Jean Lunning Trail and Pawnee Pass Loop

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Brainard Lake Recreation Area

Jean Lunning Trail and Pawnee Pass Loop is a 2.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.9 miles Elevation Gain: 180 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

fee

Although this trail is almost entirely in the Indian Peaks Wilderness (Roosevelt National Forest), it starts within the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. There is a $11 fee (cash only) to enter this area. From mid-October to Mid-June, the road to this trailhead is closed. Visitors may park at the Gateway Trailhead at the closed gate. However, this will add 5 miles round-trip to the hike. Parking at the Gateway Trailhead does not have a fee as you are starting outside of the park.

Completed 10-11-19. When you get to the trail, definitely go left so the lake is on your right hand side. Easy trail. Gorgeous views.

hiking
7 months ago

Easy trail for new or inexperienced hikers nice view of Long Lake and the mountain range. Nice parking and facilities at the trail head.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing but super windy, come prepared

hiking
8 months ago

Early morning was bad day for hiking today (Sept 17, 2019) - VERY windy, cloudy. Got to trailhead around 9:15am and got lucky to find one open parking spot. Did a side-trip up to Isabelle Lake and it was pretty dry looking. Sun finally came out around noon turning a lousy day into a not too bad day as this hike is mostly wind protected by the trees.

Great weather. Easy long hike!

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
snow
9 months ago

Favorite hike so far. Trail was a bit muddy in spots but nothing much. Go up around Lake Isabelle a bit, it’s beautiful and worth the climb :)

hiking
9 months ago

stunning views. trail was pretty dry except for stream crossings. the wildflowers are still blooming.

hiking
bugs
rocky
9 months ago

came here on 8/18, arrived about 8am, parked in the upper parking, ($12, cash or check only) lot was getting full by 8. beautiful hike, lots of different scenery, river, lakes, waterfall, wild flowers. so happy to see so many people getting out and enjoying this beautiful state. by the time we were heading out around 12:30, trail was much busier, as we were exiting, there were about 30 cars inline.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Excellent trail for visitors who can’t handle any extra elevation change. Gorgeous and easy.

hiking
10 months ago

beautiful hike amazing wildflowers. also saw a group of moose on the way up.

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked from day parking lot on Sunday 28th July at 8:30am. It was very windy and cold. The wind during the wind decreased as we hiked to the Pawnee Pass trail to Long Lake. We continued on to Lake Isabelle and then returned via the Jean Lunning Trail to the car. Lots of flowers on the trail. The weather warmed up and it was an enjoyable and beautiful hike.

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked 7/26/19. I had to park by Brainard Lake which added to the hike, but the lake was beautiful as were the flowers. Saw a moose along the way. Some muddy areas, but not too bad.

hiking
snow
10 months ago

Visited on July 20th. Parking is at Brainard Lake, so that adds another mile or so to get to the Long Lake trailhead. Beautiful day for a hike. Little wind, not too hot. The Long Lake, Lake Isabel, and Pawnee Pass trails are always lovely to visit. Trails weren't too muddy. Snowfields on the way up to Pawnee Pass; boots and poles are fine. Tx devices may be useful higher up. I turned around before getting to the pass.

hiking
10 months ago

Kolton and I left home at 430am and got to the parking lot at Brainard at 6 and could barely get out of the car. Winds about 50 mph. Finally got out and then got back in. Drove out of the parking lot. Turned around and convinced ourselves we could push thru. Winds died a little left of the lake where watched 4 large bulls eating breakfast. Jean Lunning trail around the left of Long Lake. Easy walk. Picked up the main trail and ascended to Isabelle with zero snow. A tiny bit of mud passing Long Lake but that was it. Super windy at Isabelle but Majestic none the less. Quick pb & j then back down the mountain. Stayed let the whole way back to complete the loop. Amazing as always.

hiking
snow
Sun Apr 07 2019

when I did this hike (4/6/19), the road was closed into the forest, so we just parked in the outer parking lot. we hiked the 2 miles to Brainard lake, and then from there we decided just to head back. you could easily continue from there, just know that you won't be able to drive and park right at the trailhead. It was a super beautiful day though, definitely worth it.

Wed Jan 30 2019

Good trail once past the pay booth (lots of concrete showing). I lost a 16inch wheel on January 29th that belonged to our Burley trailer. If anyone finds it in the parking lot I would really appreciate it if you can message me.

Wed Sep 05 2018

Parked at the picnic area on the SW side of Brainard Lake because there were no spaces left, but there was a trailhead that led to Long Lake. As someone who is still acclimating to the altitude, this was an easy walk with spectacular views! Worth the 11 buck entrance fee.

hiking
Mon Jul 16 2018

The Long Lake TH was full so parked in a small lot off the road on west side of Brainard Lake before the TH turnoff. Up the road or on the trail are both easy routes and quick to Long Lake itself. Open well-maintained trail. Wild flowers all over the place this time of year. Very little elevation and it was all mild. Great stream crossings.

hiking
Sun Jul 15 2018

Due to some crowded parking lots (on a Monday!), we ended up hiking around one side of Brainard Lake and Long Lake. The trail is very well kept and great for bringing kids on. You get some killer views of the Indian Peaks with very little effort as well. Totally worth the drive and the $11 entry fee if you're looking for a satisfying, beautiful, well-maintained trail to walk with the family. In early July the wildflowers were popping!

Mon Nov 06 2017

This probably is really beautiful trail but we came in early November the road was closed we were ill prepared and had to turn around and go back home this is not a beginner hike (unless you have the proper equipment, the terrain may be easy ) make sure you check the weather wear proper hiking clothes winter boots and gators if you have them and if you don't have them don't like the trail. (in the winter or fall) snow is very likely at this altitude so you need to be prepared for inclement weather.

Sat Jul 29 2017

Beautiful! Many wildflowers and animals. Muddy in some places. Great with kids and dogs

Tue Jul 11 2017

Fabulous views! Just be prepared to get your shoes dirty! Very muddy as there is still snow in July but that's what makes it beautiful. Not cold though. Stunning vistas. And pretty easy. I just moved here so it wasn't a cake walk for me, it challenged my breathing a little but nothing I couldn't handle.

Sun Jul 02 2017

Beautiful, but wear good hiking shoes! The trail is still snowy and muddy on the south side of the lake! A definite favorite though. Easy enough for out-of-town visitors to make the loop around the lake.

Thu Jun 22 2017

I would love to do this trail when it isn't as snowy. It is still probably half snow. Still had fun though!

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