the dyrt
Group
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Pawnee Campground
Access
Drive In, Walk In
Price
$21 - $42
Operator
National Forest
Features
+ More
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
No Market
Pets Allowed
No Phone Service
Picnic Table
Reservable
No Sanitary Dump
No Sewer Hookups
No Showers
Toilets
Trash Available
No Water Hookups
No WiFi
Location
Pawnee Campground is located in Colorado
Latitude
40.079 N
Longitude
-105.56 W
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4 Reviews of Pawnee Campground
Excellent

Stayed Aug 18 site 009 - Campground is Excellent in all respects, Campground Hosts keep vault toilets very clean, Nearby Hiking Trails and Lake and River for Recreation (walking distance), Sites are well spaced apart from one another, Dog Friendly Trails and Camp, High Elevation and some Great Views on hikes. No towns or stores close-by so when you go, take everything you need. We will be returning to visit

First to Review
Beautiful campground in Indian Peaks Wilderness at Brainard Lake

Pawnee Campground is a basic, no frills campground with a fantastic location next to Brainard Lake. The most incredible lake hikes are within easy access of the campground. At nearly 11,000 feet the terrain is alpine, and wildlife is abundant with fish, birds, deer, moose. TIP: BOOK AHEAD. The campground fills up at 100% every day of the short season (End of June, Begin of July). Walk up is available, but you're lucky if you can get a site. 48 sites, 8 are walk up, 4 are host sites. Site 25 was awesome! Great for meteor shower viewing.

From their website:

Pawnee Campground is located in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, off the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, 35 miles south of Estes Park and the main entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Visitors enjoy the area for its fishing, canoeing and hiking opportunities.

Natural Features:

The campground lies at the foot of the Continental Divide, next to 25-acre Brainard Lake and the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area at an elevation of 10,350 feet. A scenic forest of spruce and fir trees covers the area. Summertime temperatures are warm in the day and cool at night. Afternoon thunderstorms are common.

Recreation:

Brainard Lake is a popular destination for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. Anglers cast for rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. Long Lake, Red Rock Lake and Left Hand Reservoir are nearby.

Several trails in the area provide access to the adjacent Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. Hiking is allowed on all trails; mountain biking is allowed outside the wilderness area. Rock climbing, snowshoeing and cross country skiing are often available, weather permitting.

Facilities:

The campground offers several single-family campsites, each equipped with a picnic table and campfire ring. Vault toilets and drinking water are provided.

Nearby Attractions:

Ward is the closest town. NO cell service, NO WIFI. There is a payphone at the teeny general store. The town of Nederland is 14 miles south of the campground, offering grocery and hardware stores, restaurants, gas, a bank and a post office.

Rocky Mountain National Park's main entrance is 35 miles north in Estes Park. With lush valleys and craggy peaks reaching elevations higher than 14,000 feet, visitors are provided opportunities for countless breathtaking experiences and adventures. Scenic driving, hiking, backpacking, fishing, horseback riding and wildlife viewing are popular activities in the park.

Estes Park is a full-service community. Dining, shopping, rafting, fly-fishing, horseback riding and golfing opportunities are available there. Lake Estes offers boating, sailboarding and fishing.

Activities and Amenities

  • Within FacilityCampfire Rings
  • Canoeing
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Drinking Water
  • Firewood
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Host
  • Kayaking
  • Lake Access
  • Mountain Biking
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Area
  • Rock Climbing
  • Skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Tables
  • Trailheads
  • Vault Toilets
Lakes in the Clouds

Many peaks reachable with only moderat inclines. Picturesque lakes nestled in between each. Spent the night in a hammock by Lake Isabellle, sunrise was worth the hike!

First to Review
There's a reason this is the most popular campground in CO

Scored a walk-up site by dumb luck, worth the effort. The campsites are nestled close to Brainard Lake and have a good amount of privacy built in with pine trees providing a nice amount of separation. The staff at the gate as well as the host family were all very nice and helpful. The scenery, hiking, and vibe are all top notch, you will not be disappointed. No hook ups for RVs, so roll in prepared. Sites were clean, didn't use the vault toilets, but judging by the rest of the grounds, I suspect they would be in good shape. High country views and hiking are spectacular. The place is very popular so bring your patience. Once inside you'll be glad you made the effort.