Lake Isabelle

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks”

~John Muir

Every year when wildflower season begins, I make sure to head into the Indian Peaks Wilderness and tackle all the glory that Brainard Lake Recreation has to offer! This area has an abundance of gorgeous trails, all packed with epic mountain scenery and incredible photo opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. Lake Isabelle is one of my all time favorites and also one of my first hikes when I moved to Colorado. It doesn’t matter how many times I have done this trail, I’m always blown away by its beauty! The Lake Isabelle trail is lined with vibrant wildflowers, bright green mountain valleys, panoramic views of mountain peaks, and cascading waterfalls as far as the eye can see! If you’re lucky, you may see a moose or two! This area defines Colorado!

Lake Isabelle is a 4.2 mile hike (roundtrip), starting at the Long Lake trailhead in The Brainard Lake Recreation Area near the town of Ward. This area is a sweet spot for beautiful mountain views! The Navajo, Apache, and Shoshoni peaks frame this glistening alpine lake. The trail starts pretty mild with views of Long Lake on the left side of the trail. This area is known for moose, so be on the lookout! The dirt path continues through the trees with waterfalls raging in the distance. If you sneak through the trees towards the water sounds, the views of this waterfall travel all the way up the hill! Its usually lined with hot pink wildflowers and wet rocks twinkling in the sun. The trail steepens for a more moderate descent to the lake. With views like this, you’ll forget you’re even climbing! Waterfalls shower the mountain all around you! Columbines, indian paintbrushes, and yellow primroses cover the mountain valley. These views are truly breathtaking! Cross the bridge and start your final descent towards the lake. YOU MADE IT!!! You have finally arrived at your destination!! 2 miles to complete bliss! Soak it all in…

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, Isabelle Glacier is located 2.3 miles from Lake Isabelle. Continue on the trail for high, aerial views of this amazing alpine lake. Happy trails!!