Island Lake was gorgeous. It is a pristine mountain lake nestled in a nook between mountain peaks with a moderately difficult hike to the lake past other lakes. Going up to Island Lake was a great overnight camp out.
We got to the trail head later in the day and the parking lot at the trail head was full with day hikers and other people so get there earlier. While parking, you will need to watch to make sure that you are following posted signs. Cops were there posting tickets in windows.
The hike was about four and a half miles from the trail head and going into Island Lake was mostly downhill. This means that coming out of Island Lake, you will be hiking uphill most of the way. We were on the Lakes Country trail. At the beginning of the trail, we passed the back side of Crystal Lake. For most of the hike, we hiked through the forest and about halfway through the hike we got to Long Lake. Most people stayed at Long Lake. Hiking alongside of the lake, the trail runs along the top of rock instead of a dirt trail, so make sure to watch for cairns that mark the trail. About a half mile from Island Lake, we passed Duck Lake and started a set of switchbacks up to Island Lake
We went on a Friday night (08-10-2018). As we passed Long Lake, it looked like there were 4-5 larger groups already set up. When we got to Island Lake, there were a few scout troops and a couple other smaller groups already set up around the lake. It was kind of crowded, so during the middle of the week would have had less people. There are a few camping spots spread around the lake or you can hike a bit further to other lakes and ponds for more seclusion. There were various mountain meadows spread around the lake that were picturesque scenes. There were about 10 people fishing around the lake. I did jump in the water a couple of times and it was freezing. There was a cliff to jump off of that was about 30-40 feet high as seen in the picture to the right, so it was super fun. I love cliff jumping, but I do suggest wearing shoes to shield the bottoms of your feet from hitting the water too hard.
In the morning at like 6:30, we got up and watched the sunrise. It was a gorgeous sunrise with peach colored streaks across the sky and clouds that looked like they were on fire. The hike was strenuous but beautiful as passed the lakes and meadows in the morning.
I made some great food, which you can checkout on my food list page as well as my gear list.