Jean Lunning (#907)
Length: Niwot Cutoff Trailhead (TH) to Jean Lunning - 0.6 miles; to Pawnee Pass Trail - 1.9 miles; Niwot Ridge - 3.2 miles. DISTANCES ARE ONE-WAY
Elevation: 10,300 feet at the TH; 10,521 feet at Long Lake; 11,442 feet at Niwot Ridge.
Trail Summary: From the Niwot Picnic Area inside the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, the Niwot Cutoff Trail leads 0.6 miles west up a gradual slope and through the woods to Long Lake and Jean Lunning Trail. The Jean Lunning Trail enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness and continues west along the south side of Long Lake on a wide, gentle trail with several bridges and boardwalks. Together with a segment of Pawnee Pass Trail it forms a 4.1-mile loop around Long Lake.
The Niwot Ridge Trail (unsigned) heads south from the Jean Lunning Trail a few hundred yards into the Wilderness Area. To hike up Niwot Ridge, follow the Niwot Ridge Trail up the hill. The trail passes through alpine forest and climbs into the alpine tundra.
The Niwot Ridge area has been designated by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve for arctic and alpine research. Please remain on the trail and do not disturb scientific instruments in place on the ridge.
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View a trail map here.
At a Glance
|Fees:||Brainard Lake Recreation Area fees apply during the summer operating season (typically mid/late-June through late September).|
|Permit Info:||This trail lies within the Four Lakes Backcountry Zone of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area:
|Best Season:||Hiking conditions are best from July through October|
|Restrictions:||Indian Peak Wilderness restrictions apply:
|Closest Towns:||Ward, Colorado|
|Water:||Lakes and streams; treat water for drinking.|
|Restroom:||Vault Toilet at Niwot Picnic Area|
|Operated By:||U.S. Forest Service|
From Colorado Highway 72 at Ward, turn west onto the Brainard Lake Road. Travel 2.5 miles to the entrance portal, continue another two miles to parking at Brainard Lake, and walk 0.5-1.0 mile (depending on the parking sites available) to Niwot Picnic Area.
This relatively level trail forms a loop around Long Lake with a portion of Pawnee Pass Trail. The trail is constructed to be accessible by people with disabilities. Strong skiers and snowshoers enjoy this trail in winter, accessed from Red Rock Trailhead.