Mountain Hiking Ward, Colorado  

hiking in the town meadow, brainard lake recreation area, indian peaks wilderness



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               Long Lake  

Spring Storm, Oil Painting by Carol Jenkins


Blue Lake



Access to peaks surrounding Ward 

A 1919 government pamphlet, "Mountaineering in Rocky Mountain National Park" compiled by Roger Toll described the peaks surrounding Ward as the Arikarees.

"The part of the Front Range from Arapaho Peaks, north to Mount Audubon, a distance of 6 miles, is called, collectively, The Arikarees. These peaks and pinnacles form one of the most rugged and forbidding parts of the mountains in this region, and it is difficult to find in the whole Front Range any stretch of country that can equal it in abrupt cliffs, sharp peaks, torn and ragged ridges and general wild and savage appearance.

Ward is a mining town with more past than present activity. It is located at an elevation of 9,253 feet, and most of the streets are steep and hilly. Practically all of the Arikaree country is within a radius of 8 miles from Ward, so that this town is a good starting point from which to reach the little known and seldom visited rampart of peaks bristling up only a few miles to the westward."

The road from Ward, past Redrock Lake to Brainard Lake, connects with the United States Forest Service trail up Mount Audubon (13,233 feet) and brings one within reach of Paiute Peak (13,082 feet) and Pawnee Peak (12,900 feet). If one continues on the trail above Brainard Lake, past Long Lake to Lake Isabelle, he is then within reach of Pawnee Peak and the steep north side of Navajo Peak (13,406 feet).

Bald Mountain (Niwot Ridge?)(11,453 feet) is a point on the ridge leading from Navajo Peak, and seems of greater importance when seen from Ward than when looked down upon from any of the higher vantage points to the west.









Do you mourn the wrecked cathedrals gone from Antwerp and from Rheims?
Look above you! Nature's temple far surpasses human dreams.
Hush your soul and enter humbly, Climb the velvet-covered stair,
Stand between the massive pillars carved in solid granite there;
Softly tread the mossy carpet spread along the silent nave;
Lo! a glacier for an altar, red with fire the sunset gave.
Here no saints stand carved in marble, folded hands and upturned eyes,
But the figures Nature sculptured point directly to the skies.
While above—the dome of azure with its hangings snowy white,
Touched with rich embroidered colors from the sunset's golden light,
And the priests who serve this temple, guard its halls and galleries steep?
Giant peaks of the Arick'ree their eternal vigils keep.
Was your soul moved in man's temple? You can never be the same
Since to Nature's vast cathedral you in silent worship came.
—Emma R. Barnard.

Niwot Ridge



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