Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hike to Lake Isabelle

Lake IsabelleAfter a day back in Denver to catch up on things, I did a solo dayhike to Lake Isabelle. The hike is listed in 100 Classic Hikes in Colorado and for good reason. It's not, as far as Colorado goes, a strenuously killer hike, but the rewards are tremendous.

The trailhead lot was full, so after paying my $10 entrance fee I had to park at the day use area. I walked the long way around Brainerd Lake to the Niwot Cutoff Trail to catch the trail to Lake Isabelle. Along the way, I passed the north side of Long Lake; the trail offered many scenic glimpses of the lake. Past Long Lake, the trail climbed above a waterfall to Lake Isabelle, shown in the photo - an incredible beautiful lake with steep mountains rising on three sides. I continued on the trail until it started to climb away from the lake.

On my return, I took the Jean Lunning Trail south of Long Lake. It was considerably wetter than the north side, with more wildflowers as well as boardwalks through marshy areas. Finally, when I got off the Niwot Connector Trail, I elected to walk the short way back to my car, which was an excellent choice - four moose were grazing just a few feet off of the trail. Moose!

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