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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 12 Runs

Gems 2 Gems Easy Trails 14 Trails Intermediate Trails 27 Trails Hard Trails 7 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

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

Long Lake

(7) Nederland, CO

Runs in Indian Peaks Wilderness - 12

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Runs

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

Monarch Lake to Crater Lake

14.9 mi 24.0 km • Out and Back • 2,017 ft Ascent 614.74 m Ascent

(70) Granby, CO
Favorite Looking toward Devil's Thumb Peak, yeah!
Intermediate/Difficult

High Lonesome Loop

15.7 mi 25.2 km • Loop • 3,162 ft Ascent 963.89 m Ascent

(68) Nederland, CO
Favorite Climbing Buchanan Pass on the west side.
Intermediate/Difficult

Pawnee-Buchanan Loop

26.5 mi 42.6 km • Point to Point • 6,632 ft Ascent 2021.41 m Ascent

(40) Nederland, CO
Favorite Indian Paintbrush and buttercup.
Intermediate/Difficult

South Arapaho Peak

8.6 mi 13.8 km • Out and Back • 3,111 ft Ascent 948.19 m Ascent

(43) Nederland, CO
Favorite Early morning along the trail
Intermediate

Mitchell Lake Trail Out and Back

5.4 mi 8.7 km • Out and Back • 864 ft Ascent 263.28 m Ascent

(50) Nederland, CO
Favorite Early morning along the trail
Intermediate/Difficult

Mount Audubon

7.7 mi 12.4 km • Out and Back • 2,662 ft Ascent 811.3 m Ascent

(33) Nederland, CO
Favorite On the Jean Lunning Trail
Easy/Intermediate

Long Lake Loop

3.6 mi 5.8 km • Loop • 294 ft Ascent 89.63 m Ascent

(18) Nederland, CO
Favorite Hiamovi Tower and Mountain from Cooper Pass.
Extremely Difficult

Hell Canyon Loop

17.0 mi 27.4 km • Point to Point • 4,221 ft Ascent 1286.71 m Ascent

(7) Granby, CO
Favorite Come for the run, stay for the beauty!
Intermediate

Red Deer Lake

14.2 mi 22.9 km • Out and Back • 1,725 ft Ascent 525.85 m Ascent

(14) Nederland, CO
Favorite Rainbow Lakes after an early winter storm.
Easy/Intermediate

Rainbow Lakes

2.5 mi 4.0 km • Out and Back • 293 ft Ascent 89.29 m Ascent

(8) Nederland, CO
Favorite Flowery meadows on a rainy day.
Intermediate

Junco Lake Loop

22.2 mi 35.8 km • Point to Point • 4,972 ft Ascent 1515.48 m Ascent

(6) Fraser, CO
Favorite Creek along the Columbine Lake Trail, July 29, 2019.
Intermediate

Columbine Lake Out-and-Back

6.4 mi 10.3 km • Loop • 978 ft Ascent 298 m Ascent

(7) Fraser, CO

Trails in Indian Peaks Wilderness - 36

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Trails

8.0 mi 12.8 km #1Pawnee Pass Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
8.0 mi 12.8 km Nederland, CO 21 
2.1 mi 3.3 km #2Isabelle Glacier Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
2.1 mi 3.3 km Nederland, CO 23 
7.9 mi 12.8 km #3Arapaho Glacier Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
7.9 mi 12.8 km Nederland, CO 16 
3.6 mi 5.9 km #4Diamond Lake Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Nederland, CO
Easy/Intermediate
3.6 mi 5.9 km Nederland, CO 17 
13.1 mi 21.1 km #5Arapaho Pass Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
13.1 mi 21.1 km Nederland, CO 11 
6.3 mi 10.2 km #6Cascade Trail
Difficult
Granby, CO
Difficult
6.3 mi 10.2 km Granby, CO
4.2 mi 6.8 km #7Caribou Pass Trail #11
Intermediate/Difficult
Fraser, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
4.2 mi 6.8 km Fraser, CO
12.1 mi 19.5 km #8High Lonesome Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Fraser, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
12.1 mi 19.5 km Fraser, CO
1.1 mi 1.8 km #9Crater Lake Trail
Intermediate
Granby, CO
Intermediate
1.1 mi 1.8 km Granby, CO
15.0 mi 24.2 km #10Buchanan Pass Trail
Intermediate
Nederland, CO
Intermediate
15.0 mi 24.2 km Nederland, CO
12.6 mi 20.3 km #11CDT: Monarch Lake to Grand Lake (CO Sec. 35)
Easy/Intermediate
Grand Lake, CO
Easy/Intermediate
12.6 mi 20.3 km Grand Lake, CO
0.7 mi 1.1 km #12St. Vrain Summit Trail
Difficult
Nederland, CO
Difficult
0.7 mi 1.1 km Nederland, CO
0.5 mi 0.7 km #13South Arapaho Peak Southeast Ridge
Difficult
Nederland, CO
Difficult
0.5 mi 0.7 km Nederland, CO
1.0 mi 1.7 km #14Airplane Gully Route
Difficult
Nederland, CO
Difficult
1.0 mi 1.7 km Nederland, CO
6.8 mi 11.0 km #15Devil's Thumb Trail #902
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
6.8 mi 11.0 km Nederland, CO
2.6 mi 4.1 km #16Woodland Lake Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
2.6 mi 4.1 km Nederland, CO
4.4 mi 7.1 km #17King Lake Trail
Intermediate
Nederland, CO
Intermediate
4.4 mi 7.1 km Nederland, CO
6.4 mi 10.3 km #18Saint Vrain Mountain Trail #915
Intermediate/Difficult
Estes Park, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
6.4 mi 10.3 km Estes Park, CO
2.0 mi 3.2 km #19Watanga Lake Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Grand Lake, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
2.0 mi 3.2 km Grand Lake, CO
3.1 mi 5.0 km #20Saint Vrain Glacier Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Nederland, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
3.1 mi 5.0 km Nederland, CO

Photos of Indian Peaks Wilderness - 224

Trail Run Project is built by runners 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
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
Climbing Buchanan Pass on the west side.
Jul 9, 2018 near Nederland, CO
Flowery meadows on a rainy day.
Aug 1, 2017 near Nederland, CO
Come for the run, stay for the beauty!
Mar 13, 2015 near Nederland, CO

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