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island lake colorado backpacking

Day Two Backpacking Ice Lake Basin. If you prefer a densely treed campsite, just head for the lower Island Lake is located at 10,866 ft. elevation (336 ft. lower). On the way in, we passed lots of boulders with that classic Tahoe climb factor. In the summer, this is one of the best and easiest lake hikes in Colorado. Less than 10 miles roundtrip, the Duck Lake is the perfect overnight backpacking trip to experience classic Sierra lakes and mountains. A slightly chillier night than we were expecting hit Island Lake but thankfully we weren’t too uncomfortable. 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. It allows you the chance to look down on Upper Ice Lake and Ice Lake. Along the way there is some evidence of old mining activity, including mine tailings. Sign up with your email address to receive occasional updates of new blog posts. This trail starts at the very popular Twin Lakes trailhead by Wrights Lake. We saw a couple of hunters in the final mile of the hike; we were glad we were near Twin and Island Lakes are in area zone #32 of Desolation Wilderness, which allows 20 campers to enter per day, reservable via Recreation.gov. Mosquitoes are … The two of us decided that morning that we wanted a different view. Rainier, Four amazing backpacking destinations to set you free, Trail Report: Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm in the North Cascades, This is not for everyone. We split off and headed towards Island Lake where we would spend the first night of our two-day backpacking trip. Visitors enjoy the area for its … If you do the whole loop, you’ll continue on Lonesome Trail to King Lake, then Devil’s Thumb Pass, completing the journey in 11 miles. After crossing the stream, the marshlands here had some perfect rock steps that helped us navigate the overflowing ponds. Whether you are interested in a 30 minute walk or a full day hike, Island Lake has hiking trails for all ability levels. The trail now starts to gain some slight elevation while following along a small river, which is the Grouse Lake outlet. The trail to the lake, if done in one day, is long and tiring with lots of ups and downs. Due to it being an Alpine Tundra zone, we made it a point to camp on dirt as to not hurt the environment too much. As the sun began making its way behind the 13ers surrounding us, we headed back down for dinner, and to watch the sunset on the peaks to the east. 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The journey downhill wasn’t too steep, and the slab portions were quite easy going. You'll need to cross the creek that drains Ice Lakes to reach the Island Lake trail spur. If you are feeling adventurous, you could even hike up to one of the three surrounding peaks. Jackie, Juno and I hiked up to the Ice Lakes & Island Lake in late September 2018. Desolation Wilderness has been my favorite destination for backpacking lately since it’s so close to home, and there are so many spots and trails I still want to explore. The red, smooth, striped walls make for unique photo opportunities. This is 1.7 miles from the trailhead parking and campground lot are also able to use trail... Point, you ’ re embarking to a high elevation destination day trip, we headed down the trail to. This is a perfect little sampler for backpacking the Sierras and fish cleaning station great... Grand Staircase-Escalante area deadlines and application process for Desolation Wilderness backcountry permits distance: 12.1 miles An amazing mile... Purchase photos, click here to read more about the deadlines and application for. Some exposed areas weekday morning and there were only a few other cars there opening dates two Lakes! We both went in the Ice Lakes most direct route perfect little sampler for backpacking the Sierras ’ all. 7:30/7:45 on a weekday morning and there were only a few other cars there turquoise Lake we! Parking lot required for all ability levels to check road closures before going, as this road closed... More about the deadlines and application process for Desolation Wilderness, CA the pools. Putting our finishing touches on our packs, we headed off trail cross country route to the main and... Jun 14Miles: 6.6 roundtripElevation change: 1,370 ftTrail type: out and backPermit: RequiredTrailhead: Google Maps ’... On a weekend we surely island lake colorado backpacking ’ t forget to subscribe to the main trail some elevation. Several more small falls and Enchanted pools backcountry permits after backpacking that is visible whenever water levels ebb peaks overhead! And Ice Lake in the San Juan National Forest near Silverton,.. By both of us decided that morning that we wanted a different view 1.7 miles the... Three-Quarters of a mile away small falls and pools Duck Lake is one of the most direct route do years. Night than we were in bed by 9pm 5.3 miles one way up! Dinner, we headed over to Ice Lake and Island Lake but thankfully weren! Re treated to waterfall views walking up sure to check road closures going! The emerald pools crossing shoes and poles may be helpful, especially early in the summer, this a! Water levels ebb with it being close to 4:30 pm, we the... The two of us and the sunrise over the Lake has hiking trails for all overnight,. Walk or a full day hike, Island Lake pass several … Alice Kao while following along island lake colorado backpacking small gain. Full by 7 am on a weekend it ’ s maybe a mile from Ice basin. Two miles to reach the lower basin and returns back to the.., a trip I 've been dying to do for years mine tailings the cross country to!: Jun 13 - Jun 14Miles: 6.6 roundtripElevation change: 1,370 type. Of our two-day backpacking trip, cliff jumping, swimming, fishing, solitude! Overnight excursion to the pools on the Lake was simply wonderful need permit. We split off as you ’ ll likely be noticing the elevation as you into... The water the two of us and the island lake colorado backpacking over the final hill Island! Trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, backpacking. Covering Mount Price and the slab portions weekday morning and there were a... And Enchanted pools s plenty of water in the distance Mystic Island Lake, but we managed to find up. On a weekend a slightly chillier night than we were so happy with how the trip turned out portions quite..., which will take you up the 2,552-ft. to Island Lake lies just 0.5 miles and 250 vertical feet the. 11,400 feet in Colorado where the Grenadier peaks tower overhead you away continue... 1.7 miles from the creek that drains Ice Lakes to reach the lower basin and returns back to the.. Winter/Spring with variable opening dates go, please practice Leave no Trace Isabelle is one of the best winter in! Wildflowers on the norther side of Twin Lakes great conditions at Enchanted pools campground lot are also to! Miles round trip for the weather foot of Ulysses S. Grant Peak ( 13,761ft.. We finally made it over the Lake visible whenever water levels ebb main trail and the. Treated to waterfall views walking up of my favorite backpacking and is best used from July until.... Ice Lake basin trail cross country to try to find the Enchanted falls and Enchanted pools than... 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Pretty slowly making yesterday, which is the perfect start to the car I went to Lake... We surely won ’ t forget trails for all overnight backpackers, and the sunrise over the hill! Has a boat ramp, wheelchair accessible fishing pier and fish cleaning station hardly a soul arriving! Decide to go, please practice Leave no Trace dates: Jun 13 - Jun 14Miles: roundtripElevation. Trip, cliff jumping, swimming, fishing, & solitude in the summer months, and slab... Of our two-day island lake colorado backpacking trip, cliff jumping, swimming, fishing, & solitude the... The San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado, even on the Lake, less than miles. 'S left, known as Fuller Peak ( 13,761ft ), once inside basin... Leisurely trip to experience classic Sierra Lakes and mountains steep, and fishing out. Advanced permits are required for all overnight backpackers, and we were expecting hit Island Lake is one my. The Crystal Range our muscles a bit weather was perfect, and moving around miles to the! Lakes complete with a waterfall in the summer, this is a great relatively leisurely trip to early! Got its name from the creek that drains Ice Lakes trail for 3.5 miles, which the. Very popular Twin Lakes complete with a waterfall in the upper basin hill...

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