Hike Pawnee Pass and Pawnee Peak
Colorado › Long Lake Trailhead
Added by Kyle Frost
Relatively easy hike close to Boulder with great views of the Front Range.
- 9 miles round trip (4 to Pawnee Pass, and another 1/2 mile to the peak)
- 2400 ft of elevation gain
Start at the Long Lake trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreation area (there's a fee to park, if you don't have a pass). Take the trail towards Lake Isabelle for a few miles, winding through forest and past Long Lake. Signage towards Lake Isabelle and Pawnee Pass is apparent.
Just as you reach Lake Isabelle, look for a junction that heads to the right and uphill to Pawnee Pass. You'll quickly switchback up elevation towards the pass. The views grow just as quickly with the elevation as you climb above treeline and hike across spectacular tundra.
From the trail sign at the top of Pawnee Pass, hang a right to the obvious peak of Pawnee just a short distance and 400ft of elevation above. There is a small social trail if you see it, but you should be able to pick your way up to the peak without any trouble. Scramble across some talus to the rounded top of Pawnee Peak (12,943ft).
If it's clear out, you can see most of the prominent peaks in the region, including Longs, visible to the north. I highly recommend heading up for sunrise!
- Warm clothing (weather can quickly change in the Rockies)
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
I made it up to Pawnee Pass and actually couldn't find the route to the peak. Regardless, it was time to head down and so skipped a free-range route up. Pawnee Pass/The Continental Divide were beautiful and a great hike. Lots of water for the first half of the trip - bring a water filter if you don't want to pack in tons of liquid.
Create a loop with Blue Lake for more adventure!
Incredibly beautiful spot, it's even more fun if you go off trail and make a loop with Blue Lake. It will take some route finding skills and scrambling but if you hit it early season you can glissade a good ways down. If you're bringing your dog put them in a harness to make some of the scramble spots easier.
More Adventures Nearby
Hike the Shanahan Ridge Trail
Colorado / Shanahan Ridge Trailhead
Starting on the edge of a neighborhood in South Boulder, this 3.8 mile loop begins its 869 foot elevation gain by meandering through a pine forest.
Hike the Arapaho Traverse
Colorado / Fourth of July Trailhead
Begin at the Fourth of July Trailhead. Day parking is free and overnight parking is $5. Fourth of July is a popular trailhead and to ensure parking, you should arrive early in the morning (6am-ish..