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Ice Lake is nestled in the San Juan mountains near Silverton Colorado. After parking at South Mineral Campground which sits at 9,845ft elevation the trail climbs up an additional 2,430ft. The total length of this day hike is 7.4 miles roundtrip. Camping in the backcountry is possible and tents from other hikers are hidden along the trail in various locations. In the summer months it is especially important to monitor the weather as mountain storms often come and go throughout this region with little warning.

 

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Lush forest surrounds the start of the trail. The trail passes mountain streams and stunning waterfalls throughout these lower switchbacks.

 

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Slowly the forest disappears and the surrounding landscape opens up.

 

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About halfway through the hike the trail opens up into a gorgeous meadow that offers colorful wildflowers, greenery and towering rugged peaks above. Water fills the land with seemingly endless streams, lakes and rain.

 

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Wildflowers.

 

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This is the last crossing before making the final climb up to Ice Lake.

 

Finally, after strenuous elevation gain, the lake appears.

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Ice Lake is a vibrant blue. The mountain air is crisp and the water cold.

 

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Fluffy little marmot (whistle pigs). We saw at least a dozen.

 

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Zak and Ellie make their way back down the trail after visiting Ice Lake.

 

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