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Indian Peaks Wilderness

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J F M A M J J A S O N D

178 mi 286 km of trail 13 Recommended Routes

Gems 2 Gems Easy Trails 4 Trails Intermediate Trails 37 Trails Hard Trails 8 Trails

Local Info

Indian Peaks Wilderness became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1978 and spans 76,711 acres. This wilderness shares borders with James Peak Wilderness to the south and Rocky Mountain National Park to the north. Elevations range from 8,300 to just over 13,500 feet. Indian Peaks is one of the most visited Wilderness areas in the United States. To encounter fewer people, hike and camp on weekdays and use less popular backcountry zones. Trailhead parking is limited. Always use Leave No Trace to help keep this area wild and pristine. For recorded information call 303-541-2519.

Camping & Lodging

Permits: The Indian Peaks Wilderness is divided into backcountry zones. View a map of Indian Peaks Wilderness & Backcountry Zones (pdf, 274Kb). Permits are issued according to zone and required for camping between June 1 and September 15. Large groups (8 - 12 people) and/or organized groups such as scouts, churches, schools, internet outdoor groups and hiking clubs require permits year-round for day and overnight trips. Download a wilderness permit application form (pdf 134Kb).

Permits are limited and must obtained in advance from the Boulder Ranger District (2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301) or Sulphur Ranger District (9 Ten Mile Drive, P.O. Box 10, Granby, CO, 80446). Please download and complete the wilderness permit application form before visiting the office.

Camping: Click here for a list of Boulder Ranger District Campgrounds.

Visiting Tips

July & August are the best, but also the busiest months to visit the IPW.

Gems in Indian Peaks Wilderness - 2

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gem Favorite Lone Eagle Peak reflected in unnamed small pond

Crater Lake and Lone Eagle Peak

(18) Granby, CO
gem Favorite View of Long Lake while taking the southern route to Lake Isabelle.

Long Lake

(10) Nederland, CO

Recommended Routes in Indian Peaks Wilderness - 13

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Favorite Lone Eagle Peak above Mirror - from the Crater Lake Trail
Intermediate/Difficult

Monarch Lake to Crater Lake

14.9 mi 24.0 km 2,017' Up 614.74 m Up 2,017' Down 614.7 m Down

Granby, CO
Favorite Leaving the Jasper Creek drainage for the Continental Divide on a sunny morning.
Difficult

High Lonesome Loop

15.7 mi 25.2 km 3,162' Up 963.89 m Up 3,162' Down 963.86 m Down

Nederland, CO
Favorite Climbing Buchanan Pass on the west side.
Difficult

Pawnee-Buchanan Loop

26.5 mi 42.6 km 6,632' Up 2021.41 m Up 6,615' Down 2016.24 m Down

Nederland, CO
Favorite Indian Paintbrush and buttercup.
Difficult

South Arapaho Peak

8.6 mi 13.8 km 3,111' Up 948.19 m Up 3,110' Down 947.87 m Down

Nederland, CO
Favorite Early morning along the trail
Intermediate

Mitchell Lake Trail Out and Back

5.4 mi 8.7 km 864' Up 263.28 m Up 863' Down 263.16 m Down

Nederland, CO
Favorite Early morning along the trail
Difficult

Mount Audubon

7.7 mi 12.4 km 2,662' Up 811.3 m Up 2,662' Down 811.26 m Down

Nederland, CO
Favorite On the Jean Lunning Trail
Intermediate

Long Lake Loop

3.6 mi 5.8 km 294' Up 89.63 m Up 294' Down 89.48 m Down

Nederland, CO
Favorite Come for the run, stay for the beauty!
Intermediate/Difficult

Red Deer Lake

14.2 mi 22.9 km 1,725' Up 525.85 m Up 1,725' Down 525.82 m Down

Nederland, CO

Trails in Indian Peaks Wilderness - 36

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8.0 mi 12.8 km #1Pawnee Pass Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO 24 
2.1 mi 3.3 km #2Isabelle Glacier Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO 26 
7.9 mi 12.8 km #3Arapaho Glacier Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO 17 
3.6 mi 5.9 km #4Diamond Lake Trail
Intermediate
Nederland, CO
Intermediate
Nederland, CO 18 
4.2 mi 6.8 km #5Caribou Pass Trail #11
Intermediate/Difficult
Fraser, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Fraser, CO
6.3 mi 10.2 km #6Cascade Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Granby, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Granby, CO
13.1 mi 21.1 km #7Arapaho Pass Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO 14 
12.1 mi 19.5 km #8High Lonesome Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Fraser, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Fraser, CO
1.1 mi 1.8 km #9Crater Lake Trail
Intermediate
Granby, CO
Intermediate
Granby, CO
15.0 mi 24.2 km #10Buchanan Pass Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
12.6 mi 20.3 km #11CDT: Monarch Lake to Grand Lake (CO Sec. 35)
Intermediate
Grand Lake, CO
Intermediate
Grand Lake, CO
0.7 mi 1.1 km #12St. Vrain Summit Trail
Difficult
Nederland, CO
Difficult
Nederland, CO
0.5 mi 0.7 km #13South Arapaho Peak Southeast Ridge
Difficult
Nederland, CO
Difficult
Nederland, CO
4.4 mi 7.1 km #14King Lake Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
1.0 mi 1.7 km #15Airplane Gully Route
Difficult
Nederland, CO
Difficult
Nederland, CO
6.4 mi 10.3 km #16Saint Vrain Mountain Trail #915
Difficult
Estes Park, CO
Difficult
Estes Park, CO
2.6 mi 4.1 km #17Woodland Lake Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
6.8 mi 11.0 km #18Devil's Thumb Trail #902
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
2.0 mi 3.2 km #19Watanga Lake Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Grand Lake, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Grand Lake, CO
3.1 mi 5.0 km #20Saint Vrain Glacier Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO

Photos of Indian Peaks Wilderness - 231

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Photos

Lone Eagle Peak above Mirror - from the Crater Lake Trail
Apr 14, 2015 near Granby, CO
Lone Eagle Peak reflected in unnamed small pond
Apr 14, 2015 near Granby, CO
Indian Paintbrush and buttercup.
Oct 23, 2016 near Nederland, CO
Leaving the Jasper Creek drainage for the Continental Divide on a sunny morning.
Aug 1, 2017 near Fraser, CO
Crater Lake and Mt Achonee (12,649')
Aug 14, 2018 near Granby, CO
Isabelle Lake surrounded by the Indian Peaks - stunning.
Nov 7, 2016 near Nederland, CO
On the way to Gourd Lake.
Jul 16, 2018 near Grand Lake, CO
Climbing Buchanan Pass on the west side.
Jul 9, 2018 near Nederland, CO