Explore the most popular hiking trails near Ward with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2 days ago

Hello, revisiting this hike in one week (late June). QUESTION: IS THERE STILL SNOW AT THE TOP AND HOW DEEP?

Road is planning to reopen on July 4th, 2018

It’s a great trail, however the road to access the trail is closed for construction.

Brainard lake road is currently closed. It appears to be the only way up there. Check before heading up for the hike. Very disappointing

Drove up there and the road was closed to get there. Asked the construction worker when it would be open and he said the road will be open at the start of July, give or take. Drove to Nederland and did the Lost lake hike instead.

Road is closed. No access

24 days ago

Go early Weather can surprise you in the afternoon. Hailed on us around 2. Last part is just rocks and no real trail markings View is good

I went to this hiking spot and chose the one with the most elevation gain ( that’s not currently closed) it’s a great trail.

Road is closed from highway 5/17/18

Nice trail, was completely snowpacked today from the skiers (despite Denver being close to 80 degrees). We made it about 2.5 miles in before we had a dog meltdown due to snowballs in the toe fur. But it is definitely a trail we will return to in the warmer months.

This trail was gorgeous, the hike starts at Brainard lake parking lot because the road is closed. it's 3.3 miles from the Parking lot to the trail head during the winter, so start by 0800. Most of the trail during winter is covered and bring snowshoes because you will have to hike next to the lake and up the creek in order to get to Lake Isabelle because you can't follow the trail that is listed. when you get to Lake Isabelle there are a few ways to get to it. There is a massive slope to climb or turn right at the base of the slope and there is a longer yet easier way up that puts you at the trail markers at the top.

3 months ago


June 4th, heavy snow. Made it to Long lake not to Isabella, still beautiful.

6 months ago

Did this in 9/2016. 3rd ever hike and it was brutal above tree line. Little bit of snow, sleet and rain....and lots of wind. Last 3/4 mile up visibility was terrible. Fellow hiker caught up to me and we booked it to the top. No views whatsoever! Would've turned around if I continued by myself as the weather was getting rough. Started this hike at 7:30 AM. Wear light but very warm and wind resistant clothing if doing this late Sept! Stayed in the small town of Nederland after, awesome place!

I’ve lived/worked in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area for the last 4 years. Two-thirds of this trail is above the tree line. An early start is strongly recommended...no later than 9:00 am. The fee was raised in 2017 to $11.00.

Beautiful hike in the Fall with snowy patches. almost alone on the trail!

beautiful views. saw an awesome bird! people falling all over the ice and snow... bring yak trax!

Great trail! Hiked this yesterday (9/23/2017) and left the trailhead at about 7:30am I believe. Completed 85% of it and had to turn around due to snow at the top.

Vehicle used to access the trail:
Kia sorrento front-wheel drive
Nike running shoe's
Child carrier:
ErgoBaby 360° backpack 22lb
Fee: Free!!! as the trail starts at the parking lot to the right before the pay station.

This was a lovely trail, in our favourite area to hike. We started the hike at 8:45am on a Saturday at the end of August. There were plenty of parking spots available and the trail was not very busy at all. For the first half of the trail we saw probably 2-3 groups of people however, as the day went on and we were finishing the trail close to 10:30 we saw at least 5-6 groups of people who had started the trail clockwise.

There is no main attraction on this hike like others in the area that provide lake views or peak mountain views but this is a beautiful loop with much to see, streams and a few water crossings on well maintained bridges, wild flowers, a small meadow, and dense forest. We took our dogs with us and they did great, a few small mud patches but nothing to really worry about. I would imagine as the weather cools and the rain comes more frequently you would need hiking boots but during the summer regular Nike running shoe's would be fine.
Remember to pack it in, pack it out and take your trash with you. There are no trash cans that we saw but that's good. It's much better to dispose of your trash elsewhere.
Finally, this is a LEASHED pet trail.

We would recommend this rail and will be heading back again.

9 months ago

14ers view without the crowd. Super windy and cold at the top. 70% of the trail is above treeline so keep an eye on the weather. Well marked trail except for the last 1/4 of it is a rock scramble but plenty of cairns to guide you.

Good hike to a 13000+ summit. Views are amazing from top! Trail is well marked except for last 600-800ft. .. just go up and pick your path carefully. Can be windy and cold on top so be prepared.

Really enjoyed this hike! My wife, 1 yr old and I loved how easy it was to follow the trail and the scenery along the way was amazing! Easy trail, which was great with the little one on my back. Make sure you go early to get parking.

Awesome views from the top. Well worth the trek!

After reading this guide I was excited to hike and camp this trail... however, it is HIGHLY inaccurate. There is NO CAMPING (except $21 car camping next to others) - there is also an $11 fee just to get into the park.

I would recommend updating your "guide" to reflect the camping specifics (as well as the entry fee) and also the fact that this is a HIGHLY TRAFFICKED trail... we had to wait an HOUR to even get into the park as the lot was full.

We ended up driving a few miles down the road to South Saint Vrain Trailhead, much more secluded, FREE , dog friendly and backcountry camping allowed.

10 months ago

This hike is very rocky, but no climbing. Dress appropriately. It was very windy once you hike above the tree line. But all in all a great hike with beautiful views.

Great trail. Some areas are a bit rocky, but not a bad hike. There are level areas. Well shaded. Go early!!

So epic. Get there early!

10 months ago

Amazing views.

10 months ago

Got there early and parking was available at Mitchell Lake TH. Fairly easy hike up to the peak where the trail is lost among the rocks. Great all around view of the range along with Coney Lakes. Quick moving storm brought rain and clear skies after it passed. Well worth it.

10 months ago

Very fun hike. Did it on 8/5, and didn't make it to the top due to not being prepared for the cold, and incoming thunderstorms. Temps drop rapidly after 12k ft. I will be back in the coming by weeks to summit with two more layers! Difficult trail only because of the elevation, otherwise would call it moderate.

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