Brainard Lake Loop Trail

EASY 125 reviews
#7 of 109 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
636 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

hiking
5 days ago

MUST READ!! Heads up Everyone that might be just as informed as I wasn’t, the gate that is open in the warmer months is closed and locked now. So you park at the first visitors center which adds a 2 mile trek to the beginning of the actual hike; pretty but, just know it’s an added 2 miles both ways. Also of note, bring any and all cold weather gear that’ll also get you out of the cold gusty winds. At the end of the 2 Mile “welcome-Trek”, gusty winds greet you as soon as you can see Brainard Lake. This is where we turned around after a few minutes of “how bad does this suck right now/the wind will stop soon”
I would maybe bring a sled or something to make the trek back a bit more fun. I know it’s overall a beautiful Hike, I’ve done it summer/Fall but, just wasn’t properly equipped for a cold&Windy walk-about

19 days ago

25 days ago

28 days ago

Not a real trail name, this is several trails combined to make a loop. Conditions right now are snowy/icy/muddy

28 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

1 month ago

Beautiful, but the snow shoe trail is currently a bit marshy. Wait until it gets colder as it says 'winter only'

hiking
1 month ago

Too early for snow shoeing and too late for just hiking. Part of the hike was just marsh land and really wet. Brainard Lake itself was gorgeous. Would love to try again once there’s more snow for snow shoeing!

1 month ago

walking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

Good, easy hike through the forest. This hikes let's you avoid waiting to get into the Indian Peaks Wilderness area and avoid having to pay $11. It is a great hike but it is a bummer when you feel like you earned your views and then everyone at the lake (the final spot of the hike before turning back) just drove in and parked.

2 months ago

Beautiful easy trail up to the lake! Once you cross the road to other side it's a disaster. The trails included in the second half of the loop are winter only trails! Swampy, unmarked in many places and not passable in many spots! Should not be used as a summer loop. Luckily it's close to road and GPS worked so turned out ok. Do first half to Lake & turn around or follow other well marked trails. Beautiful park!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

beautiful views easy hiking

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

We got a later start than expected, we arrived around 10:30am and there was a line out past the Gateway Trailhead. We parked along the side of the road, in a safe designated (don't be a jerk there were plenty of those who parked on the road) pull off and walked to the beginning of the Sourdough Trailhead. We had two pups with us, we took the Waldrop trail to the South St. Vrain trailhead to Brainard Lake. We hung out on the beach with the dogs and then walked back alongside the road.

We had intended to do the Mitchell Lakes, but this got us hiking rather than sitting in line in our car for an hour. Get there early or later and you should be alright. All in all, it was a fun hike and perfect weather. Beautiful views from streams to the lake and the mountains behind.

2 months ago

2 months ago