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Long Lake Approach

Intermediate

Trail

5.5 mile 8.9 kilometer point to point
Ascent
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,246' 380 m
Descent: -45' -14 m
High: 11,264' 3,433 m
Low: 10,063' 3,067 m

Grade

Avg Slope: 4% (3°)
Max Slope: 36% (20°)
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Map Key

Trail shared by Zander Göpfert

Avalanche risk for Jul 10, 2019: Unknown

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Full forecast for CAIC: Front Range Zone — Brought to you by CO Avalanche Information Center

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A long but relatively flat and gradual approach to a couple options around Long Lake.

Zander Göpfert
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
See the Brainard Lake Recreation Area page for more details.

Description

For many, the winter lot at Brainard Lake is the base camp for a number of winter and spring objectives into the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

This approach heads from the winter lot to Brainard Lake on the Brainard Lake Road, which is inaccessible by car until around Memorial Day (this can change year to year, call (303) 541-2500 to check road closure updates). This out-and-back to Brainard Lake is a great option in and of itself for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even a leisurely skin (with our four-legged friends, too!).

From the lake, the approach continues onto Long Lake Road and more or less follows the Pawnee Pass Trail west.

Near the intersection with the Jean Lunning Trail, this ascent heads north/northeast into the trees up the nose of a couple fun, south/southeast facing bowls. This ascent was very much a "choose your own adventure" route, as there wasn't an obvious route to head up. With that in mind, the trees are spaced well to pick a skin track through, and the slope isn't bad.

From the end of the ascent, see the South Saint Vrain Creek line which we used and briefly traversed east to continue the descent through the trees back to the approach, which we retraced back to the winter lot.

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#145

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#1

in Front Range

#32

in Colorado

#145

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2,072 Since Mar 20, 2017
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Photos

On sunny, dry days, don't forget your favorite balm, lube, or jelly. A true measure of friendship is whether you choose to share.
Mar 20, 2017 near Nederland, CO
Shoshoni, Apache, and Navajo Peak (right to left) stand in the distance along the Pawnee Pass Trail.
Mar 20, 2017 near Nederland, CO
We head out on Brainard Lake Road on a bluebird March day.
Mar 20, 2017 near Nederland, CO
This is the view just below the drop-in for the South Saint Vrain Creek ski line. The south-facing bowl is worth exploring.
Mar 20, 2017 near Nederland, CO
A friend slides along the north shore of Long Lake. Even with the peaks coming closer into view, pace yourself.
Mar 20, 2017 near Nederland, CO

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