username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
LabelsComments
triplogs photosets comments more
Ice Lake Trail #505 - 6 members in 18 triplogs have rated this an average 4.8 ( 1 to 5 best )
18 triplogs
  All Months
18 Triplogs
Jan
0
Feb
0
Mar
0
Apr
0
May
0
Jun
1
Jul
9
Aug
2
Sep
5
Oct
1
Nov
0
Dec
0
 

Sep 08 2018
jtaylor
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 4
 Photos 377
 Triplogs 351

41 male
 Joined Jul 20 2007
 Gilbert, AZ
Ice Lake Trail #505Southwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Sep 08 2018
jtaylor
Hiking8.20 Miles 2,552 AEG
Hiking8.20 Miles
2,552 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Not sure there's any way to capture the beauty of this hike (or most others in CO) on film. I've never seen a body of water as blue as Ice Lake. The trail was crowded and strenuous, but it was well worth it. Island Lake wasn't nearly as brilliant, but still nothing to sneeze at! Thanks to Craig and Maureen from Grand Junction for the idea of camping at Clear Lake tonight! Helped me beat the Grapes of Wrath crowds down along Mineral Creek...
_____________________
“...wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.”
-Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
Jul 20 2018
Stoic
avatar

 Routes 204
 Photos 4,751
 Triplogs 401

43 male
 Joined Dec 30 2007
 Avondale,Az
Ice Lake BasinSouthwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Jul 20 2018
Stoic
Hiking10.36 Miles 3,164 AEG
Hiking10.36 Miles   8 Hrs   55 Mns   1.28 mph
3,164 ft AEG      51 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
My yearly trip to Silverton, is centered around this hike. It never disappoints.

I did the loop hike in reverse over my last years route. I wanted to spend a little more time exploring the neglected Fuller Lake. Miss Ellie of course enjoyed chasing the marmots back and forth. If I did 10 miles today, she did close to 13. She is getting more daring every year. She even cornered one in a pile of rocks. Over all a perfect hike with great weather. We did get a little afternoon rain on the way down.
_____________________
Sep 03 2017
OdinWiski
avatar

 Photos 2,131
 Triplogs 81

47 male
 Joined Jan 31 2015
 Chandler, AZ
Clear Lake, CO 
Clear Lake, CO
 
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2017
OdinWiski
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Sunday morning we had breakfast, broke camp and started our hike out. It seemed everyone and their dogs in Colorado were on the trail going up to Ice Lake. Saturday had already seen a lot of people and dogs, but Sunday was something else. We got in our truck and drove up Clear Lake Road and spent quite some time by Clear Lake. I could see why a lot of 4x4 clubs love the drive up Clear Lake Road. And the reward for the drive was huge with such a beautiful lake and great spots to camp. It was cool to see the ridge and summit of V2 from Clear Lake – a reversed perspective from the day before. We were thankful that we got to see the lake after all after not being able to make it Thursday night because of car trouble.

I hope to get back to this area in the future to explore the peaks.
_____________________
Sep 02 2017
OdinWiski
avatar

 Photos 2,131
 Triplogs 81

47 male
 Joined Jan 31 2015
 Chandler, AZ
Ice Lake Island Lake V2, CO 
Ice Lake Island Lake V2, CO
 
Hiking avatar Sep 02 2017
OdinWiski
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Saturday morning, after breakfast, we put our day packs on and hiked up to Ice Lake. It was the bluest alpine lake I’d seen. Just so pretty with all the peaks in the background. There were a few tents from Friday night and day hikers had started arriving also. When the breeze would stop for a moment, the lake turned glassy with reflections of GH and Pilot’s Knob.

We hung out at the lake for quite a while before starting to make our way toward Island Lake. The hike from Ice Lake to Island Lake was beautiful. Even though peak time for wild flowers had passed, the mountainsides were still adorned with lots of flowers. The views of the lower basin as well as looking back at Ice Lake and Fuller, Vermillion, GH, Pilot’s Knob were fantastic. Ice Lake became more blue as you got up higher and looked at it from above.

As the trail crested the little hill toward the looming Grant, Island Lake popped into view all of a sudden. I’d seen many pictures of this lake with quite some different colors and hues at different times of the year and lighting condition. Today was sunny and bright and the lake was a deep emerald green color. Nestled right against Grant and with V4 in the background, it was gorgeous. We walked around the lake for a while and picked up the trail that traversed to the saddle between Grant and V2 on its right. V2 is only 13,309 and is not even ranked. But from all the pictures I’d seen, it provided the best views of all the lakes and peaks in the area. Maybe next time I’m in the area I’ll do Vermillion/Fuller and GH, but for this trip V2 provided the best bang for the buck.

When we got on the saddle, I continued on the ridge to V2 summit while Alli and Wiski waited at the saddle, soaking in the views on both sides. Island Lake really looked like a big fish eye now  It was about ½ mile screed ridge to the summit. Some spots were quite exposed. As promised, the views of all the peaks and lakes behind you did not disappoint: Fuller, Vermillion, GH, Pilot’s Knob, V4, Grant, Fuller Lake, Upper Ice Lake, Ice Lake, and Island Lake. You could see all of them. On the other side, the gorgeous turquoise Clear Lake (11,984) in the cirque below came into view also. The view of it from the summit of V2 was fantastic.

We got down from V2 and went back to Ice Lake and spent some time by Upper Ice Lake also. It was pretty in its own way with Fuller, Vermillion and GH as background. But because of the crazy blue Ice Lake next to it, it barely gets any attention from hikers and campers. I still wanted to head over to Fuller Lake and get to the saddle between Fuller and Vermillion, but dark clouds had started to roll in fast. We abandoned that plan and hiked back down to the lower basin camp site in a hurry. Thunderstorm finally came half an hour after we got back to camp. A ton of people were still going up early evening, either day hiking up or camping up there. We were amazed at the number of people that camped at Ice Lake and Island Lake, all exposed. We thought about them as we were in our tent, listening to the cracking and rumbling thunders right above us and watching the awesome lightning strikes. Other areas in the lower basin became sort of crowded too this evening with campers, but not where we were.
Named place
Named place
Clear Lake Island Lake
_____________________
Sep 01 2017
OdinWiski
avatar

 Photos 2,131
 Triplogs 81

47 male
 Joined Jan 31 2015
 Chandler, AZ
Ice Lake BasinSouthwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Backpack avatar Sep 01 2017
OdinWiski
Backpack
Backpack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Our plan was to drive straight through and car camp at Clear Lake Thursday night. But a bad alternator kept us in Telluride overnight. So instead, we car camped next to a creek right down the hill from the auto shop while they ordered the part from 40 miles away. Friday morning they swapped out the alternator and off we went up to Ouray then back down on the Million Dollar highway to Silverton. We took the last “legitimate” parking spot at the upper TH mid-afternoon and started our hike in. Being the Labor Day weekend Friday, there were already quite some people on the trail, but it would prove to be nothing compared to the next couple of days.

The hike in was beautiful and mostly shaded. I had thought about setting up camp at Ice Lake so that we could see the sunrise at the lake. But forecast of afternoon and evening thunderstorms everyday made us decide to camp down at the lower ice lake basin. It would turn out that Friday night didn’t rain and quite some people were camping right up there at Ice Lake and Island Lake. Saturday and Sunday would see a huge influx of hikers and backpackers who camped at both lakes and a big thunderstorm Saturday evening. The lower basin is beautiful and we had the camp site to ourselves for the next couple of nights, which was just below the waterfall next to the ascending trail to the upper basin. The night was very nice with the sound of the waterfall right next to us.
Culture
Culture
Campsite
_____________________
Jul 27 2017
Stoic
avatar

 Routes 204
 Photos 4,751
 Triplogs 401

43 male
 Joined Dec 30 2007
 Avondale,Az
Grant - Swamp PassSouthwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Jul 27 2017
Stoic
Hiking9.81 Miles 3,533 AEG
Hiking9.81 Miles   9 Hrs   25 Mns   1.17 mph
3,533 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
[size=200]2017 Utah-Colorado Trip[/size]
Day 1 Utah
Cajon Ruins: profile.php?u=41752&ID=46#T__146360_______1
Ismay Rock Shelter: profile.php?u=41752&ID=46#T__146362_______1
Day 2 Colorado
Grant/Swamp Pass to Ice Lake Basin "Loop"
I had originally planned this hike for Friday. It was calling for rain everyday at Ice Lake Basin. Friday did have the least chance of all day rain. I checked the weather one last time and Thursday mornings forecast had cleared up. Partly cloudy with a chance of afternoon rain. Score!!
Miss Ellie and I, started up the "Grant-Swamp Pass Trail" around 5am. We took our time and enjoyed the flowers and wildlife. The marmots had Miss Ellie running everywhere. It took us around 3hours and 15 minutes to go the 2.9miles to the Joel Zucker Memorial Plaque. From the plaque there is a trail that continues 1/2 mile to a no named peak "13309." That portion took us about an hour. From here you can see Swamp Canyon, Clear Lake and all the lakes of Ice Lake Basin. There where amazing views. We hung out for a few minutes, then headed back down the trail. We took a short off trail route to Island Lake. We then hiked toward Ice lake and then toward Fuller Lake. At this time, dark clouds starting rolling in over the mountains. Here comes the afternoon rain... It sprinked for a few minutes then let up. The storm just passed us to the West. We then took the Ice lake trail back to the truck. We did get about 10 minutes of light rain around 1pm.
Overall a perfect hike with perfect weather. It was a great loop hike!

I tried this hike about 6 weeks ago. There was to much snow to continue on the trail. Its amazing
what a short time can change. I also compared some pictures of the two trips. Snow capped mountains to
fields of flowers.

Day 3 Colorado
Alpine Loop 4x4 trip: profile.php?u=41752&ID=46#T__146410_______1
-Eureka Ghost Town
-Columbus Mine @ Animas Forks Ghost Town
-Frisco Mill at Bagley Tunnel
-Capitol City Ghost Town
-Whitmore Falls
-Ute Ulay Mine, Henson Ghost Town
Day 4 Colorado/Utah
Sand Canyon Pueblo: profile.php?u=41752&ID=46#T__146844_______1
Lowry Pueblos: profile.php?u=41752&ID=46#T__146845_______1
Painted Hand: profile.php?u=41752&ID=46#T__146851_______1
Cutthroat: profile.php?u=41752&ID=46#T__146855_______1
Horseshoe & Hackberry: profile.php?u=41752&ID=46#T__146857_______1
Valley of the gods/Moki Dugway 4x4 trip: profile.php?u=41752&ID=46#T__146858_______1
_____________________
4 archives
Jun 08 2017
Stoic
avatar

 Routes 204
 Photos 4,751
 Triplogs 401

43 male
 Joined Dec 30 2007
 Avondale,Az
Ice Lake Trail #505Southwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Jun 08 2017
Stoic
Hiking7.50 Miles 1,800 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   6 Hrs   45 Mns   1.58 mph
1,800 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The good news: It was a great hike on beautiful day. Bad news: There was still to much snow to finish this hike.

The pups and I started the trip at the same spot skatchkins did back in 2011. I was trying to save some elevation gain for my older dog. This hike had more gain than I like doing with her. This plan backfired. A few minutes into the hike, there was an amazing waterfall. For some reason I didnt get any pictures, only captured it on video. [ youtube video ] @ 10:35 & 11:55. The waterfall was to large to cross on this part of the trail. We had to hike off trail, down to the main trail. At the main trail, I took off my shoes and socks and crossed the creek. The water was about 2 degrees over freezing. We continued the hike and made it with in 1/2 mile of the lake. The final ascent had to much wet snow, on a narrow mountain pass. We spent some time here and had our lunch. On the way back down, we took every side trail we saw. The trails led to a couple waterfalls and old mining operation.
Driving back down to Durango, we stopped at a couple lakes, Pinkerton Hot Springs, and relaxed at the Animas River in Durango.



[ youtube video ] Day 2
_____________________
2 archives
Oct 09 2016
arizona_water
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 114
 Photos 1,079
 Triplogs 117

29 male
 Joined Mar 06 2016
 Salt River Valle
Ice Lake BasinSouthwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2016
arizona_water
Hiking7.50 Miles 2,554 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles
2,554 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
More snow than I expected, but still an amazing place to visit. I love alpine lakes. The trail was completely passable, even with mud in the lower elevations and snow up high.
We saw three other people - not bad for a holiday weekend. But it was snowing, raining, and hailing most of the hike. In more favorable weather conditions, I would've pushed the group up to island lake. Next time!
Named place
Named place
Ice Lake
_____________________
- there's nothing like finding Water in the Desert -
3 archives
Aug 18 2016
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,071
 Triplogs 399

54 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Golden Horn Summit TrailSouthwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Aug 18 2016
toddak
Hiking12.00 Miles 4,500 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   7 Hrs      1.71 mph
4,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Wonderful hike up through gorgeous Ice Lake basin to Fuller Lake, off-trail up to the saddle between Vermilion Peak and Golden Horn, then a Class 2+ scramble to the GH summit. The short side trip to Island Lake is well worth the effort. Spectacular area!
Named place
Named place
Island Lake
_____________________
Jul 03 2016
chumley
avatar

 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,238
 Triplogs 1,423

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Ice Lake BasinSouthwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Jul 03 2016
chumley
Hiking11.41 Miles 3,440 AEG
Hiking11.41 Miles   5 Hrs   54 Mns   2.39 mph
3,440 ft AEG   1 Hour   8 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
clairebear
John9L
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! :y:

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! :D

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!
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
Meteorology
Meteorology
Hail Ice Snow
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Fuller Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
Couldn't have been any fuller :)
But frozen over.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Ice Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
half frozen

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Island Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
frozen
_____________________
Profound observer
Jul 03 2016
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 170
 Photos 4,848
 Triplogs 1,619

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ice Lake BasinSouthwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Jul 03 2016
John9L
Hiking10.42 Miles 3,216 AEG
Hiking10.42 Miles
3,216 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
chumley
clairebear
On the third day of our trip we headed up to Silverton and over to Ice Lake Basin. Claire originally found this hike and the pics were jaw dropping! We talked about backpacking here but ultimately chose to day hike on a very busy Sunday.

The dirt road to the trailhead is in very good condition but was jam packed with cars & campers. I swear people were camped in every flat spot on this busy fourth of July weekend. We got lucky and found a relatively close parking spot and started hiking soon after. The hike starts around 9,800 ft and you can feel the thin air as you climb. The nice thing is this hike has wonderful views and lots of water to keep things fun. We hit Clear Creek less than a mile in. I opted for crossing some logs while Chumley and Claire climbed up a bit and crossed a wooden plank. From there we kept on climbing and climbing. The trail is in great condition but is steep as you gain elevation.

After a couple of miles we arrived in Lower Ice Lake Basin and reached the wet crossing. I walked up and down looking for a dry spot to cross but there wasn’t one. Claire & I took off our shoes and walked across the creek. The water was cold and moving fast. Once on the other side we dried our feet and continued hiking up the trail. Chumley jumped across the creek and only got his feet a little wet. The final climb to Ice Lake Basin took longer than expected but we eventually arrived.

The Ice Lake Basin area sits at over 12K ft and is truly spectacular! Ice Lake is a deep blue surrounded by peaks covered in patches of snow. It’s another world up here! We took a variety of pics and then continued the climb up to Fuller Lake which sits at just over 12,500 ft. The thin air & elevation were taking a toll on me. I was still recovering from a sinus infection and felt really crummy at elevation. After getting our fill Claire & I started the descent while Chumley went over to Island Lake.

On the way down Claire & I both removed our shoes for the wet crossing and continued down. About half way down some clouds moved in and it started to rain and then hail. We put our rain gear on and continued down. The good thing is our footing was relatively stable on the steep descent. We kept at it and the weather finally cleared and Chumley caught up to us. From there we flew down the final mile and were back to the trailhead around mid-afternoon.

The Ice Lake Basin is a spectacular area and I’m really glad we made the day trip there. There were a lot of people on a busy holiday weekend but I didn’t mind. Everyone was spaced out and were very friendly. I’d like to return another time and backpack and try for some of the peaks surrounding the lake. I highly recommend this hike it’s well worth the time and effort!
_____________________
1 archive
Jul 20 2015
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Ice Lake BasinSouthwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Backpack avatar Jul 20 2015
skatchkins
Backpack9.30 Miles 2,870 AEG
Backpack9.30 Miles4 Days         
2,870 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners partners
spacetimeart
Part two of our little Colorado trip.
We backpacked up in the rain and once we got to our campsite, the storms stayed away for the rest of the trip. The main trail sees a good bit of dayhike traffic but our camp was secluded and people just looked like faraway ants if you squinted right.
Love this place.
Culture
Culture
Intrepid Back Shot
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Extreme
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
Jul 04 2014
Dennyforreal
avatar

 Routes 34
 Photos 149
 Triplogs 131

34 male
 Joined May 04 2012
 Denver, CO
Ice Lake Trail #505Southwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Jul 04 2014
Dennyforreal
Hiking3.10 Miles 2,526 AEG
Hiking3.10 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   2.07 mph
2,526 ft AEG8 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
Sep 01 2013
Dennyforreal
avatar

 Routes 34
 Photos 149
 Triplogs 131

34 male
 Joined May 04 2012
 Denver, CO
Ice Lake Trail #505Southwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Sep 01 2013
Dennyforreal
Hiking5.87 Miles 3,600 AEG
Hiking5.87 Miles   2 Hrs   40 Mns   2.20 mph
3,600 ft AEG8 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Start Early... we made it within about .5 miles and Lightning sent us back below the timberline.
_____________________
Aug 14 2012
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,568
 Triplogs 1,927

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Ice Lake Trail #505Southwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Aug 14 2012
CannondaleKid
Hiking7.55 Miles 2,277 AEG
Hiking7.55 Miles   4 Hrs   47 Mns   2.01 mph
2,277 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
trixiec
We wasted no time taking on an arduous hike on our first full day in Colorado. At 7.5 miles and almost 2300' elevation gain it was a breathless welcome to 12,000 feet!

With the plan to check out Black Bear Pass yet today we decided to start from the upper trail head, saving maybe .25 mi and 200' of elevation gain. As it was, we had plenty elevation gain on the hike.

Starting from the upper TH we passed across the bottom of a waterfall before connecting with the path from the lower TH. There was no sign at the junction so people can (and did) inadvertently continue toward the upper TH instead of the sharp left turn to stay on the trail. A few people saved themselves the trouble by asking us if they were on the Ice Lake Trail when in fact they were headed the wrong way. Later when we chatted with some locals they said there used to be a sign and didn't realize it was not still there. (Apparently the two gals were chatting so much they didn't notice it missing.)

Onward and upward we climbed. We came through a wide area where it was obvious some very heavy runoff had taken place not long ago. Later in the hike we met a guy who said it had happened within the last few days because it wasn't that way when he was here 4 days before.

Every time we thought Ice Lake was just over the hill we'd make it over the rise and find another hill to climb. But no matter, the scenery was fabulous in all directions. The only thing that dampened the mood a bit was the sky, more overcast than clear, and eventually we got sprinkled on a few times. But at least no thunderstorms!

Once we made it to Ice Lake I hesitated to mention to Tracey I'd like to continue on to Fuller Lake because I was afraid she'd say no more. But since we were this far, what's another mile round-trip? In the end it was well worth it. We met a guy who had camped overnight at Fuller Lake and was busy frying up a few trout he had caught in the lake.

Ok, now for the return trek. A few more sprinkles and some very close to showers to follow us on our way but again nothing heavy.

With over 900 photos and 40+ videos it will be a while before I get caught up. I'll post the best of the photos here on HAZ but the full set of 81 photos is here:
http://changephoenix.com/jpserver/web/public/album.php?id=194

Video is posted here:
http://changephoenix.com/jpserver/web/public/file.php?id=210
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Jul 18 2011
skatchkins
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 3,186
 Triplogs 214

41 male
 Joined Dec 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Ice Lake BasinSouthwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Backpack avatar Jul 18 2011
skatchkins
Backpack9.30 Miles 2,870 AEG
Backpack9.30 Miles3 Days         
2,870 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners partners
bigredjeepchick
I led 15 members of my Higher Ground 4x4 group to Colorado from Saturday to Saturday, camping in a different spot almost every night. Since I was the plan man, I split the trip 50/50 between tires and shoes. That whittled down the participants on the hiking days to a solid 6 who weren't afraid to venture out from behind their windshields and sack up, their gear, on their shoulders. Day 3 (Monday) had us finishing the Alpine Loop with Animas Forks around 3pm and straight after the hikers set out towards South Mineral Creek and Ice Lakes Basin. We drove up the Clear Lake road to the upper trailhead and began our journey.

We got our feet wet almost immediately in the large unavoidable waterfall which broke the ice for us for the other stream crossings. We made pretty decent time up, all the while watching the sky darken with storms. The lower basin was absolutely beautiful even in the graying light. The chest high plants encroached around us as the foot path became more defined with no where else to go. I spotted our camp spot and we worked on finding a path that would lead us in that direction without us making any new footprints, damaging the flora.

We arrived at the best camp spot in the world I've ever had the privilege of staying at just as it began to sprinkle. Camp was directly below a double waterfall, right on the creek, nestled in the trees, with a vantageful view of the entire basin spread out before us. We set everything up, getting our gear out of the rain, but just standing under one of the large trees did the trick of keeping you dry. We did manage a fire but we had to stay with it to keep it burning the wet wood in the high altitude (fun trick we learned on Imogene, use one of those battery powered air mattress blower uppers. Point it at the fire and enjoy the extra oxygen)

We woke in the morning and day packed to the upper lakes. It only took about 30 minutes to get topside as Ice Lake came into view. We goofed around for a bit and found an awesome flower patch much better than those in American Basin. It stayed pretty overcast so I took the chance of heading up to Island Lake just in case it cleared. The others began after me but I managed to get to the Lake just as the sun came out for a short stint. Once the three others came up, the clouds had returned and we laid out for a bit and ate lunches. My sister noticing the marmots all of sudden getting their curious on tried to convince her husband if you stood arms outstretched, they would come give you a hug. Oddly enough, it kind of worked and he freaked out when they reached his 5ft out safety circle. Dana, the braver of the two, decided she'd get down on their level and shared part of her lunch with one.

We packed back up when it began hailing and howling and hiked down to join the rest of our group back at Ice Lake. The precipitation let up but not before those who weren't rain proof, got soaked through. They had had enough and returned to camp but I again chanced it. 10 minutes later I had all the sunlight I could ever want. It was funny how one minute you needed your fleece and softshell and then the next you just wanted your t-shirt. I goofed around more and explored some other spots before coming down to camp. Shortly after, we got some more rain and a nice rainbow out in the basin.

Another marmot incident happened that night at camp as one began fussing at Jared from under a tree next to a tent. All of a sudden I heard Chris girly giggle profusely and saw him run away from the other side of the tree shouting "I touched his butt!" Many jokes ensued including him being deemed The Puppeteer and a similar one that revolved around him earlier on the trail actually finding a tube of o-ring lube. So there's that.

Anyway...We woke the next morning in a cloud. Shortly after it burned off we began our hike down to the waiting Jeeps so we could begin Black Bear to Imogene.

I'll add tracks and times later.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Snow
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design
Jul 16 2007
Grasshopper
avatar

 Guides 42
 Routes 458
 Photos 8,104
 Triplogs 508

74 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ice Lake BasinSouthwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Jul 16 2007
Grasshopper
Hiking7.60 Miles 2,864 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles   5 Hrs   40 Mns   1.50 mph
2,864 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
My hike this day began at the lower Mineral Creek area parking and TH Start and ended 3.8 miles up having had the delight of viewing scenic Ice Lake at 12,257feet. I ended my hike in at .75ml further, off trail at high altitude and large (several acres worth) Fuller Lake at 12,585ft.

Access via the Ice Lakes Trail, the main "upper" Ice Lakes Basin lies above 12,000ft and is one of the most interesting and scenic high-altitude basins in the San Juans. This whole basin is surrounded by sharp and colorful peaks all well above 13,000 feet. Due to these surrounding high peaks, once arriving in the upper basin area you cannot see out except to the east through South Mineral Creek Valley. There are also many beautiful wildflowers on this route along with small tundra flowers in the basin itself :DANCE:
Named place
Named place
Fuller Lake
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
2 archives
Jul 23 2005
rwstorm
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 123
 Photos 19,620
 Triplogs 881

71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Ice Lake Trail #505Southwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Jul 23 2005
rwstorm
Hiking7.39 Miles 2,555 AEG
Hiking7.39 Miles
2,555 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
One of the most stunningly beautiful hikes I have ever done, and one of my cherished memories of Colorado. :D This was part of a 4 day trip (got cut short by rain) to the Silverton area. We camped at a dispersed site along the Mineral Creek Road (right side as you drive in, away from the creek).
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
Onward into oblivion!
1 archive
average hiking speed 1.77 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

help comment issue

end of page marker