From the Brainard Lake winter TH, head to the gate station. ... Rick came with a stack of winter maps, cookies and a smile. The Mitchell Lake Trail – is 2.4 miles long but ends above the tree line in a true alpine setting at Mitchell Lake. A view of Mt. Major Winter Storm Likely for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday A potent system is passing through the Intermountain West today and will eject out into the south-central Plains for Tuesday. You can't go wrong here: this whole area is beautiful, at any time of year! The lakes area snowmobile clubs are responsible for the grooming of trails. Not being a skier or snowboarder (yet), for my first winter in Colorado, I decided to take up snowshoeing. Starting at the Bear Lake trailhead, grab a map and follow signs to Nymph Lake, ... Brainard Lake Snowshoe Trail. Brainard Lake via Waldrop and Ski Trail is a 6.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Ward, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. Gems in Brainard Lake Recreation Area - 1. Winter Access When the gate is closed (mid-October through Memorial Day, dates vary tremendously and seemingly at random), you can access Brainard Lake for free, but you'll have to walk to get there. Dogs are also able to use this trail. The Brainard Lake Road is snow packed from the entrance station to the Pawnee Campground. Estes Park to Brainard Lake From Estes Park, take Highway 7 to Highway 72 and then turn onto Brainard Lake Road. Travel on the Peak-to-Peak Highway through the town of Ward and look for the sign to Brainard Lake. Brainard Lake recreation area is one of Colorado’s best natural winter playgrounds. The busiest area is Brainard Lake, which hosts several trailheads and a campground. Brainard Lake is located in Ward, Colorado and part of the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests. We visited in early May so there was still a lot of snow on the roads and trails. Hike beyond and above Long Lake to Isabelle Lake & small glacier. While jaw-dropping scenery is available from the comfort of your car, off-trail adventures in this area are even better. If you're interested in old sleds, be sure to plan a January weekend in the lakes area watching all the action at the Annual Antique Snowmobile Rendezvous in Pequot Lakes. We'll meet at the warming hit at the winter parking lot at 8:45am. Brainard Lake is home to a plethora of trails with certain ones dedicated to snowshoeing or cross country skiing. In the winter, snowshoeing and cross country skiing are popular. Map Key Favorites Check-Ins. Located two miles east of Brainard Lake, the Brainard Gateway Trailhead area features a seasonal gate, large parking area, warming hut, and bathrooms. In the summer it is great for hiking and biking and in the winter it offers some of the best snowshoeing and ski touring around. Because we had been down the Brainard Snowshoe Trail before, and because our trip would be slightly shorter if we took Brainard Lake Road, we decided to snowshoe along the latter.Having never been on such a long snowshoe trip before, and knowing that you burn a lot of calories snowshoeing (more than 1000 calories per hour), we wanted to keep our trek on the shorter … Peaks from left to right: Pawnee Peak, Mount Toll, Paiute Peak, Mt. During the winter and spring, the area is a popular cross-country and backcountry skiing destination. The Brainard Lake recreation area is composed of a number of trailheads and a campground in high-elevation spruce-fir forest and is a good place to look for Gray Jays, American Three-toed Woodpeckers, and Dusky Grouse. From mid-Oct till late spring - sometimes into June, depending on snow - the road is gated off near Red Rock Lake, a couple miles before Brainard. Brainard Lake is open year round. Add Your Recommended Routes. March 2, 2020. The Forest Service sent their own staff person to round out our group. About an hour’s drive from Boulder, the namesake lake sits at 10,000 ft. and is just one of many features that make this a great place for a snowy outing. 3. Directions from Forest Service aren't great: From Colorado Highway 72 at Ward, turn west onto the Brainard Lake Road. From the Brainard Lake winter TH, head to the gate station. Winter in the high country. The Brainard Lake trailhead is located at the entrance of the Brainard Lake Winter Lot and to the west of the warming hut. Begin the trail to Brainard Lake by starting on the North Sourdough/ Waldrop Trail, also referred to as the CMC (Colorado Mountain Club) North USFS Trail 814.1. Add Your Gems. The famous Gull Lake Lighted Trail will guide you on your night excursions. This is the nicest weather I’ve had at Brainard Lake in the winter! Hiking/Horseback Riding – Five trails lead out in the high altitude wilderness from the area. Brainard Lake Recreation Area: Hiking winter - See 60 traveler reviews, 143 candid photos, and great deals for Ward, CO, at Tripadvisor. Resorts that stay open in the winter offer a unique lakes area experience with bonfires by a frozen lake or s'mores over the fireplace. Mitchell Lake - 1.8 Miles Round-Trip Mitchell Lake (10,735') is located .9 miles from Mitchell Lake Trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. To the left, you'll see a well-marked trail. Virtual Tour of Brainard Lake Snowshoe Trail. Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn. Audubon. In the Brainard Lake Recreational Area in Colorado. The drive takes about 50 minutes. Basically, it is a winter playground and the gateway to the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Book online now! Audubon. This versatile trail runs along the eastern slopes of the Indian Peaks Wilderness, with mild grades ideal for runners, bikers and skiers. The view from Brainard Lake is a true Colorado icon and one of the highlights of Boulder County. Drive west on the winding Brainard Lake Road (often icy) for 2.5 miles to winter closure. This system will then progress into the East on Wednesday and a surface low is expected to develop and rapidly intensify along the Mid-Atlantic coastline. RECOMMENDED ROUTE Difficult. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Four season lodging is the best in the Brainerd Lakes Area. I try to do a snowshoe hike in the Brainard Lake area once a year. Join us for a snowshoe on the trails in the Brainard Lake area to the CMC hut for hot chocolate. Directions: turn left (i.e., west) off of CO-72 onto Brainard Lake road and drive 5-6 miles to the trailhead. There is a small parking area at the winter closure gate (technically known as the Red Rocks Lake Trailhead) with room for perhaps a dozen cars. Access to winter parking is located off of Highway 72, just east of the town of Ward. These events and activities are the reason that the Brainerd Lakes Area is a world class Minnesota vacation destination even during the cold of winter. The Brainard Lake Cirque offers mostly easy to moderate snow and mixed climbing terrain, along with some popular mountaineering routes. Mild trail conditions are well-suited for families, winter recreation and those with limited time or … There’s also Red Rock Lake located 1.5 miles east of Brainard Lake, part of the same recreation area. Follow the blue and white snowshoe blazes on the trees. There is a warming hut and bathrooms at the winter parking area which is convenient. Fall at a Brainerd resort is a beautiful experience with Fall Colors Tours across town. In the winter months, the Brainard Lake road is closed near the highway, and one must walk (or better yet, […] Brainard Lake Recreational Area has basic amenities available during the winter, including water and bathrooms. It occupies a broad, damp flat on Mt Audubon's south flank. We arrived at the Brainard Lake winter parking area around 9:30 a.m., with the parking lot about half full. Nearby towns include Nederland and Ward. Brainard Lake is also 50 minutes from Boulder and an hour and a half from Denver. Best known as a summer hot spot for fishing, boating, golfing and relaxing by the lake, the Brainerd Lakes area has a lot to offer winter visitors, too. Long Lake (10) Nederland, CO. Partners at Brainard Lake. Primary winter… Brainard Lake Recreation Area. The Brainard Gateway Trailhead is the entry point to Brainard Lake Recreation Area and Brainard Lake Trails system. Go through the traffic circle and head north on 72. Where is brainard lake recreation area? The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Brainard Lake Loop Trail is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. 12-08-2020: Brainard Lake Recreation Area: 10,525: Long Lake Lake Isabelle Snowshoe Trail (Winter Only) Snow Packed in Places: The Snowshoe and the Lake Isabelle trails is mostly snow packed with icy spots, a traction device is advised. It competes with Bear Lake and Trail Ridge Road in RMNP as the most accessible area of natural beauty in the Front Range. This is a winter-use trail only, open November 15 - April 30. Hike statistics: The CMC South ski trail to the CMC cabin gains 315 feet in 3.2 miles one way. To the left, you'll see a well-marked trail. Sourdough Trail to Brainard Lake Recreation Area - 11.6 Miles Round-Trip The Sourdough Trail stretches nearly 13 miles (south-north) from Rainbow Lakes Road to Camp Dick in the Roosevelt National Forest. Hike beyond Blue Lake to Mitchell Lake. After our break, it was time to head back down to the trailhead parking and into the mountain town of Nederland for some pizza and beer at the Crosscut Pizzeria and Taphouse. Hessie Trailhead The Brainerd Lakes Area is also home to events like the largest Ice fishing contest in the world, The Winter Jubilee, Winter Fest, Frozen Fore Winter Weekend, Cuyuna Whiteout, and more. Sure, there’s snowmobiling and ice fishing, but there are lots of other fun things to see and do when the lakes are frozen over. Please see our Google map for driving directions. Brainard Lake Rec. It’s a beautiful area to snowshoe. During the winter … Brainard Lake Road. Pets must be leashed. Many snowshoers and nordic skiers were milling about, preparing to embark on the day’s trek. Winter access is free, but expect a bit of a hike to the trailheads, due to the location of the winter parking area. Recommended Routes in Brainard Lake Recreation Area - 6 Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. 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