the last mile is definitely the toughest and i strongly recommend having appropriate footwear because it can be a bit hard to get a foothold even in boots, especially when going back down - i saw a lot of individuals in casual shoes slipping and sliding their way along the trail and some parts can be dangerously narrow. The trail to Ice Lakes basin traverses through pine forest and treks through lush meadows filled with Columbine flowers and stalks of corn lilies. After navigating about seven switchbacks in a row, I began to give myself the challenge of completing three or four switchbacks before I could stop and rest. Enjoy! It’s another world up here! Just shy of 9 miles in exactly 5 hours and it was stunning! All round 10 out of 10. We did not go to Fuller - next time! Ice Lake Basin offered a number of 13ers to climb and Blue Lakes Basin would give us a shot at Mount Sneffels. The hike is steep to the second step of the basin where Ice Lake is located, but it is well worth it as the deep blue of the lake is unparalleled. We started our hike at 7:30/7:45 on a weekday morning and there were only a few other cars there. Very difficult if you aren’t used to the elevation, as there is so much climbing. But in terms of hiking conditions, it’s a breeze. Playing next. 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. Hardest part of the trail is the section between Ice Lake and Island Lake. Rewarding hike, moving counterclockwise on the loop to hit Island Lake prior to Ice Lake. In the Lower Basin, there is a shallow lake to the south of the trail. Ice Lake Trail is a portal to an enchanting alpine basin in Colorado’s southwestern San Juan Mountains, about six hours from Colorado Springs. You’ll pass through aspen, conifers, and into two distinct basins above the … A beautiful multi-day hike through ponderosa pines to a high altitude basin. It traverses through another forest of aspen, firs and cedar trees, but it does so on gruelingly steep switchbacks made of red dirt and a few stones are strewn throughout. Likely this fire due to the carelessness of a hiker or camper. Ice Lake Basin Trail [CLOSED] is a 15.3 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Ophir, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Hiking to Ice Lake Basin. If you brought a snack, this section is a good spot to take a break and gobble up some energy for the next, most-strenuous section of the hike. Great (tough) day of hiking but oh, so worth it! If you plan to camp, South Mineral Springs Campground will set you back $20 per night, while the other five campgrounds leading to the trail are free. It goes by the name of Ice Lake Basin and the hiking trail leading to it is just as spectacular. After gaining 1,600-ft. in 2 miles the trail crests the ridge into the beautiful Lower Ice Lake basin. When we got to the loop, we went right (counter clockwise) and had the trail and first lake all to ourselves. Hiking to Island Lake [Day 1] We arrived Friday [Aug 30] around noon, started hiking by 1:52 pm and arrived at the majestic Island Lake 4:32 pm. Amazing blue/green lakes, late season wildflowers, moderately strenuous hike to creek falls and waterfalls too. Upon reaching the lower basin great views open to Fuller, Vermillion Peak, Golden Horn and Pilot Knob rising above the ridge at the head of the basin. The nicest lake is Ice Lake, the first lake you see in the upper basin. The trail to Fuller Lake can be quite wet and muddy, but staying on the trail will help preserve the fragile alpine tundra. So you’ve made it through the 2 miles of forest trail and a brisk 0.75 miles through the meadowlands while taking in the scenic 360-degree views. Following the Ice Fire in fall of 2020, the Ice Lakes Basin Trail was closed. This is about 1 mile of steep switchbacks on red dirt. Wondering how the situation is now. A beautiful multi-day hike through ponderosa pines to a high altitude basin. 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. In the west, the dramatic triumvirate that heads the Ice Lake Basin commands and holds attention through the remainder of the hike. I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t blog very much about hiking adventures because hubby and I just don’t do very much hiking outside our adventurous vacation hikes. Follow. Before you begin on the trail, make sure you sign the hiker log located at the trailhead. This was a steep climb and at times very rocky with loose gravel. the trail is almost entirely inclined up to ice lake and the hills only get steeper as you get closer. 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 fire is located west from Silverton, CO, near Ice Lakes Trailhead, on the north side of the South Mineral Road. I had no issues with the drive. It’s colder than any ice pack you’ve ever put on a healing injury. Ice Lake Basin and Island Lake are located in the San Juan National Forest. There’s a rock wall that you need to scale/climb, and it’s obviously doable...but I’d make sure you have a pretty high fitness level and that you’re not wearing a big pack on your back. After~2.3 miles the trail will begin to flatten as you enter lower ice lake basin. 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