pass through aspen, conifers, and into two distinct basins above the … See the official news release and closure information here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sanjuan/alerts-notices/?aid=62986 lots of tourists littering/talking too loud at the top. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and backpacking and is best used from April until September. The road leading to the trailhead is pretty smooth. Demanding trail, with walking stick and plenty of water ardently recommended. Want to learn more about our current projects, ways to stay involved and news from the San Juan Mountains Association? Trash left by hikers. Upon reaching the lower basin great views open to Fuller, Vermillion Peak, Golden Horn and Pilot Knob rising above the … 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. A permit system is being considered by recreation managers but it is not underway. The Ice Lake Basin and aquamarine Ice Lake at 12,300 feet is ringed by 13,000-foot peaks. The nicest lake is Ice Lake, the first lake you see in the upper basin. You will see 5 lakes if you follow the trail all the way, and there are several more lakes if you explore around the basin. The Ice Lakes trailhead is located about six miles west of Silverton. The reviews were stellar, the photos spectacular, it was the perfect length at about 8.5 miles, and according to Google Maps, … The jagged 13,000+ peaks surrounding Upper Ice Lake Basin include (from north to south). It was challenging. In heading left, we hiked our tired legs straight to Ice Lake, and completely missed Island Lake. Physically difficult but well worth the work. Pass through more fields of columbine, paintbrush and buttercups to the upper basin at 12,200'. If you have the time and energy to explore more of the upper basin area before returning to the trailhead, two popular side trips are to Island Lake and Fuller Lake. This trail is excellent and a beautiful place to hike. First off the area is being evacuated today due to fire, so make other plans! Unfortunately this trail is grossly over used and abused. You can see the trail on the right climbing up the end of the valley between the rocky cliffs. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” Switchbacks, wildflowers, meadows, and more, read more about this absolutely essential trail and all it has to offer. A seasoned explorer in … Ice Lakes Trailhead at South Mineral Campground Camping. Trail on Ice Lake, Clear Creek, and South Fork Mineral Creek in San Juan National Forest. The trailhead has lots of parking, and this is a very popular trail. We didn’t have any hiking poles but after today we are definitely going to get some. 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. 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, … Trail Attributes. When we got to the loop, we went right (counter clockwise) and had the trail and first lake all to ourselves. 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. The perpetual beauty that permeated the journey was bested only by the destination. Great hike overall. The trek up to Ice Lake Basin is short, steep, but not technical. Switchbacks, wildflowers, meadows, and more, read more about this absolutely essential trail and all it has to offer. See more ideas about ice lake, san juan mountains, southwest colorado. Some of the trees were giant, and I hope that they survive. Ice Lake is a brilliant ice blue color and is in a cirque under 13,767-foot US Grant Peak. With amazing views along the way, this trail leads to … this is kind of an in-between time, not quite green, not quite snow. Ice Lake Basin Featured Route 7.3mi San Juan NF. This hike is as gorgeous as everyone says. Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202 Absolutely gorgeous, crystal blue & clear. 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. 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