Brainard Lake: Ward, Colorado
Great Snowshoeing and ski touring!
Great rolling hills. Trails through the woods and a main snow packed
Location: Brainard Lake is located just west of the Peak
to Peak Highway just west of Ward and North of Nederland. Please
see our Google map for driving directions. Brainard Lake is open year round.
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.
Description: Brainard Lake area is a great place to snowshoe or cross country ski because it does not have as much vertical as many areas in the Colorado Mountains. Most trails around Colorado
climb for the entire trail until you decide to come down. Brainard Lake
area climbs gradually to the West. There is a closed road that heads West
out of the parking area. The road is usually windy and the snow wind blown,
but there are trails on each side of the road that parallel the road that
are great. There are also trails that travel North and South. You can
head West from the parking area for about 2 miles before you start to
climb more seriously into the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area.
Please keep in mind that many people do not follow trails
in this area. You may be following snowshoe or ski tracks, but not be
on a trail. It is fun to blaze your own trails, just keep in mind that
people get lost in this area all the time. Because the area is rolling
in nature, it can be difficult to know which direction is back to the
parking area. Please bring a compass, GPS or both. If you depend on a
GPS, please bring spare batteries and keep the batteries in an inside
pocket so they stay warm.
Please note that certain trails are designated for skiers only, and to watch for signs to that effect posted in the area.
For directions from where you are to where the Brainard Lake Trailhead is located/meets at, enter your starting point as: City, State or Zip Code or Airport and click on our button.
Brainard Lake, CO
In winter, the road into the lakes is almost always wind swept, but the trails in the trees often have lots of snow. To get a current snow report, go to our Snow Reports page, click on the Colorado Ski Country Area Reports button, and scroll down to Eldora Ski area. This is the closest area to Brainard Lake with a snow report .
Click here to see the Winter Safety Gear
that we recommend you own for safer winter/backcountry travel.
Dogs: All trails in the area, except for the Sourdough Trail prohibit dogs from November 15 through April 30 each year. Dogs are allowed on the Brainard lake Road and the Lefthand Park Reservoir road, (along with Sourdough Trail), no leash required. The only exception is for people that have a hunting dog and a hunting license. For more details, please call the U.S. Foreset Service at: 303-541-2500.