Hike to Lake Isabelle

Colorado Lake Isabelle (Brainard Lake Recreational Area)

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Lots of wildlife, this is a great place to view moose! Relatively short hike with some amazing views. Easy to navigate, well marked trails. Duration: 4 miles roundtrip, Couple of hours.

Start at the Pawnee Pass Trail No. 907 Trailhead. Long Lake is about 2 tenths of a mile and Lake Isabelle is 2 miles from the trailhead. Keep an eye out for moose grazing in the bushes or in the water near Long Lake. This is a 4 mile out and back hike with well marked trails.

For an 8.75 mile hike, continue past Lake Isabelle to Isabelle Glacier. The hike to the glacier will change the rating from beginner to moderate-strenuous. If you don't want to go to the glacier but you want to see some waterfalls, then hike a mile past Lake Isabelle.

You will need $10 for the Brainard Lake Recreational Area parking. The parking lots do fill up so I suggest getting there early.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Water
  • $10.00 for Parking
  • Camera
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Activities:

Photography, Snowshoeing, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

4 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Groups
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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How to Get There

4 days ago

Beautiful!

For a beginner hiker and is also not used to high elevations this hike was moderately difficult at some points especially near the top. I hiked in mid-June, and there was still a lot of snow on the ground, which definitely made the hike much more difficult. Really a beautiful sight once we made it to the lake. Tiring but would definitely do again!

4 days ago

6 months ago

One of my favorite CO hikes!

This hike is relatively easy, which you would never guess from the stunning scenery. Towering peaks and alpine lakes make for a beautiful day out.

6 months ago

9 months ago

Great sunrise hike

Hiked here in late June and it was stunning! Got there for sunrise so I missed all of the crowds. The trail is well defined and was easy to follow with a headlamp. I was bummed that I didn't see any moose but ran into some people who said that they did.

9 months ago

over 1 year ago

Check the reservoir conditions

Be sure to check with the local ranger station to get an update on the lake's water level. They drain the lake in late summer, so if you hike up there expecting a ton of water you might be disappointed. It's still beautiful nonetheless, however!

over 1 year ago

almost 2 years ago

Beautiful, but crowded

If you hike on a weekend, be prepared to brave the crowds at lake Isabelle. Its proximity to Boulder and relatively short distance make it a prime spot for the post-brunch crowd and families.

almost 2 years ago

over 2 years ago

This is a perfect post-work hike! Take flashlights and hit the trail during the late afternoon for solitude and great photography opportunities on this great hike that is very busy in the day.

over 2 years ago

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