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Lake Isabel Trail (Summer)

Lake Isabel

Lake Isabel Trail (Summer)

Lake Isabelle Trail (Summer) is a 4.4 mile out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a waterfall. This trail is almost entirely in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, Roosevelt National Forest. It starts in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. There is an $11.00 fee (cash only) to enter this area, a National Park Pass is also accepted.

This hike starts at the Long Lake trailhead.


Shortly after departing from the trailhead is the Indian Peaks Wilderness boundary.  Just beyond the wilderness boundary the path connects with the Jean Lunning Trail.  It undulates past a second Jean Lunning connection. The trail loops around  Long Lake, and reunites with the Pawnee Pass Trail about a mile further up the trail. The Pawnee Pass Trail continues towards Lake Isabelle. The trail travels around Long Lake. This segment of the route travels through a pristine pine forest. At roughly nine-tenths of a mile the trail shifts away from the lake, and gradually begins to gain elevation.  At just over 2.3 miles is  Isabelle Glacier Trail junction. From this vantage point you'll enjoy Lake Isabel, which is framed by Niwot Ridge, 13,409-foot Navajo Peak, Navajo Glacier, 13,441-foot Apache Peak and 12,967-foot Shoshoni Peak, looking from left to right.

Trail Snapshot

Trail features Subalpine Lake, outstanding views

Trail location Long Lake Trailhead (Brainard Lake)
Roundtrip Distance          4.4 miles
Trail type out and back
Duration approximately 3 to 4 hours
Trailhead elevation 10,505 feet
Elevation gain 440 feet



The hike to Lake Isabelle begins from the Long Lake Trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area off of CO 72.  From Colorado Highway 72 at Ward, turn west onto Brainard Lake Road (County Road 112). Travel 2.7 miles to the recreation area fee station. After the fee station,  drive another 3.2 miles to a split in the road where you'll turn left to reach the Long Lake Trailhead.

Lake Isabelle Hike - Meeting Location and Time Change 8:00 AM

Due to the limited parking at the Long Lake Trail Head, we will meet at the Brainard Lake Day Use parking area at 8:00 AM.

The path to the Long Lake TH is approximately 1 (one) mile through woods. The round trip total miles hiked from the Brainard Lake Day Use parking area to Lake Isabelle is approximately 6 miles.

There are no formal arrangements for carpooling, but it is always a good option – check the registrant list for potential carpoolers.   Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.


Come Prepared
It is summer time so make sure to dress accordingly. Please come prepared with appropriate hiking clothing, boots/shoes, hiking poles, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, snacks, sandwich and bring plenty of water. Remember that hydration is very important at higher elevations. Make it the best experience possible by being prepared.

It is a requirement
that if you have to turn back that you must have a buddy to accompany you, and you must tell the coordinator (never just leave the group).

Please include Hiking as one your Interests on the Profile page to receive notifications about this event.

Your Hiking Coordinators: Tony Caver and Buzz Bainbridge

This is a voluntary group, and as such, coordinators are not professional guides. When you participate in an event, you do so at your own risk and are responsible for your own personal safety. Please try to use common sense and know your physical limits. We want everyone to have a safe, enjoyable time.   

Thursday, August 15, 2019, 8:00 AM
Lake Isabel Trail (Summer) starts in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area; see Directions in the postin
BNC Hiking
Sports Event
Registration is required
Please sign-up only if you plan to attend. If your plans change then please cancel at least 1 day in advance. Prospective members are allowed to attend this event.

Please make your own car pool arrangements from the list of registrants. Make sure to dress accordingly, use sunscreen, and bring plenty of water and a snack.

If you need to CANCEL your registration: click the "arrow" next to your Member Login-Name (upper right corner of screen), select PROFILE, select EVENT HISTORY and click the TRASH CAN ICON next to the registration you need to cancel.
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