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LoJ: #387 (G & M: #386) / 13,309' V 2

Range › San Juan Range
Quadrangle › Ophir
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 37° 49' 18.51", W 107° 47' 38.42" (Not Field Checked)

Peak Summary

An easy Class 2 walk-up peak in the midst of the gorgeous Ice Lake Basin area. An opportunity to see and photograph the splendid display of wildflowers this area is known for.

V2 Island Lake/South Slopes Route

Class 2
Medium Day // Take a Lunch
RT From South Mineral Creek TH: 5 mi / 3,500'
  • Trailhead
    • South Mineral Creek TH

      From the Town of Silverton and the US 550 intersection on the west side of town, drive north on US 550 and in a little over 2 miles turn west onto FR585. If coming from Ouray, drive south on US 550 over Red Mountain Pass and watch for the FR585 turnoff on your right before reaching Silverton. Drive west on this graded dirt road to the campground and trailhead parking appx. 4.7 miles in. The last mile of road gets a little rougher but should still be navigable by passenger cars.

      Alternate TH: This should only be used if accessing peaks in the Ice Lake basin area. Do not follow these directions if trying to access peaks at the head of the South Fork of Mineral Creek.

      Follow directions from Silverton or Ouray as before, but before arriving at the campground, watch for a 4WD drive road that heads diagonally up the hillside on your right, a little more than .7 mile before the campground and lower TH parking area or about 3.9 to 4.0 miles in from the highway. The road you're looking for is called the "Clear Lake Road," #815. It does not show on the older USGS quad, but does show on the Forest Service map. It turns off at these coordinates: N 37° 48' 19.49" W 107° 45' 46.26". Drive about a mile up this road to the first switchback and park here for summits in Ice Lake Basin if a space is available (very limited parking and no camping here). Parking coordinates are: N 37° 48' 37.64" W 107° 46' 35.63" Elev. 10,335 ft. Beginning your hike here will not save overall mileage but will save about 400 feet of gain. 4WD with better clearance recommended. From the car park, a trail heads NW and quickly comes to a crossing of Clear Creek. Getting across when water volume is high can be problematic & even a bit risky. If you succeed, continue following the trail on the other side. It will shortly be joined by the main trail coming up from the trailhead at the parking area by the South Mineral Campground.

      This same road also continues to Clear Lake and the basin below South Lookout Peak. If in a lower clearance 2WD vehicle, you will not want to drive up this road any. Park wherever you can find a place to do so near where the road #815 turns off from FR585. If you have a good clearance, 4WD vehicle, you can drive all the way up to Clear Lake.


      All along FR585, there are numerous at-large, primitive sites. Upon turning off US 550 and driving less than a mile, there's a large open area on the left with a vault toilet. There are usually a large number of RV's here. There is also the South Mineral Creek Campground and before arriving at the campground, you will see a number of other camp spots. Expect competition on the weekends for sites. This is a very popular area. There is no "allowed" camping at the trail head parking area.

    Peak Icon Route Map Photos

    Route Info V2 Island Lake/South Slopes

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 1998

    This route description is based on a start from the lower trail head, so mileage and elevation gain will reflect that starting point. If using the Clear Creek Road trail head, you can subtract 400 feet of elevation gain. Mileage will remain about the same. Both trails join together not long after crossing Clear Creek.

    From the lower trail head parking lot that can accommodate a large number of vehicles, begin hiking on the well-used and popular trail to Lower Ice Lake Basin. It's less than 2 miles into the lower basin area. The trail levels off some into the basin after a steep section of climbing on switchbacks. If backpacking into here, there are a number of good campsites in the lower basin. Not long after the trails levels in the lower basin, watch for a secondary trail turning off at these coordinates, on the right. N 37° 48' 45.33" W 107° 47' 29.55". This trail leads up first north, then west, then north again across mostly tundra to Island Lake. Beyond the lake, it actually crosses a pass NNE of the lake. You could follow the trail all the way to the pass, then turn right and follow the rock, rubble and scree ridge crest to the summit. This would be the most "gentle" approach. If following the ridge crest, stay on the south side when encountering difficulties and you should also find more than one "path" that leads along the ridge crest to the summit.

    The other choice would be to ascend the south slopes of V2, beginning the ascent from a flatter area a little east of Island Lake, and aiming straight for the summit or a little left (west) of the high point. Three-fourths of this ascent will be on tundra, with the last fourth on scree and rubble that's not too difficult to handle. The actual summit ridge is more of a rocky outcrop with a little bit of exposure on the north side that drops away to Clear Lake far below.

    Descend to the south by any route of your choice or return by the west ridge to the saddle and then follow the trail back down. Best feature of this hike: the abundant and verdant wildflowers of Lower Ice Lake Basin and up towards Island Lake.

    An alternate route for V. 2 exists by driving up to Clear Lake and hiking from the SW end of the lake in a SW direction to gain the west ridge of V.2. While this can reduce overall elevation gain, a 4WD vehicle is required and the there will be more rock to deal with.

    Route GPS Coordinates

    Island Lake Trail Turnoff › N 37° 48' 45.33", W 107° 47' 29.55"

    Additional BETA

    Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.
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