A few more photos from our overnight hike in Colorado. I was just so inspired by the changing light and landscapes. I've been finding myself wanting to take more and more photos of landscapes and less of myself. I'm trying to continue to learn photography and study the light and nothing beats sitting on top of a mountain to do just that. I woke up at 5am and watched the light change as it came up over the peaks. The moon was almost full and a July hail storm passed through which made for a really gorgeous sunset. Every time we rounded a new section of the trail we were hit with even more amazing sights. There's something meditative about sleeping on a mountain.
Ice Lake & Island Lake Trail
The trail we took is far enough away from Denver to feel isolated but it was only 1.5 hours from our house in Pagosa Springs. There still were a lot of people around but not many of them were overnight hikers. You can do this trail in one day, if you're brave and live nearby. I honestly think doing 8 miles in one day straight uphill and straight downhill is really tough but there were like 70 year olds doing it so maybe I need to whip my butt into better shape.
Trail Tips & Info
- For a backpack I used a Lowepro sport bag because it's designed to hold camera gear and also has a lot of the features that most outdoor backpacks have for camping. It's really lightweight which helps a lot! I had 2 lenses with me (70-200, 16-35) and the camera body. The 70-200 is a bitch to hike with but it's one of my favorite lenses so I suffered through the weight of it!
- This hike is best mid july through September. We caught the lakes without ice just maybe a few days after they melted. The trail is steep at times so any ice leftover can be dangerous.
- Wildflowers were just beginning to bloom and it's worth waiting until July to see them scattered throughout the basin.
- Poles are necessary and make hiking a whole lot easier on this trail. There are moments where you have to cross streams and climb rocks. These are godsends.
- We packed a Life Straw because we went through our 3 bottles of water within the first day. The straw allows you to drink the lake water without worrying about bacteria.
- Our tent is from Bergan's of Norway. We get a lot of our hiking equipment from The Clymb.com which is basically Gilt group of hiking world. The rest of my hiking gear and clothing came from Kohls which I documented here.
- Island Lake is beyond gorgeous and it's worth the extra 400 feet elevation climb after Ice Lake. Camping there is a bit more exposed so we chose to stay by Ice Lake because I was freaking out up there a little.
- There is parking at the trailhead.
Hope this inspires you to make it outside for an overnight hike. If you've never done it you're in for a treat! My fiance is experienced so it made it much easier for my first time!