Brainard Lake to Pawnee Pass, September 6, 2002


I'm in Denver on business. Gave myself the day off today so I could go hiking. I drove to Boulder, then took Canyon Road (Highway 119) to Colorado's Peak-to-Peak Highway, to the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. I parked at the Long Lake Trailhead (elevation 10,400) and hiked the Pawnee Pass trail four miles to Pawnee Pass (elevation 12,550.)
I made a short stop at Boulder Falls, a short walk from highway 119 above the city of Boulder.
Another shot of Boulder Falls.
The view from Peak-to-Peak highway is breathtaking.
The Pawnee Pass trail follows the northern shore of Long Lake.
Another view of Long Lake from the trail.
Yours truly.
There is a fork in the Pawnee Pass trail near Isabelle Lake. Go left to the lake, right to the pass. This is looking down at Isabelle Lake as I begin the climb to Pawnee Pass.
It's a long climb and I am feeling the altitude (I live in Illinois!)
I made it. Pawnee Pass is on the Continental Divide at 12,550 elevation.
The view to the west; the other side of the pass.
Another view to the west. I was surprised by the headache I got after making it to the pass. Just not used to the altitude, I guess.
Granted, there is no need for a large survival knife up here, but let the record show that I was the first to bring a George Millard knife to the Continental Divide! How's that, George? Notice I am wearing a fleece sweater now. You need to be prepared for quick changes in the weather at these altitudes.
Sparse but colorful ground cover.
Heading back.
Looking down a steep cliff to a small alpine lake.
Isabelle Lake from high above.
I hiked down with Brian Holkeboer. Brian recently moved to Boulder from Holland, Michigan. He is a very strong hiker. We talked for the entire four miles. He reminded me a lot of myself when I was 20: some questions are timeless.
Copyright © 2002 by Bill Qualls. Last updated September 6, 2002.
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