Pawnee Buchanan Loop – Indian Peaks

The Pawnee Buchanan loop in Indian Peaks is one of my all time favorite runs. The trail and scenery is spectacular – especially if you can get out when the wildflowers are at their peak.

The loop starts at the end of Brainard Lake road at either the Long Lake or Mitchell lake trailhead. I prefer running counter clockwise over Buchanan pass first. From the Mitchell lake trailhead the trail climbs partway up Mt Audubon. At the Audubon junction, continue straight on the Beaver Creek trail to Coney Creek. Stay left through a short section of dirt road and continue west towards Coney Creek and take the first right fork to the Buchanan pass trail. There are a few side trails along the way but the main trail is easy to follow up and over Buchanan and down the valley along Buchanan creek. At about 15 miles, take a hard left onto Cascade Creek to climb back up to Pawnee Pass. The trail is easy to follow over the pass and back down past Lake Isabelle to the Long Lake trail head.

(Click here for a larger map.)

Full Loop Route: 26 Miles

Elevation:
Approximately 6,460ft ascent
High point: 12,550ft, Low point: 8,790ft

Counter clockwise elevation profile around Buchanan and Pawnee pass.

There are bathrooms at the trail head but no water at the trail head. Dogs are allowed on leash.

Some photos from 8/13/2011 here.

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