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Brown's Lake Trail

MODERATE 37 reviews
#27 of 148 trails in

Brown's Lake Trail is a 11.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nathrop, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2,460 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

backpacking
bugs
2 months ago

Overall, I rated the trail with 3 stars because of the enormous amount of deadfall trees in the area along with an abundance of horse droppings along the trail. Having said that, the waterfall is absolutely gorgeous and worth the hike. After two River crossings you'll find a fairly large meadow with plenty of opportunity for tent camping back in the trees. When you get to the waterfalls, you can cross the river and head back a little ways to find some excellent camping sites with established fire pits. Whule hiking from the waterfall to Brown's Lake your going to follow the river for quite a ways. Although the trail is rated as moderate I would say it's certainly approaches advanced level hiking at times as you advance. As others have noted, the lake is mostly drained do the dam breaking. Fly fishing is quite excellent above it however where the water feeds the lake. Definitely bring waders as it's quite muddy and boggy. Throughout the hike, I recommend water filtration and chlorine drops (we stayed three nights) as there's plenty of evidence of horses and cattle having been in the area over the years. By the way, consider mosquito repellent as they are heavy by the waterfalls but lighter up by the lake.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! 6.2 miles almost all up hill but well worth it! Don’t completely trust the all trails map; there are new trails that get you to the same place

backpacking
2 months ago

Tough hike all up hill but what a great pay off at the lake.

hiking
3 months ago

This was my first day hike and I loved it! Yes the dam is broken and the lake is low but the cascading falls along the trail were beautiful. I enjoyed many scenic areas of the river flowing. I didn’t take the time to go to the actual falls so I will have to go again (and bring a camera!). And the trail to the lake is over 6 miles...great day!

hiking
3 months ago

The dam at Brown Lake has broken and the lake has drained. It will be very shallow to non-existent until the dam is repaired. Looks as if it's been down about 4 days or so.

hiking
3 months ago

My boyfriend and I backpacked in and stayed one night. The path to Brown’s Lake is clear of snow and an even keel hike with plenty of flat areas for resting. We ascended past the lake onto the Jeep trail and made it to the pass. Unfortunately the top of the pass was obscured by a sleek sheet of ice and we didn’t feel comfortable because of the vertical incline on each side. Additionally that night a snow storm blew in and buried us in 4-5 inches of fresh snow. If backpacking remember to bring enough water proof clothing to stay warm and dry during a freak storm.

hiking
3 months ago

LOST TREKKING POLES! If anyone comes across a pair of Black Diamond Alpine FLZ trekking poles at the trailhead, I left mine there Sunday 6/23 against a big boulder between the outhouse and parking lot. Black and white with cork handles, set at 115cm. Please email rgrimm518@gmail.com. Will pay reward if found!!

backpacking
3 months ago

Backpacked at the lake on 6/21 and it was beautiful. There are some patches of snow still at the top, but no issues with snow on the trail and the lake wasn't frozen. The hike to the lake was closer to 6.5 miles on my GPS, and is mostly uphill the last mile to mile and a half. The falls and river were flowing rapidly with all the snowmelt

hiking
4 months ago

Extremely beautiful! Didn’t make it quite to the lake. Some snow at the top that would be a breeze with some snowshoes. Great hike - get to the trailhead early on weekends so you don’t have to hopscotch a bunch of people on the trail.

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Beautiful hike! Made it to the lake thanks to our yaktrax.

4 months ago

absolutely beautiful!! packed a lunch and ate at the waterfall.

hiking
11 months ago

Snow on parts of upper half of trail. Fortunately for us, someone who knew the trail had preceded us so it wasn’t hard to find the way. Sunny, windy and about 32 degrees at the lake. A beautiful day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Such a beautiful hike. Did it as a day trip with a group of 13. The waterfall is absolutely beautiful. Was a great spot to sit and have a snack and rest a bit before continuing to the lake. The 3 miles from the falls to the lake was tough (decent incline and lots of rocks to maneuver over) but so worth the trip. Great place to have lunch before heading back down. I would go back to camp but I would probably drive in from the other side (I'm not in shape enough to pack in on that last 3 miles). So many photo opportunities along the way and you can hear the water flowing for much of the trail. I haven't hiked much this year (nothing beyond 5 miles) so this was a challenge for me but I made it. Bring hiking poles if you have them. We went on a Friday, started at 8:00am and were back to the trail head about 2:00pm. It wasn't busy going in but past a lot of back packers in the way out.

backpacking
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The lake is a perfect reward. The hike up is tough with a 40lbs back pack. Make sure to take your time, it’s a great trail for a day hike but the extra weight for backpacking makes the second half of the hike pretty intense because of the climb. Other wise I’d definitely do it again. I didn’t want to leave our campsite next to the lake. Caught 4 fish so make sure to bring fishing gear too!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

two hikes in one! lovely waterfall as a half way point to a picture perfect mountain lake. we spent almost exactly 6hrs round trip including a pause away the waterfall, a few water stops, and break for lunch at the lake. the ascent was about 3.5 hrs, and the second half seemed steeper. lots of camp spots, but we were here for a day hike only, so we out and backed it, but would be a wonderful choice for a backpacking trip.

hiking
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Great acclimation hike for Mt. Harvard and the other collegiate peaks. Trail is forested all the way to the falls and a bit more exposed up to the lake. Steepest sections are the very beginning and the first mile or so after the falls. Lots of horse poop. Plenty of parking spots at the trailhead even at 10 AM on a Sunday in August.

hiking
Sunday, August 12, 2018

We enjoyed hiking this trail a lot. The falls and the lake are very pretty and the trail was not very crowded for a Sunday hike. It is not a difficult hike as the trail climbs moderately but it is quite long. So take a lot of water especially if you do not start early as a good portion of the trail is exposed to the sun. Some dead trees in the upper part of the trail, but the views of the valley and the surrounding summits are gorgeous. We got caught in a thunderstorm going down around the falls, but that is bc we started going down around 2pm..

hiking
Friday, July 20, 2018

This is one of my favorite hikes in Colorado so far. Absolutely beautiful lake at the top. Fun trail overall.

horseback riding
Saturday, July 14, 2018

Beautiful lake. Lots of hikers but they were very considerate. Lots of big rocks and up hill a long way. Should have shoes or boots. Water and mud crossings. Not for beginners. Need a conditioned horse. Beautiful scenery.

backpacking
Sunday, June 17, 2018

My 2 sons and I just got back yesterday 6/16 from an overnight at the lake. We got a really late start but still made it to the lake before 6 pm. The 3 miles from the falls were really hard work with packs but well worth it. The area is absolutely beautiful and so serene. We picked a spot right by the water and thought we were completely alone until the next morning when we took a hike beyond the lake. The water was so clean it looked crystal clear even before being filtered. Breathtaking.

backpacking
Monday, June 04, 2018

let's start off with.... I didn't die :) this trail is not for the faint of heart. backpacked up with my 6yr old. started off late and only made 4 miles in first night which worked out great for second night as we were first to the lake to pick our spot. as others have mentioned, good spots up front, but if you want privacy you can walk an extra 5 minutes to the back. lake was windy but plenty of fish and relatively quite. there it's a 4x4 tail at the back side of the lake. think for next visit with rest of family we will drive up. trail starts at with a good incline and ends with a good incline. pack light if your staying the night.

backpacking
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Beautiful backpacking trip!! We camped at the lake.. there are two spots right when you get to the lake, or if you want more privacy, walk past the lake there is a grassy meadow with great spots to camp right by the creek. Bring your fishing rod.. people were catching a lot of fish. There are also several camp spots after the waterfall and on the way to the lake, if you are tired and want to ditch your gear. It's not an easy hike all the way to the top with a full pack, but if you are in good shape you will be fine..you will be ready to get your pack off and lay in a hammock! There are lots of hikes you can do from the lake.. just follow the trail to the four-wheeling road. The views are incredible, and the hike in is so beautiful. We spent 1 night at the trailhead in the car (there are lots of car camping spots) and 2 nights up at the lake. Can't recommend it enough!

hiking
Sunday, May 06, 2018

5/5/18. Some places near the top still had snow in the path but was completely able to finish in hiking shoes. The rock face to the south as you hike the valley is stunning and the spring runoff was flowing. The waterfall was barely off the path to the lake. The lake itself was beautiful and jumping in was very cold. Overall was a tough hike but well worth the time.

backpacking
Tuesday, July 04, 2017

This is not an easy trail but it is absolutely beautiful! my husband and I hiked this and camped out at the lake with our dog. very steep in a lot of spots so with our gear on it was quite the workout. the way back is obviously all down hill. the hike to the falls is usually pretty busy, but once you turn off towards the lake it's pretty quiet.

hiking
Tuesday, June 06, 2017

6-5-17. We started with only the intention of hiking to the Falls but decided to go on to the Lake. It was a beautiful day. Still some snow in spots. Kept long sleeves on the entire way up, even though we thought about ditching multiple times. It was cool sitting around the lake to grab a bite. Started at 8:15. Glad we did. I don't think anyone behind us made it to the summit due to threat of storms. It was a Monday so not crowded at all. The wind really came up on our way down and there were dark clouds overhead but we only got a few sprinkles.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

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