We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“This must be heaven”
Review of Ice Lakes

Ranked #10 of 23 things to do in Silverton
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: High-altitude basins in Colorado's San Juans offer excellent hiking opportunities.
Level Contributor
182 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“This must be heaven”
Reviewed August 7, 2012

Ice Lakes is one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever been on. Beautiful wildflowers, streams, waterfalls, meadows and a gorgeous teal green lake at the top surrounded by mountains. If you want to cut off 1 mile, go to the upper trailhead. You won't regret doing this awesome hike!

Visited July 2012
1 Thank Junebug15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

26 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Bucket list hike”
Reviewed July 8, 2012

There are no real signs to the trail. You must turn into the mineral creek camp ground, the road is #585, and drive until you see a switchback/road labeled clear lake. You need a four wheel drive to access this road. Stop at first major switch back and park on the elbow of the road. This cuts off 500 feet of elevation or half mile of hiking. Trust me you need this help. Elevation starts at 9800 and tops off at 12260. Trail is straight ahead and walk to the right. Take water and snack or lunch to regain your energy for your return trip. This hike is strenuous if you are not physically fit. It is a 2.2 mile to lower basin an additional nasty mile to reach upper ice lake. The last mile is all up hill with many switch backs. You start in timber and work your way beyond timberline, so bring a jacket/rain poncho. Most likely to rain in afternoon. Wild flowers all over, water falls are plentiful with great views of the mountains. When you reach to top it is sooooo worth it. The lake is feed by a glacier which creates a beautiful blue color. Only a few in the state of Colorado let alone the country. This was a bucket list for me and my husband.

7 Thank Linda O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durango, CO
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2012

This is what living in the mountains is all about. BEAUTY!!! 4-wheel as close as you can get then hike the rest of the way it's well worth it if you can take the altitude.

1 Thank Durangocoyote
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pagosa Springs, CO
Level Contributor
159 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“A Postcard”
Reviewed January 18, 2012

About as beautiful as it gets. Picture the finest of the Rockies and that's the Ice Lake area, surrounded by 14,000 peaks

1 Thank carynps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
Level Contributor
200 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
“Great hike & amazing scenery”
Reviewed July 4, 2010

This hike gives you "Mother Nature" at her best. Great views, great exercise, summer at the bottom & winter at the top (June 19 = snow remaining & the lake mostly frozen). It did lack wildlife.

If your not very fit (i.e. not used to the altitude & elevation gain, this is a tough hike - but doable). If you're fit, this is a great hike (not very technical) for it's distance, scenery & quality of exercise.

Our experience:
We (wife & I) were not very "physically fit". We took 3 hours to ascend the trail (not including a half hour snack & rest break). We came down in about 2.5 hrs. The views are amazing with many mountains, streams, waterfalls and plenty of flora (very little wildlife). The 1st half of the hike had quite a bit of shade; but the 2nd half did not have any; so remember hat, sunglasses, sunscreen & drinking water

- go 2 miles north of SIlverton, CO on Hwy 550 (towards Ouray, CO) and turn left onto County Rd. 7 (heading to South Mineral Campgrounds)
- go approx. 4 miles on Co. Rd. 7 and the trailhead parking is on the right (the parking lot & trailhead are well marked/labelled) directly across the road from a campground
- the trail gains approx. 3000 ft in elevation (approx. 9,000 to 12,000) over 3.5 miles (7 to 7.5 miles round-trip)

- there are no outhouses/restrooms to use on the trail. These facilities are available in the campground right across the street from the trailhead parking.
- there are no formal campgrounds on the trail; but there are many places for primitive camping (we think backpacking up there would be fun)
- water - I do not no the quality/safeness of the water; but there are many running streams along the trail

For the most part the trail was well marked; but we did use the comments/directions/waypoints in this link
( http://bicycling.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip/515724 )
and they were very helpful (especially on any tricky parts).

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

Travelers who viewed Ice Lakes also viewed


Been to Ice Lakes? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing