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Hike to Lake Isabelle

Ward, Colorado

4.5/5
based on 7 reviews

Details

Distance

4 miles

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

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.

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Features

Photography
Snowshoeing
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Groups
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

For a semi-beginner hiker who 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!

This trail is absolutely incredible. Decent in length from the parking lot you are currently forced to park in. Speaking of parking, 2017 season mandates $11 for parking instead of $10. From trailhead it is 2 miles but you have to hike about 1 mile to get to the trailhead, totaling 6 miles instead of 4. At any rate, the trail is amazing and well worth it. A little steep on some parts otherwise very flat and easy to manage. It's a very well manicured trail too so don't worry about snagging your clothes on trees as you pass by. Hardly any snow left on the trail (July 9th, 2017). The lake view is WELL worth the hike. Would recommend to a friend, 10/10 👏🏻

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Hike to Colorado's Isabelle Glacier

Snowshoe or Ski Lake Isabelle

Hike Pawnee & Buchanan Pass Loop

Hike Pawnee Pass and Pawnee Peak

Climb Apache Peak

Hike Shoshoni Peak