Indian Peaks Wilderness: Buchanan pass to Pawnee pass Loop

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Join me for an epic journey just outside our backdoor -- a venture through the most beautiful part of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. We will be traveling a total of 26 miles over two days. A loop, starting and ending at Brainard lake. Overall elevation will be about 6,000 feet.

Saturday: bright and early at 7:00 am, we will be taking Buchanan pass coming back around (counter clockwise) to Crater lake. It is a whopping 17 mile with about 3,000 elevation gain. Most of the miles we cover will be flat. We will pass by the beauty of Mount Audubon to our left, just above tree line. On the other side of Buchanan pass, we will pass through the beautiful wildflower meadows of Fox Park. On our approach to Crater lake we will pass numerous waterfalls.

Crater lake is beautify! The backdrop of Lone Eagle Peak is awesome!

Sunday: We can leave at a leisure time of 8-9am to return to Brainard via Long lake. We will be passing through wildflower meadows to take Pawnee pass. It is a beautiful descent down to Brainard. We will pass the gorgeous Lake Isabelle. It is a leisure 9 miles with about 3,000 elevation gain.

I could not locate a map online. Using the Trails Illustrated Map #102 (Indian Peaks/Gold Hill) , we will be taking in this order, counter clockwise: Beaver creek tr -- Buchanan pass tr -- Cascade tr -- Crater lake -- Pawnee pass tr.

Here is a web posting of the Pawnee Pass and Buchanan Pass Loop with more details:

We will be moving at a good pace of 3 miles and hour. So be ready to move. :)

bring gear accordingly for overnight. (Additional considerations: dry/water proof boots and gaiters as there will be snow patches and water on the trail.)

Camping permit at Crater is limited to 7 people.
Entrance to Brainard is $10 per car.

You are on your on regarding gear. This is a suggested list pulled from Backpacker:

Does everyone have a tent, stove and water filter (need at least one for the group)?

You are on your own for food:

1 breakfast
1 dinner
2 lunches
and snacks
Bring plenty of water