Point 13,524 and Spread Eagle Peaks are both striking and exhibit the twisted granite folds typical of the range. Past Long Lake, the trail gains elevation, and slowly ascends above the tree line. You'll pass by gorgeous Lake Isabelle en route to the glacier, as well as several beautiful meadows (full of … San Isabel National Forest. Lake Isabel is only accessible via bushwhack — a logging road becomes nearly impassable for the last quarter-mile, and there is not formal trail to the lake. Hike to the base of several Colorado 14ers at South Colony Lakes. Bonus points if you summit one of the mountains! You will understand why it is called Long Lake as you continue to hike along the shore further back into the mountains. 183 Trip Reports for this trail, below Lake Isabel is a popular destination for float plane pilots, so while there is a good amount of traffic in and out, it's largely airborne; hiking here is a challenge. A few small switchbacks take you to the amazing Lake Isabelle with views of the surrounding mountains. They were sweet all right. From the North Cottonwood trailhead, follow a well-marked trail west into the San Isabel wilderness. Most of the lake view photos in the gallery are taken from the north shore of the middle lake. Also in the lodge were a man and his young boy, who said I should try the raspberries I find on my way. From a woman behind a counter of fudge inside a wooden lodge farther west, closer to the destination I’d heard about near Lake Isabel. You'll cross the stream several times across bridges, rocks and fallen tress. Explore the fantastically beautiful cirque and enjoy views of Kit Carson, The Crestones, and Humboldt Peak. From there it is roughly 4 miles roundtrip with an option to explore Long Lake via the Jean Lunning Trail adding a little less than a mile to the trek. Just drive, or take the shuttle, to Brainard Lake and the Long Lake Trailhead. From mid-June to September, the hike to Lake Isabelle provides relatively easy access to a beautiful alpine lake in the heart of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. From a patron at a gas station in Colorado City, off Colorado 165 heading west toward the Wet Mountains. The hike. While many flock to the Collegiate Peaks above Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado to summit the area’s many fourteeners, there are also a handful of other options for less arduous day hikes.One nice option is San Isabel National Forest’s Ptarmigan Lake Trail, situated roughly 15 miles west of Buena Vista along the paved road (Route 306) to Cottonwood Pass (12,126’). Stay on the north side of the lake as you hike parallel to the shore. Trail Map | Photo Gallery. 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