Offering great views of the scenic lake, the Lake Isabelle via Pawnee Pass Trail also features wildlife and a waterfall. The trail is located within Indian Peaks Wilderness near Ward, Colorado. The length of this out and back trail is 8.7 kilometers and it has a total elevation gain of 166 m.
Lake Isabelle is one of the most scenic lakes that you would come across in the region. The Pawnee Pass Trail not only takes you to the beautiful lake, but also gives you great views of surrounding peaks, glaciers, and wildlife. The trail is not very difficult and the best months to hike are June to October.
If you are driving from Colorado Highway 7, you need to drive 9.8 miles south towards the town of Ward. Before the town, you need to take the Brainard Lake Road, from where you can get to the Long Lake Trailhead from where the hike begins. It is located in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. It’s a very popular location among hikers and adventurers, so the parking lot can often be filled. To avoid having to park somewhere else, get there early in the morning.
You will start at the Pawnee Pass Trail and go along Long Lake. You might come across a moose as well. After about 0.13 miles, you will get to the Indian Peaks Wilderness boundary. Soon, you will reach the trail junction for Pawnee Pass and Isabelle Glacier. As your destination is Lake Isabelle, you should continue on the Pawnee Pass Trail by heading in the right direction. You won’t have a hard time following it, as you can easily follow the signs.
When you reach the lake, you will be mesmerized by the breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding. You should definitely spend some time there, eat snacks, and take pictures. If you love photography, you would love this place. When you are done, you can head back towards the trailhead. Keep in mind that you need to pay a fee for Brainard Lake Recreational Area parking. But, it’s only during the summer season.