Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

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.

hiking
19 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.

3 months ago

NO DOGS ALLOWED :(

hiking
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.

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.

hiking
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.

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.

hiking
9 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.

10 months ago

Amazing views.

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail in good condition, very rocky though so opted to leave the dog home; a wise move would've torn up his paws. Beautiful summit views but don't forget your wind breaker!

hiking
10 months ago

360 views today!

Trail head name is Coney Flats. Trail is popular with 4WD & ATVs.
Really beautiful, dense forest. Lots of mini ponds, and small water holes on the trail.
Download map or print beforehand. Very limited cell service.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful trail but the number of mountain bikers flying down the hill without slowing at all make it an unpleasant exercise in surprise for a hiker. Most of them don't warn you they're coming up on you and you have no time to get out of their way; usually its a matter of jumping when you hear them 10 yards behind you going 15 mph. They're technically supposed to slow to go around you but the speed they are going didn't seem that it would be possible. Don't recommend for hiking anyway.

hiking
11 months ago

Awesome views. Great hike for someone from the east coast. Elevation made it a little tough, but we just took our time. It was a beautiful day and no wind.

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike from the moose greeting at the start to the marmot goodbye at the summit. 10 mile roundtrip from the Lake Brainard parking area.

hiking
11 months ago

Trail is in great condition! No traction needed. Not too muddy either. Once you arrive at the saddle, there's a decently marked trail immediately to the left (not further down where I've tended to go on previous trips) up to the summit that I don't remember from last year. Helpful!

hiking
11 months ago

We did a loop around Lichen Trail and connected to Wapiti. Our total distance was only 3.7 miles as we hiked 9 miles the day before at Picture Rock....Great gentle inclines throughout and beautiful views and wildlife along the way. The last mile I jogged and the trail is very well maintained without any loose rocks etc...

hiking
11 months ago

Trail conditions: mostly dry. Some mellow snow patches but nor gear required and it's soft. Early stages of wildflowers.

Great hike, don't underestimate the difficulty. There are still snow spots to walk over. They get slippery and the mid-upper trail turns into a low-flow stream.

hiking
Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hiked this trail on 2/26, two days after about 4 inches of snow. Trail was a mixture of snow, ice, mud and dirt, with lots of rocks and switchbacks along the way to help you gain elevation. We went up to the top where it meets Ponderosa Loop trail, stopped there and then descended back down to the trailhead. It had gotten much warmer by then, and on the way down the trail had turned to a mostly muddy quagmire.

I highly recommend that if you do this trail during winter months, that you get started very early and aim to finish before it warms up, as it is a much better hike when the ground is frozen solid.

As far as views and experience, it is a cool trail. Lots of wooded forest areas if that is your thing, but not a whole lot of panoramic views. The best views are looking south, closer to the beginning of the trail. But, there was a lot of evidence of wildlife in the area including deer and mountain lion tracks, so what it lacks in views it can make up for in overall experience.

Watch out for mountain bikers and trail runners, as this seems like a semi-popular spot. Also, I'm not 100% sure I'd rate this trail as "Easy". Even Boulder County lists the trail as a Moderate. We took a lot of breaks and enjoyed the wilderness, but I wouldn't dream of taking my 70 year old father on this one.

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