Saturday, March 4, 2023

Snowshoeing Lake Isabelle - Winter 2023


Tim and I went on a snowshoe up to one of our favorite local winter spots.  The Brainard Lake portal is closed in winter so you have to park a few miles away at the Gateway Trail.  I'd done this same hike about a decade ago, but I'd forgotten how far it was.  I was thinking about 8 miles round trip, but with the whole thing including a few detours, we ended up snowshoeing over 13 miles or something like that.  I always like hiking with Tim as he, being an electrical engineer, naturally takes detailed stats of our hikes including time spent hiking, average pace, distance traveled, calories burned, and years added to our lives due to exercise.  

Sunrise on the Indian Peaks on the drive in

Brainard Lake

The hike to Brainard is all on a snow packed road and pretty eventless.   Once we reached Brainard we decided to skip Isabelle and go hike up a ridge and hike a 12er called Niwot Ridge.  It didn't look too far from where we were anyway.  So we left the trail around Long Lake and started ascending up the hill. Soon the trail disappeared and we started trudging through thick powder.  Woah!  This was taking a lot of time and energy.  Oh also I forgot to mention that I forgot ALL my food.  I left it in the fridge back at home.  Tim is such an amazing guy that he just shared his rations with me throughout the day.  So as we're halfway up the hill toward the ridge, we realized we didn't have enough food or energy or time to attempt this summit.  We'd bitten off more than we could chew.  See what I did there?  Back to plan A... head to Lake Isabelle.  No problem there.  This is one of the most scenic lakes in the Indian Peaks wilderness and a worthy destination.   

Post holing

Lake Isabelle - Prints Available


There were a number of parties that day that brought ice fishing equipment up there.  One of the groups made it as far as Long Lake and were actually catching some trout.  That is definitely being added to my to-do list in the future!