The Spirit of the Rockies
Hike Profiles for Rocky Mountain National Park and Surrounding Areas
Pawnee Pass
The Pawnee Pass Trail
leads past Long Lake and
Lake Isabelle before
climbly a steep grade above
timberline. The pass is on
the Continental Divide
between Pawnee Peak and
Shoshoni Peak. The trail is
an excellent way to see the
grand scenery of the Indian
Peak Wilderness.
Distance: 4.0 miles one-way

Summit elevation: 12,541 feet

Trailhead elevation: 10,480 feet

Net elevation gain: 2,061 feet

Long Lake Trailhead

Indian Peaks Wilderness
Pawnee Pass, Indian Peaks Wilderness
Major Trail Landmarks
Long Lake (0.3 miles one-way from trailhead)
Junction of Jean Lunnings and Pawnee Pass Trails (at Long Lake)
Lake Isabelle (2.0 miles one-way from trailhead)
Junction of Isabelle Glacier and Pawnee Pass Trails (at Lake Isabelle)
Principal Destinations Near Pawnee Pass
Pawnee Peak (4.5 miles one-way from trailhead) - via unmaintained route beyond Pawnee Pass
Backcountry Campsites Near Pawnee Pass
Information on Indian Peaks Wilderness camping regulations, backcountry zones, and obtaining a permit
is available through this link:

The Long Lake Trailhead is on the east side of the continental divide in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.
To reach to trailhead parking area, drive on Colorado Highway 72 to the vicinity of the town of Ward. Just
north of Ward on Highway 72, there is a large sign marking a road leading west to Brainard Lake. Follow
Brainard Lake Road for about 6 miles to Brainard Lake. The Long Lake Trailhead parking area is
accessed from a left-hand turn just past the lake. Brainard Lake Road remains closed at about the halfway
point between Highway 72 and Brainard Lake until after most of the spring snowfall has melted, which is in late
June or early July in most years. There is an entrance fee collected for driving into the Brainard Lake area.

From the Long Lake Trailhead, hike west past Long Lake to Lake Isabelle. At Lake Isabelle, there is a trail
junction with the trails to Isabelle Glacier and Pawnee Pass. The trail to Pawnee Pass leads uphill to the right at
this junction. The trail leads up steep slopes above timberline, leading to the pass on the Continental Divide.
Leashed pets are welcome on the Pawnee Pass Trail
Sample photographs of the hike to Pawnee Pass
Lake Isabelle
Marker at Pawnee Pass
Pawnee Pass topographic map
Principal summer trail marked by solid red line; unmaintained trail or route marked by dashed red line.
Map is oriented with north to the top of the map
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All photographs are property of Mike Amfahr and are protected by copyright laws.
Topographic map is property of and copyrighted by Maps a la carte, Inc., and is used on this site with permission.