Lake Isabelle

Estes Park, Colorado 80511

Lake Isabelle

Lake Isabelle Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Lake Isabelle glimmers with Maroon Lake in White River National Forest, Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, and Mirror Lake on the West Slope of Indian Peaks as one of the prettiest lakes in Colorado. Except when it does not.

At the height of the hiking season in late July or early August, Lake Isabelle is drained to supply water to the thirsty plains. Water use is a very big deal in dry Colorado with the Ogallala Aquifer growing ever less able to supply higher amounts of water for an ever-increasing population to pump for drinking, bathing, irrigating, flushing, and fracking for fuel.

Prepared for possible disappointment in missing one of Colorado’s most spectacular vistas at Lake Isabelle during half the summer and all of the fall, hikers can be certain of abundant natural rewards along the trail below the lake. No woodland in Colorado is more beautiful than the subalpine forest extending along the Pawnee Pass Trail for most of the easy 2.1 miles to Isabelle. Spectacular wildflower displays color meadows at both ends of the trail while Long Lake glimmers through the trees."

More Lake Isabelle Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Classic Hikes in Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Scott S. Warren
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"The easy, pleasurable hike to Lake Isabelle offers one of the best and most readily accessible introductions to the high country just west of the Denver area. It is also one of the most popular hikes along Colorado’s Front Range."
Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park (Wilderness Press)
Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh
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"Lake Isabelle is another mile beyond Long Lake and is one of the more beautiful trails in the Front Range with spectacular Indian Peak views. It is a steady climb from Long Lake, but not particularly steep, until very near the lake."

Lake Isabelle Trip Reports

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A Colorado gem, which is saying a lot, because our state is blessed with so much majestic beauty. It is one of those hikes that fills the checklist all along the way. There are gentle climbs and some rocky bits, but for the most part it is easy to just get caught up in the beauty and wonder surrounding you. Wildflowers are going off right now. It is a great hike for families and dogs because it is relatively short and sweet. Lake Isabelle is glorious.
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This is the best scenery you'll get for the effort (which is very minimal). It's an easy hike up to a beautiful lake backed by majestic peaks. Totally worth it.

Lake Isabelle Photos

Trail Information

Estes Park
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
3 hours
Additional Use
USDS Forest Service, Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave., Boulder CO 80301; (303) 541-2500;
Local Contacts
Trails Illustrated Indian Peaks Gold Hill; USGS Ward
Local Maps

Trail Log