Brainard Lake via Waldrop and Ski Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(396)
Brainard Lake Recreation Area

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. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length6.3 miElevation gain554 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingSnowshoeingForestLakeRiverViewsWildflowersWildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)

This trail begins on Waldrop Trail #814 and takes the CMC Ski Trail #814.2 back. 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. There is no fee to do this hike, as it starts outside of Brainard Lake Recreation Area. The gate is closed during the winter, so this is a popular snowshoeing route. Although dogs are allowed in this area during the summer, they are not allowed to do this loop during the winter. Please note that hikers have encountered moose on this trail.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (400)
Photos (567)
Recordings (270)
Completed (1,084)
View user's profile page
Julie Ulmen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 17, 2021
SnowshoeingSnow

We got to the parking lot around 9am and it was only half full. The snow is packed down so snowshoes are fun to use but not really needed. Spikes work too. Beautiful scenery and the trail was not too busy. The trail is fairly flat with minimal elevation gain. High wind gusts in some area...ski goggles recommended! Parking was filling up by the time we were finished.

View user's profile page
Candy Burnett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 14, 2021
HikingIcy

Pretty hike not enough snow for snowshoes ... spikes would have been useful in a couple icy places but not necessary. Trail snow packed today!Very Windy...

View user's profile page
chris slusarek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 2, 2021
HikingGreat!

Great hike. Spikes would be good but can manage well wo them. Very windy at the lake today but otherwise a great hike

View user's profile page
Holly Roth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 27, 2020
Hiking

OTook Waldrop out and back - it’s beautiful trail and provided protection from the wind. First 2ish miles from the trailhead were nice and packed down thanks to the skiers and snowshoers. The last 3/4ish mile was less packed down but I still made it just fine with just hiking boots. Spikes or snowshoes probably would have helped, but it was still fun!

View Holly's Recording
View user's profile page
Beth Nichols
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 25, 2020
Hiking

12/25/2020: Left the car about 7:55am There were about 20 cars in the lot. Didn't see anyone till we got to the lake. It's underwhelming but I loved the actual hike. Do not hike the ski trail.. it is not allowed (the return trail of you go country clockwise). Therefore we went back to the lake, backtracked and took a slightly different way back to the car that added some mileage. Lots of dogs so of course dog shit bags here and there. Got back to the car about 12:20pm. Oh also we didn't need our spikes; poles were enough. It was well packed snow most of the way with no ice except for a minor stream crossing.

View Beth's Recording
View user's profile page
Len Gehring
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 17, 2020
HikingSnow

No need for snow shoes as the trails were packed snow. We used micro spikes, you really need them on the trails. We only walked on the road for a short distance after leaving the snow shoe trail to get to the Waldrop trail.

View Len's Recording
View user's profile page
Ben Gondrez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 6, 2020
Hiking
View Ben's Recording
View user's profile page
Laura Supple
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 28, 2020
Hiking

Out and back along the road makes for a perfect, easy winter hike. Gorgeous alpine forests and Mountain View’s, not too many people when we arrived at 10am on a Saturday but the parking lot was starting to fill up when we left around 1. The road is a few inches of packed snow almost the whole way so some decent boots is definitely recommended.

View Laura's Recording
View user's profile page
Rose Guingrich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 16, 2020
HikingFloodedGreat!MuddyOff trailRockySnow

Park in the lot just before the park entrance and take the trail to the left of the little cabin. The Waldrop trail to the lake was so nice with the snow. We saw hardly any people until we got to the lake. DO NOT take the Ski Trail back to complete the loop unless it’s good weather or you’re okay with potentially getting lost - it was snowy and very puddly and poorly marked. Also, at the end of the ski trail you run into a mishmash of snow shoe trails that crisscross randomly, and we got completely turned around and accidentally went back toward the lake on a separate snow shoe trail. The only way we managed to figure out our location was when I got data and was able to see where the road was, and we trekked off trail to get there and head back to our car. The trail was very pretty and we still enjoyed it a lot, but beware if there’s a snowstorm because it could be a bad situation.

View user's profile page
Maggie Wilhelm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 14, 2020
Backpacking

Trail needs a lot of maintenance, I actually lost the trail twice. Lots of it on the way back is under some water. It felt like trekking through Shrek’s swamp. It’s a pretty trail but I wouldn’t suggest doing it right now. Very gentle incline. Definitely on the easy side of moderate.

View Maggie's Recording
View user's profile page
Grace Dirom
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 6, 2020
HikingFeeGreat!

Beautiful! Brainard Lake is gorgeous, especially during sunset. Pretty easy hike, lots of places to stop and take pictures!

View user's profile page
Robert Richardt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking

Nice day of hiking with pretty views. The ski trail is muddy in spots and in need of maintenance. We saw two moose on the ski trail.

View user's profile page
Asa Kientz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking
View Asa's Recording
View user's profile page
Kirsten Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 27, 2020
HikingGreat!
View user's profile page
Craig L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 26, 2020
Hiking
View Craig's Recording
View user's profile page
Tracy Ann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 25, 2020

did waldrop, was pretty easy, slightly strenuous, easy, slightly strenuous, easy...got to Brainard Lake beautiful, short walk on the road back on trail and it got a little stressful....got off trail a couple times, thankyou alltrail for getting me back, very wet marshy, scratches up legs a bit. passed not 1 person so it was nice and peaceful.

View user's profile page
Katherine Haywood
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 14, 2020
HikingGreat!

beautiful shaded hike through the trees

View user's profile page
Debbie Slavinski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 11, 2020

9/11/20 It's a beautiful rocky trail I've never seen in the summer! However, today it was a winter hike with some sun and blue sky, cold wind and patches of snow on the trail. Thankfully, we were protected from the wind by the trees. Enjoyed all the creeks and foot bridges in the woods up to Brainard Lake! Typical winter wind gusts at the lake! It'll be nice again next week!

View user's profile page
John Sullivan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking
View John's Recording
View user's profile page
Michael Strong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2020
Hiking
View Michael's Recording
View user's profile page
Kalie Kaitschuck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 27, 2020
Nature trips

My friends and I are contemplating going to Brainard over Labor Day weekend. I’m seeing some comments here about the trails being marshy. Anyway to know if that is still an issue?

View user's profile page
Charlie McRae
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 27, 2020
Hiking
View Charlie's Recording
View user's profile page
Suzy Fitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
HikingGreat!

To whoever found my phone and left it at the trailhead- THANK YOU, you’re an angel!! This hike was beautiful, the lake was beautiful! A bit rocky in places but really nice

View user's profile page
Julie Muzy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking

Waldrop trail was nice and the lake was beautiful, but don't recommend taking the ski trail on the way back. The ski trail is marked but is a little hard to follow, and some areas were very muddy/marshy

View Julie's Recording
Showing results 1 - 24 of 400