Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pawnee Campground at Brainard Lake, CO

We camped at the Pawnee Campground (10,345') in the Brainard Lake Recreational Area. This is a favorite destination only an hour's drive from Boulder, CO, in the Roosevelt National Forest. It is popular with hikers because it offers a large number of trails at a variety of difficulty levels. One afternoon we took a moderate, 3-mile hike up to Lake Isabelle and had lunch in the shadow of Shoshoni Peak. The scenery is spectacular in this area, so be sure to bring your camera and hiking shoes if you come.

Pawnee Campground has 55, well-spaced sites, and most are in densely wooded forest that provides privacy between campers. The few sites without many trees offer spectacular views of Brainard lake and the Rocky Mountains. Most sites are very level with packed gravel, which make it easy to maneuver an RV, and some sites include pull-throughs. The campground has pit toilets, several shared water spigots, fire rings, grills, but no electricity or showers.

The nearest town for supplies and dining out is Nederland, just 15 miles away. This is a small mountain town with colorful residents and a diverse number of dining options from Himalayan to Italian. It is worth the drive into town just to check out some of the gift shops and antique stores.