jen yu: pawnee pass

pawnee pass

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9 miles
10,500 - 12,541 ft.
indian peaks wilderness, colorado
july 26, 2005

We joined Fiona on a hike up to Pawnee Pass on the Continental Divide. It is the highest of the six passes in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. I am tempted to say that it is also the prettiest. The hike begins out of the Long Lake trailhead near Brainard Lake. The forest path passes through wet meadows of wildflowers coming upon Long Lake in no time. A few easy miles beyond Long Lake, the trail begins to rise past small waterfalls and more fields of flowers until you pop out onto beautiful Lake Isabelle.

Above Lake Isabelle is where one can find the grandest views. We hiked up the side of the bowl onto a final bench at the base of Shoshone Peak where we took a short break for food. We walked to the edge to admire Lake Isabelle below and the high peaks at the head of the valleys. The wind was cold and clouds were dropping low. We made quick time across a few late season snowfields up to the pass. From there, we hopped over to the other side to sneak a peak at beautiful Pawnee Lake. The trip back was quick and as we neared the trailhead, it began to hail.

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