Isabelle Glacier

Boulder, Colorado 80314

Isabelle Glacier

Isabelle Glacier Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"I must admit I have a certain passion for glaciers, even small ones, but if I had to choose the one glacier in Colorado that stirs my soul the most, it would have to be Isabelle Glacier. Isabelle lies hidden in a high, isolated bowl-shaped basin at the top of the South St. Vrain drainage. Surrounded on three sides by the rugged Shoshoni, Apache, and Navajo Peaks, and pinched off on the fourth side by the Niwot Ridge, Isabelle Glacier could not be in a more spectacular setting.

The glacier is also intriguing from a geological point of view. It is fed by two opposing snowfields on the slopes of Shoshoni and Apache Peaks, and in the bottom of the bowl where the ice flows meet there are several large cracks that appear to be stress lines. Under the cracks lies a frozen lake that partially melts during the summer months and flows out under the moraine on the southeast side of the bowl. The pale, milky “glacier blue” color of the partially melted ice provides a striking contrast to the deep blue Colorado sky in late summer, and the trail ends at a perfect vantage point on the glacier’s southern side. The view is stunning."

Isabelle Glacier Reviews

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Very scenic and relatively easy trail...I took it a very slow and easy pace with lots of stops to take pictures and look at the scenery. I also spent about 45 min or 1 h at the glacier and the overall time was a little over 5 hours. Many people on the trail though and some of them do not pick up their dog littler....or they leave near the trail to pick up when they return but they forget where they left it. The views are outstanding though and the same is true for several other trails on this area.

Isabelle Glacier Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
1,500 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
5.25 hours
Midsummer through mid-fall. The trail is generally covered with snow from mid-November until mid-July.
Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, Roosevelt National Forest
Local Contacts
Ward, Monarch Lake (USGS)
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018