Shoshoni and Pawnee Peaks Hike

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
21.7 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
1,020 m
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Directions to Trailhead

Reserved for experienced hikers, this trail will surely get your blood pumping. The Shoshoni and Pawnee Peaks Hike will give you an adrenaline rush as you scramble to summit two craggy peaks in the Colorado Ranges. Challenge yourself by embarking on this stimulating adventure in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

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Route Description for Shoshoni and Pawnee Peaks Hike

Ready for a riveting excursion up not one, but two peaks? The Shoshoni and Pawnee Peaks Hike is a difficult trail, but it will compensate its conquerors with awe-inspiring 360-degree views from the summits and the pass. Vistas of neighboring peaks and the lush alpine landscape below await! Make sure to bring plenty of water on this hike, you will quickly tire out. Bear in mind you will be ascending to extreme elevations, so be sure to bring plenty of layers and be prepared for inclement weather at the summits! Additionally, microspikes and hiking poles might come in handy as you navigate the rocky and sometimes snow dusted peaks! This hike requires experience and a bit of preparation, but we know you’ll enjoy it!

Start the Shoshoni and Pawnee Peaks Hike from the Mitchell Lake Trailhead. You can complete this trail from either direction, but we recommend doing it clockwise. From the trailhead, backtrack onto Mitchell Lake Road, merging right onto Long Lake Road. At the end of Long Lake Road get onto the Pawnee Pass Trail. Continue along the Pawnee Pass Trail, passing both Long Lake and Isabelle Lake. Veer right at the Isabelle Lake junction to follow the Pawnee Pass Trail. This section of the hike ascends the treeline and gets increasingly steep and rocky as you navigate switchbacks up to the pass. Scramble up the rocky talus, minding your footing. Once you ascend the pass, divert left and head south onto Shoshoni Summit Route. Be careful as you cross the ridge to the summit.

Enjoy the views from Shoshoni Peak before descending back down to the pass. Continue straight onto Pawnee Pass Trail, hiking through the saddle. Merge onto Pawnee Peak Trail and navigate the scree to the summit. From Pawnee Peak, head north down the trail before veering right towards Blue Lake. This trail is hard to follow but maneuver the ridge and follow cairns back down to Mitchell Lake Trail. Follow Mitchell Lake trail back below the tree line and continue hiking the path until it delivers you back to the parking lot.

Getting to the Shoshoni and Pawnee Peaks Hike Trailhead

The Shoshoni and Pawnee Peaks Hike departs from the Mitchell Lake Trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreational Area. Parking permits are required.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Pawnee Campground

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type


Shoshoni and Pawnee Peaks Hike Elevation Graph

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