Ice Lake

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IceLakeThis is the aptly named Ice Lake. It was still very icy when we visited and took this picture in mid-July. The trailhead to the Ice Lake Basin is found in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado about halfway between Silverton and Ouray, off of Hwy 550 on Forest Road 585.

In my opinion this trail, while a bit on the strenuous side, is one of the best Colorado has to offer. Ice Lake sits at 12,392′ and is lined by 13,000′ mountains. To get here you will have to hike up 2,500′ in 3.5 miles one-way. It is an uphill climb the entire way, but along the journey you get to see five amazing waterfalls and wildflower-covered mountainsides. From Ice Lake, there are also two short side trails to two more alpine lakes in the upper basin (this will extend the length of the hike slightly). Below Ice Lake is the lower basin that has another lake. This is one of my favorite trails and I highly recommend backpacking in and staying in the lower basin for a night or two. Maybe in August next time.

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