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“Best backpacking spot in the San Juans”
Review of Island Lake

Ranked #13 of 25 things to do in Silverton
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Attraction details
Owner description: Set against a backdrop of dramatic cliffs, this scenic lake is an excellent destination for hikers and fishing enthusiasts.
Reviewed 1 August 2015

I've spent time running up here and backpacking. Every year the wildflowers are amazing as is the incredible blue lake. It's such a unique formation with a large granite island surrounded by the beauty of the San Juans. If you go I recommend more than just a day hike. Depending on the snow each year the lake might not thaw out until mid July.

1  Thank Jason H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 October 2014 via mobile

Ice Lake Basin / Island Lake is one of the prettiest places on the planet. To access the main trailhead, it is roughly a 6 mile journey down a dirt road (South Mineral Creek Rd) just outside of Silverton. From the trailhead you quickly start gaining some decent altitude. There are beautiful sights all along the trail. For the most part the trail is well marked and easy to follow and there are many great trail maps on line with detailed directions. I would recommend hiking/running early because there isn't much protection above tree line for the afternoon t-storms that fire up. We got caught in a hail storm because we spent too much time being mesmerized by Island Lake the surrounding mountains, rather than keeping an eye on the sky.

4  Thank Zach J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2013

Start out hiking to Ice Lakes... but there is a cut off trail to go to Island Lake from this trail. It is not marked and the trail is faint to the right. It's in the open area and you can see the waterfall in a distance up the trail. Be sure to find a good hiking map which will direct you. I have always hiked to Ice Lakes, but now I take the trail to Island Lake and then hike over to Ice Lakes (not very far away at all). It's easier to go this way, then hike the Ice Lake trail coming back. It's one of the most beautiful hikes in Colorado! Enjoy waterfalls, streams, wild flowers, bright turquoise water with surrounding mountains! About an 8 mile round trip, ENJOY!

10  Thank Junebug15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2013

As the other reviewers have noted, the Upper Ice Lake is one of the premier hiking destinations in Colorado. But after you have caught your breath (physically and spiritually), it is time to break away from the awe-inspired crowd and head up to Island Lake. Don't worry - it will not be too difficult or to long, and it promises to be the icing on an already rich cake.

If you do not have a trail map or guide book, don't despair. Look behind you from the near shore of the Ice Lake and up a hill to the left. You should be able to make out the trail. To get there, you will have to do a relatively easy ford over the stream that feeds into the Ice Lake, but, once you are over this, it is a relatively modest trek up and around the bend to view the Island Lake. It has iridescent blue coloring and an almost jewel-like setting for the little island in the middle. A great place to have your lunch, and then head back down.

7  Thank JoelMarty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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