jen yu: isabelle glacier

isabelle glacier

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8 miles
10,500 - 12,050 ft.
indian peaks wilderness, colorado
august 6, 2005

From Brainard Lake at the Long Lake trailhead, we hiked the now familiar route to Lake Isabelle. Instead of turning onto the Pawnee Pass trail, we followed the Isabelle Glacier trail. From the eastern outlet of the lake, the trail hugs the northern shoreline, sometimes clambering up high and then eventually switchbacking down to the western end. At this point, the trail leaves the lake and wanders close to the South Saint Vrain Creek passing alongside many wide multi-tiered falls. Wildflowers were in abundance during our hike.

Above the pretty falls, the trail grew very muddy and sloggy. We gave up on keeping dry feet and found our path was far easier when we got muddy. The high water table and meadows were beautiful. Once we reached the small tarn/lake the trail turned northwest and steeply climbs the basin to the base of Isabelle Glacier. Columbine and other wildflowers bloomed among the rocks and we also encountered a sort of weeping wall. Traffic above Lake Isabelle is minimal.

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