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Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail

Northern Front Range, Colorado

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Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail

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  • Starting off on the Pawnee Pass Trail en route to Long Lake.- Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail
  • South St. Vrain Creek just east of Long Lake.- Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail
  • South St. Vrain Creek just east of Long Lake.- Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail
  • South St. Vrain Creek just east of Long Lake with views of Apache Peak (13,441 ft) and Shoshoni Peak (12,967 ft).- Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail
  • Footbridge crossing over South St. Vrain Creek en route to Long Lake.- Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail
  • Hiking along the Jean Lunning Trail.- Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail
  • Wildflowers at Long Lake.- Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail
  • Scarlet paintbrush (Castilleja miniata).- Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail
  • Long Lake, Brainard Lake Recreation Area in Roosevelt National Forest.- Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail
  • Side trail along the north shore of Long Lake.- Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail
  • Side trail along the north shore of Long Lake.- Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail
  • - Long Lake via Jean Lunning Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Views of the Front Range. Alpine Lake. Kid-friendly hike.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Northern Front Range, CO
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
160.00 ft (48.77 m)
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.80 mi (4.51 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
10,520.00 ft (3,206.50 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

This is a very popular hiking route within Colorado's Brainard Lakes Recreation Area that loops around a clear glacial lake and a babbling creek. The shortest route begins from the Long Lake Trailhead, but if the small parking lot is full you can also start from Brainard Lake at Niwot Picnic Area, which adds about a half mile to the round trip.

The trail passes through colorful wildflowers that compose the edge between forest and water. Relatively flat and smooth, this path can be enjoyed by families and kids of all ages. Keep in mind, however, that weather in this high alpine environment can change unpredictably. Be prepared with a rain jacket and extra warm layer, because showers and hail may pop up quickly during the summer monsoon season. Also, wear good hiking shoes because the trail is likely to be be muddy, and leftover snow may lie in shady spots even into July.

Wildlife is common in this pristine environment. Eagles, deer, elk, and moose are just some of the native inhabitants that may be spotted. Be sure to give wide berth to any wild animals, especially moose.

There are a few extensions possible from Jean Lunning. By following the Pawnee Pass Trail on the lake's north shore you can continue on to Lake Isabelle and even further up to the Continental Divide. Additionally, an unsigned spur trail on the southeast side of Long Lake heads up Niwot Ridge to fantastic views from the rocky alpine tundra above tree line.

 

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(21 within a 30 mile radius)

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