Ice Lake Basin

In mid-October, 2020, Ice Fire ripped through the bottom portion of the Ice Lake Trail, as well as areas east of the trail. Learn More

Ice Lake Basin is an iconic high-alpine basin in the San Juan National Forest containing a series of turquoise blue lakes nestled beneath 13,000 foot peaks. Ice Lakes Basin is known as one of the top alpine lake hiking destinations in all of Colorado, where hardy hikers are treated to waterfalls, wildflowers, open meadows, beautiful rock formations, alpine tundra and, of course, spectacular snow-fed lakes.

Ice Lake Basin Management Issues and Solutions

Unfortunately, in recent years Ice Lake has suffered a number of impacts from the high number of visitors to the area. Pet and human waste, toilet paper, and trash have been found in the basin while trail braiding and fire scars have affected the sensitive high-alpine environment. The San Juan Mountains Association is working hard to educate trail users and encourage “Leave no Trace” practices in Ice Lake Basin. In addition to providing trail information, SJMA volunteers have performed trail maintenance, installed trailhead signage, and cleaned up pet and human waste.