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Cool Destinations in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Cool Destinations in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Postby kweeks » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:54 pm

Hey everyone,
I was wondering if you had any advice for neat places to go in the Indian Peaks wilderness area? We aren't looking for anything too long, just a day hike or so. Any quick peaks or lakes that are worth a visit?

Thanks!
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Re: Cool Destinations in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Postby runnerofmountain » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:03 pm

I'm sorry if this question is dumb or redundant, but with it being the main feeding season of bears don't you worry about being eaten or mauled?

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Re: Cool Destinations in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Postby Dave B » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:06 pm

runnerofmountain wrote:I'm sorry if this question is dumb or redundant, but with it being the main feeding season of bears don't you worry about being eaten or mauled?


:-s

The Brainard lake area is pretty good with easy and short access to Audubon and Paiute (~7 miles from Mitchell Lake TH), Pawnee Peak and several other easier 12ers.

I talked to the ranger district this morning and they do not have plans to close Brainard Lake road this weekend unless the snow storm is worse than expected.

Lake Isabelle is a very worthy hike as well, but most of the peaks in that cirque require 3rd class at a minimum.
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Re: Cool Destinations in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Postby thefirststraw » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:41 pm

You have to check out Isabelle Glacier it's a few more hours hiking but totally worth it! Great close up views of Toll Apache Shoshone etc.

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Re: Cool Destinations in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Postby rijaca » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:07 pm

thefirststraw wrote:You have to check out Isabelle Glacier it's a few more hours hiking but totally worth it! Great close up views of Toll Apache Shoshone etc.


I agree that the Lake Isabelle drainage is worth checking out for it's views of Navajo, Apache, and Shoshone (Long Lake TH), but you'll have better views of Toll from the Blue Lakes drainage (Mitchell Lake TH). These THs can be reached from Brainard Lake, near Ward.
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Re: Cool Destinations in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Postby Tory Wells » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:09 pm

Brainard Lake area is great and easy to access from the east side. Unfortunately you have to pay to get in ($10) unless you get there early. Also, there are some excellent hikes from the Fourth of July TH near Eldora, although there is a fairly long dirt road to get to it which is passable by passenger cars but 4WD is recommended.

My favorite hike in the IPW is to the Lone Eagle Cirque from Monarch Lake (near Granby). The hike is about 14 miles and ~2,000' elevation gain. You pass several excellent waterfalls along the way and the Lone Eagle Cirque is simply incredible. You can access it from the east side but it is longer (~20 miles) and requires a double crossing of the Continental Divide. Here's my TR from a couple years ago from Monarch Lake TH:
http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=6636

+1 on Isabelle Glacier....gorgeous area and fun to explore.
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Re: Cool Destinations in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Postby jsdratm » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:41 pm

If it is your first time there, I'd recommend hiking Mt. Audubon. Pawnee Peak is also a cool hike and has amazing views of the west side of Pawnee Pass.

BTW, if you are a frequent visitor to federal lands you can get the America the Beautiful Annual Pass which gets you access to all of the national parks and wilderness areas (including Indian Peaks) for $80. If you are a frequent visitor that means you can save some money over the year (one visit to RMNP is $20). I live in Boulder, so I use mine a lot when I go to the Indian Peaks and RMNP.

http://www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm

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Re: Cool Destinations in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Postby rijaca » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:45 pm

BTW, the fee to access Brainard Lake has been discontinued for the season.
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Re: Cool Destinations in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Postby mbrow124 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:07 pm

best spot hands down in Indian peaks possibly the state, is lone eagle peak at crater lake, absolutley amazing hike with water falls all the way in, access through monarch lake TH by Grandby I dont know how to attach photos but google it and you will be amazed

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Re: Cool Destinations in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Postby PaliKona » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:31 pm

Agree about Lone Eagle Peak area...just ridiculously beautiful. Also love the Arapahoe Peaks area as well.

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Re: Cool Destinations in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Postby MtHurd » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:47 pm

Last year mid to late October from the summit of Pawnee Peak Looking towards Mt. Toll and Audobon. This one is a great one for good views in both directions. An easy hike too. Sounds like there will be more snow up there this year. Check to make sure the road to the trailhead is open before you go. Sometimes they close it earlier in the Fall if the snow is heavy.

Audubon and Toll from Pawnee.

Looking the other direction towards Shoshoni and Apache.

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Shoshoni as you hike up the trail towards Pawnee Pass.

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Lake Isabelle from the trail.

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Re: Cool Destinations in Indian Peaks Wilderness

Postby TheOtherIndian » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:33 pm

thefirststraw wrote:You have to check out Isabelle Glacier it's a few more hours hiking but totally worth it! Great close up views of Toll Apache Shoshone etc.


+1 Very pristine!
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