This was a fantastic holiday weekend hike! I can't believe we had this entire amazing area to ourselves! The peaceful serenity of high-elevation lakes in the heart of the San Juan's simply can't be matched!
Thoughts: This trail is not for the faint of heart. There are no gentle switchbacks here. It's just relentlessly steep. Had this been in greater Phoenix, there'd be people dropping like flies and calls for hiking bans. But the rewards are soooooo worth it!
I forgot my water, but somehow managed the entire day without it, opting for a couple half liter sips from the creek. Lower Ice Lake Basin is an impossibly green valley where the nearly deafening sound of numerous waterfalls echoes all around. Up top in Ice Lake Basin, the snow was plentiful, and Ice Lake was the only one that was half-thawed. The hike up to Fuller was great. Island Lake itself was less scenic, but the trip over to it provided some amazing views.
I would love to come back here and spend a couple of days exploring. The peaks around the basin, all over 13,700 feet, can be summited with relative ease and might make for some worthwhile day hikes.
I bombed the trip down in just over an hour, trying to catch up to Claire and 9L who got a good head start. Along the way, I got pelted with hail for about half an hour. Pretty typical for the mountains. Thankfully it was just hail, not accompanied by any lightning!