Hike to Lake Isabelle

Colorado Lake Isabelle (Brainard Lake Recreational Area)

Added by Ryan Mckinney

  • 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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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Hiking, Photography, Snowshoeing

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



4 Miles



Dog Friendly

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How to Get There

16 days 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.

16 days ago

about 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!

about 1 year ago

about 1 year 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.

about 1 year ago

about 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.

about 2 years ago

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