Brainard Lake Loop Trail

EASY 63 reviews
#7 of 110 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.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
636 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

hiking
12 days ago

12 days ago

In early May we couldn't make it up to Lake Isabelle by foot because the road is blocked off for snow about 2 miles before parking for the Lake Isabelle hike. But I'm the Summer hiking to Lake Isabelle is a delight. We did however hike along the closed road and it was still beautiful and peaceful. The snow along the closed road was shoveled to the side and we saw lots of chipmunks, blue birds, woodpeckers, a bunny, squirrels, deer traces and partially frozen lakes.

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing views! We hiked up the trail to Brainard Lake. It was an up hill hike for sure! Elevation was tough for the sea level girl lol but it was worth the trek! There's a road you can take or a few trails to snow shoes/hike/cross country ski. The snow was over 5 feet in some places so following the trail was tough. Wish it was better marked but it's doable.
Dogs are only allowed on the road trail.
We actually camped near the lake. It was a frigid night with insanely strong winds! Weather changes on a dime here! So be prepared for anything!
All in all it was a beautiful place!

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

Does anyone else bring their dogs? I always do(responsibly) and I've never gotten in trouble. Other than that, one of my favorite default hikes.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
3 months 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
3 months ago

snowshoeing
3 months ago

snowshoeing
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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

4 months ago

snowshoeing
4 months ago

snowshoeing
4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months ago

hiking
4 months 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!!