Come enjoy some of the most spectacular views in the country, right in the backyard of our friends at the Boulder Atheists, who are sponsoring this hike. Well worth getting up early for!
This easy hike to Lake Isabelle is located 2.1 miles from the Long Lake Trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. The lake lies at treeline in a spectacular alpine valley framed by Navajo (13,409'), Apache (13,441') and Shoshoni (12,967') peaks. The trail has a moderate grade, steepening a bit as it approaches Lake Isabelle. We will consider returning via the Jean Lunning Trail - a diverting loop around Long Lake with prolific wildflowers. This would add nominal elevation gain and .4 miles to the roundtrip hike. We will take our time, enjoying the scenery and companionship - pack a snack! After the hike, we'll go to Gunda's house (nearby) and have lunch (bring your own, or sandwich fixings will be available).
Length - 4.2 Miles (or 4.6, if we return via Jean Lunning)
Start-End Elevation - 10,515' - 10,868'
Elevation Change - +353' net elevation gain
Difficulty Level - Easy-Moderate
Due to the popularity of this area and the certainty that the Long Lake parking lot will fill up by 8am, we have to get a VERY early start! Anyone wishing to carpool from Boulder up to Brainard needs to indicate that in the comments. Those carpooling will meet at Whole Foods, Baseline & Broadway, at 6am, leaving no later than 6:15. We will meet at the new parking lot / visitor center just before the fee booth at the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. From there, we will carpool in to the Long Lake parking lot. There is a $9.00 fee (per car) to enter the Brainard Lake area; we can split that between us.
As always, please bring a water bottle, a snack, rain gear, and dress appropriately for the weather.