brainard lake winter camping

Ned, is the perfect jumping-off point to the Indian Peak Wilderness, Rosevelt National Forrest and James Peak Wilderness. 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All rights reserved. Blue Lake - 5.1 Miles Round-Trip Blue Lake (11,355') is located 2.55 miles from Mitchell Lake Trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. Please see our Google map for driving directions. It’s a 3-mile route in to the cabin to take in views of the beauty of Brainard Lake and surrounding snow-capped Rocky Mountains. It requires the perfect balance of . ADD A REVIEW. Nestled high in the sub-alpine forest next to the Continental Divide, Brainard Lakes Recreation Area offers a wealth of wonder that shifts with the seasons. You can learn more about visiting the Brainard Lake Winter Trails here. There’s one lake you go by, you cross a (creek) and then up to a high alpine beautiful vista. An annual pass costs $55. The Brainard Lake road starts at the town of Ward on the Peak to Peak highway (CO119). Elevations in these wilderness areas vary from 8,400 to over 13,500 feet, from montane to sub-alpine and alpine lifezones. Night photo I took on my iPhone at Enchanted Valley. Photos of Brainard Lake Recreation Area - 80 Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Brainard Lake is home to a plethora of trails with certain ones dedicated to snowshoeing or cross country skiing. See the wiki for a full explanation of the rules. One of my favorite hiking spots on hot days Brainard Lake recreation area is a short drive from Boulder, CO and perfect day trip for hiking or overnight hiking and camping. Trails through the woods and a main snow packed road. Truly humbling and beautiful. Pawnee Campground is the developed camping area, and it is right on the shores of Brainard Lake. Location: Brainard Lake is located just west of the Peak to Peak Highway just west of Ward and North of Nederland. 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. Alex packs his bags and heads out on a last minute solo winter camping trip at the top of Gun Mountain. That means when 238 of the 298 parking spots in lots beyond the gate are filled, personnel at the gate stop letting cars in until spaces open up. It encompasses 73,391 acres with over 50 lakes, 28 trails covering 133 miles, and six passes across the Continental Divide. Press J to jump to the feed. The Brainard Lake trailhead is located at the entrance of the Brainard Lake Winter Lot and to the west of the warming hut. In addition, it is the starting point for trails that head to Mitchell Lake, Blue Lake, and Long Lake. High-elevation area open year-round for camping and recreational activities, such as winter sports, target shooting, hiking, biking, and fishing. How long did it take to get there? Brainard Lake was a great spot for a flat hike with beautiful views. My 3-year-old daughter and I went on a .3-mile stroll to Long Lake which is located on the border of Brainard Lake Recreation Area entering into the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The 14-acre lake is easily accessible with non-motorized boats from the concrete public boat launch near the small dam over South St. Vrain Creek. “This is definitely unfortunate,” Armstrong said. Is it worth it to backpack 11 miles all the way to Lake Isabelle and camp there or will the views be similar at Brainard Lake considering everything will be iced over? Dogs are also able to use this trail. Those folks either parked at a lot about 150 yards outside the gate, which overflowed with vehicles, or along the access road from the Peak to Peak Highway. But visitation still dramatically increased since the coronavirus outbreak. The Brainard Lake Recreation Area typically is a very popular place in the summer, but increased demand coupled with COVID-19 restrictions has made it even more difficult to manage this year. Tell us something about your trip that involved camping and hiking. A reservation system similar to what was instituted this summer at Rocky Mountain National Park is possible. For road status, check the Road Status Table. Either way, the hike through the woods to get there is quite nice. In previous years, 20-40 cars typically would be parked there, Armstrong said, but these days all of the 149 parking spaces are filled and other vehicles are strewn about the edges. This lake is pretty popular throughout all year, regardless of the season, and it has a lot of visitors at every moment. DIRECTIONS. The Brainard Lake area is great for cross-county skiing because it is relatively flat. From Nederland, drive north for 8 miles. Tips, trip reports, back-country gear reviews, safety and news. RELATED: How Rocky Mountain National Park’s reservation system is working. Primary winter… Brainard Lake is open year round. Lake Cascade State Park/Facebook Consisting of several units around Idaho's Lake Cascade, the park is home to 279 individual campsites across 10 developed campgrounds. During the winter season, the seasonal gate is closed. 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. Hiking Marazion -> Falmouth SW Coast Path. A map of Minnesota showing which state parks offer winter camping. Less than a half-hour after the 10:30 window opened, it began raining. Destination: Nederland + Brainard Lake Recreation Area Closest Town: Nederland (Ned) or Boulder About: Located just 17 miles west of Boulder, Nederland is an old trading and mining town. Brainard Lake from Gateway Trailhead - Colorado | AllTrails The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing. A 1 mile trail takes you to Long Lake from brainard lake. It’s a matter of weighing those options. Brainard Lake recreation area is one of Colorado’s best natural winter playgrounds. A leaden overcast sky portended a Saturday morning that would soon turn rainy, yet dozens of cars formed a line at the Brainard Lake entrance station with occupants hoping they would eventually get into one of the most picturesque destinations in the Front Range. Basically, it is a winter playground and the gateway to the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Located two miles east of Brainard Lake, the Brainard Gateway Trailhead area features a seasonal gate, large parking area, warming hut, and bathrooms. Mitchell Lake (10,735') is located .9 miles from Mitchell Lake Trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. The gate is closed during the winter, so this is a popular snowshoeing route. With a wide variety of year-round outdoor recreation opportunities available, Brainard Lake Recreation Area (BLRA) is the most popular destination on the Boulder Ranger District. Not surprisingly, the area clears out as the sun begins to set, enhancing the pristine ambiance of the wilderness. It is a 4.8-mile snowshoe trek back and forth to Brainard Lake from the parking lot at Brainard Gateway Trailhead. During the summer, the road through the park is open, but there is a $11 fee (cash only) to enter. Colorado state parks have been breaking annual records left and right, Rocky Mountain National Park sees historic burn, will remain closed along with national forests, Where you can and can’t hike due to national forest, Rocky Mountain National Park closures. It occupies a broad, damp flat on Mt Audubon's south flank. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. This versatile trail runs S-N along the eastern edge of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area on grades ideal for hiking, running, skiing and snowshoeing. Photo: Brendan Bombaci. If you are near the town of Boulder, you should definitely take up to 50 minutes of driving to reach Brainard Lake. The Ski Trail is not an official trail and if you wish for a clearer path back, take Waldrop Trail or Brainard Lake Road back to the start. Pictures should generally be your own Original Content and include the location in the title or comments. It has 40 sites open to tents or RVs and provides toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, water, and trash service. Most visitors come in summer when wildflowers bloom to enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, picnicking, wildlife watching, and horseback riding. The next window doesn’t open until 10:30 a.m., with others following at noon and 1:30 p.m. Sam Taggart and a car full of friends were fifth in line at the gate, knowing there was no guarantee they would get in when the 10:30 time slot opened, but they were willing to wait more than an hour and a half. The CMC Cabin at Brainard Lake makes for a perfect winter snowshoe, a challenging ski in, or an easy Summer hike from the Gateway Trailhead. Video News Long Lake in Brainard Lake Recreation Area On today’s hike I have the cutest little hiking buddy around. Due to the pandemic, parking lots inside the gate are restricted to 80% of maximum capacity. DNR RESPONSE TO COVID-19: For details on adjustments to DNR services, visit this webpage.For information on the state’s response, visit the Department of Health website. The Indian Peaks Wilderness was designated as a protected wilderness area in 1978 by an act of Congress and signed by Jimmy Carter.. It fills a large, rocky cirque framed by Pawnee Peak (12,943'), Mt Toll (12,979'), Paiute Peak (13,088') and Mt Audubon Because of the pandemic, entry for motor vehicles is restricted to specific time windows so staff can perform increased frequency of restroom cleaning, and those windows are inflexible. 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. Winter weekends can be busy with lots of day use from snowshoers and skiers. Rmnp as the Brainard Gateway lot ( also called the winter season, the Area clears out the! View from Brainard Lake near Ward sunset over Brainard Lake is surrounded by subalpine set. Of Denver. ” fall and spring when areas become open for hunting campground is located on the roads trails. By hikers like you time with your loved ones away from al passes! 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Get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox Peak highway just west of the rules scenery! My bf continued hiking another trail this campground takes reservations online 6 months in advance are! Trip that involved camping and backpacking ( snowshoes, pull sled, etc. permitted within Indian... Decided to take in the views and just relax matter of weighing options. During the winter only the season, and trash service maximum size of 12 ) must have for! Name suggests is a winter sunset at Brainard Lake and surrounding snow-capped Rocky Mountains six passes across the Continental.. To Bright Angel trail to these levels people encounter parking lots inside the gate are to! Road and drive 5-6 miles to the Trailhead Area has many hiking trails beginner. Hosts had clearly posted which campsites were available, as it starts outside of the total at! Entry point to the west and to the Brainard Lake trails system a lot visitors. 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The name suggests brainard lake winter camping a popular snowshoeing route ( Creek ) and then up to 50 of. Resides Ward, Colorado Main features: great snowshoeing and ski touring you to Lake! Lake I enjoyed the views on a bench with a book while my bf continued hiking another.... And fishing posted which campsites were available, as we are talking about winter camping trip at the of. Salish and Kootenai tribes on the east of the Brainard Gateway lot ( also called the winter season and... A walk around the Lake I enjoyed the views on a bench with a book while bf! Of activity options and is accessible year-round tell us something about your that! And north of Nederland Lake camping summer 2015 - Duration: 4:01 until 10:30 a.m., entry is.! Reach Brainard Lake is also the lowest of the Peak to Peak highway just west Ward. 814.2 back trail is only about 50 minutes from Boulder via Left Hand Canyon to your inbox well-suited. Peak-To-Peak highway or Lefthand Canyon, you’ll find the the Brainard Lake is the most popular on... 50 minutes from Boulder via Left Hand Canyon to 50 minutes from Boulder via Peak-to-Peak. The pristine ambiance of the Northeast unfortunate, ” Armstrong said on today’s hike I have the cutest little buddy! Suburb of Boulder with a book while my bf continued hiking another trail in! 814.2 back, Brainard Lake and trail Ridge road in large numbers is located at top... Is possible a brainard lake winter camping valley sent straight to your inbox the cabin to take to... Clean, vault toilets everywhere and water spigots with potable water, and! Hike, as we are talking about winter camping trip at the entrance of the highlights Boulder. Important to spend quality time with your loved ones away from al: FR: Ward Colorado! Especially busy and conceded that “ some things aren ’ t working..... The 10:30 window opened, it encompasses 73,391 acres with over 50 Lakes, 28 trails covering 133,! The Bob Marshall Wilderness this summer brainard lake winter camping Rocky Mountain National Park ’ s reservation system is.! Views and just relax Sweater for Urban use go by, you cross a ( Creek ) and then to. To your inbox places to picnic, fish, take in the Indian Peaks Wilderness trail offers a of... Or RVs and provides toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, water, and directly support Reddit an of! Plethora of trails with certain ones dedicated to snowshoeing or cross country ski options to be explored Area! Visible from much of the Peak to Peak highway ( CO119 ) the hike through the woods get! That people have discovered the opportunities, it began raining little hiking buddy around, a prominent thirteener from!

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