Brainard Lake Loop Trail

EASY 54 reviews
#7 of 112 trails in

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. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

5.1 miles 636 feet Loop

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

hiking
1 day ago

Didn't need the snowshoes today. Packed trail - wore spikes, but probably didn't need them. Great easy hike, and the most well-marked trail I've ever been on (love it - from someone who tends to lose the trail a lot when it's not marked :/)!

snowshoeing
1 day ago

snowshoeing
6 days ago

snowshoeing
19 days ago

Didn't really need the snowshoes until the very end just before the lake. Windy windy day but nice easy hike!

hiking
22 days ago

Winter hiking with micro spikes. Excellent day of adventure. Get there early on weekends. Parking lot fills up. A lot of snow.

25 days ago

snowshoeing
28 days ago

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Snowshoed the snowshoe trail just to Lake Brainard last weekend (MLK weekend 2017). Used snowshoes, but the majority of the trail was well-packed. There is only slight elevation gain to the lake. I was glad I had my AWD to get to the trailhead, but I saw plenty of 2WD cars make it, too. Busy trail! Don't plan on being alone, but it's still beautiful and scenic. Highly recommend.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Just finished this today. There are a few mild elevation gains (showshoe) at the beginning, and there is a roughly 1/2 mile incline leading up to Pawnee campsite after crossing over the road. This, as always, is a beautiful place to hike. Please don't park on the side of the road with no parking signs, we saw a half dozen cars with tickets on their windshields. The snowshoe trail definitely needed snowshoes, but the road could have probably been fine with a good pair of boots or microspikes/yaktraks.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

We don't have snow shoes but didn't need them for this trail, the path is so compacted that walking with our extra grip things was fine. If you step off the trail then you'll be a foot deep in snow.
Very very windy in the clearings but a beautiful day and a great hike. We went to the first lake and then onto Brainard Lake, about 6-7miles or so.
The main parking is closed but the winter parking is open and it's not far to the trailhead.
Saw some moose on the way home too!!

snowshoeing
1 month ago

We went with our 9 year old daughters. Pretty windy in the clearings but perfect once in the trees. Took the snowshoe trail to Red Rock Lake and then back (less than 2 miles which is perfect for younger kids). Beautiful day and scenery - our girls loved seeing the frozen lake.

1 month ago

Great for snowshoeing right now! Road is closed so be prepared. It was incredibly windy at the top and at least 20 degrees colder, so bundle up, or bring layers!

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

(11/6/16) We planned to drive to Brainard Lake and then hike to Lake Isabelle, but didn't research to know that the road from the fee station to the lake is now closed for the season, so on to plan B. We parked in the main lot and hiked out Waldrop Trail to the Brainard Lake snowshoe trail and then back along the road. Very little snow and the trail was pretty dry. I know that can change at any time, so if you're interested go now, before the snow rolls in. Windy and cold at the lake, but not bad on the trail/road. So pack some layers. By the route we took it was about 5.75 miles.

3 months ago

4 months ago

Stunning views.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike! Very nice on the way up S. St. Vrain Trail. Around the lake was quite a few more people as you can drive there, but light to moderate traffic otherwise. Brainard Snowshoe trail was a little tough to spot from time to time and a little soggy in some marsh areas. Can't wait to snowshoe it!

4 months ago

$10 to get in, not too bad, the ranger said I could possibly use my national park pass. The lake is very beautiful, the trails are a little confusing I thought. This is great hike for kids, there is a paved path all the way around the lake and the lake is easily accessible. They had tons of parking and multiple bathrooms. I would recommend this for people that want to avoid the crowds of rocky mountain but want a nice easy, paved path with a mountain lake.

5 months ago

Don't wait in the long line to go through the fee station! Just park for free to the right of the fee station. That's how you get the 6-7 mile hike in too! Lake was beautiful, though a little touristy. Trails not crowded.