Lake Isabelle - Snowshoeing

November 23, 2019 · Indian Peaks Wilderness

The snowshoeing season has officially begun! And for some reason I chose a long trail, to Lake Isabelle inside of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The weather was perfect, a lot of sun, and it had been snowing for the past two days. The wind was strong the closer I got to Lake Isabelle. In the winter the length of the trail to Isabelle Lake effectively doubles given that you need to start at the winter trail head. But that turned out to be okay, as the first 2.5 and last 2.5 miles are very flat.

I got a late start on this trail, late by exactly one hour, the amount of time I wasted not wanting to get out of bed. However, for a long snowshoeing trek of 11.7 miles it went fast, coming in at about 8.5 hours round trip. There wasn't a lot of people on the trail, I suspect that given the snow that been building in the mountains for the past two days, most people headed to the ski resorts. That helped make this first snowshoeing trek of the season all that more special.

There wasn't a cloud in the sky for the first part of the trek, although the wind was fierce in many places along the trail. But a good portion of the trail is in tall thin - stands of conifers, so you could almost always see the big blue sky. At Long Lake the wind swept across the frozen lake. The lake ice is already thick enough for ice fishermen, I did see three of them the ice. They didn't have wind tents, that must have been very cold.

The weather started out at 22 degrees then up to about 48 degrees then on the way back once the sun sets, the temperature drops quickly and shortly after sunset, it gets dark very fast. Knowing that I didn't have a lot of light to deal with, given that at this time of year it is dark by 5pm, there aren't a lot of pictures. Thankfully, I did make it to Lake Isabelle before the sun went down. The Indian Peaks are spectacular with a fresh dusting of snow.

I had a quick lunch at along the shore of the now frozen Lake Isabelle. The wind howled at times, with intermittent breaks. You could tell when the next blast of wind would come as the peaks of Indian Peaks would smoke with wind blowing snow off them.

This trek was also an opportunity to try out a lot of new clothing. There is a problem with one or two items, the mid-layer and the outer layer. They retain moisture, I have never been that soaking wet on a snowshoeing trek. I need to work that one out quickly, hypothermia is a real concern at this time of the year.

By the time I made it back to the Summer trailhead, the sun had just set and was getting colder and darker by the minute. Thankfully the last 2.5 miles went fast, but I did finish well after dark. Aside from issues that need to be worked out with the mid-layer and the outer layer it was a great, and long first snowshoe trek of the season.


Mohawk Lakes ~ Cut Short - Snowshoeing

May 3, 2019 · The original plan for this snowshoeing trek was to go to at least Lower Mohawk Lake and at best to Upper Mohawk Lake. I have been to Mohawk Lakes in a previous summer hiking season, so I wasn't sure how far I could get. I do remember that the pitch to Lower Mohawk Lake is steep a...

Ouzel Lake - Snowshoeing

December 30, 2019 · The trek along the Ouzel Lake trail was a nice sunny day for snowshoeing. Though the original plan was to make it to Ouzel Lake, I decided to take my sweet time along the trail, and I got something of a late start.

Brown's Creek Trail - Snowshoeing

February 15, 2020 · The original plan was for a snowshoeing trek along Little Brown's Creek, which is just north of Brown's Creek Trail and shares a common trailhead. However, there were a couple of things that happened that played out that changed the course of this 9.7-mile trek. Thankfully, the w...


Collegiate Peaks Wilderness9
Eagles Nest Wilderness10
Fossil Ridge Wilderness1
Fraser Experimental Forest1
Gunnison National Forest1
Holy Cross Wilderness12
Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness3
Indian Peaks Wilderness17
James Peak Wilderness1
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness2
Mount Evans Wilderness2
Mount Massive Wilderness2
Pike National Forest1
Raggeds Wilderness1
Rocky Mountain National Park41
San Isabel National Forest6
Sangre de Cristo Wilderness1
White River National Forest10
Zirkel Wilderness1





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