Just for beginners who want to take a slow easy flat snowshoe trip. Brainard Lake is beautiful and one of the great places in Colorado and it says so in the Denver Post!
Meet at the park-n-Ride in Arvada at 56th. Ave. and Wadsworth Bypass at 8 AM or head straight to Brainard Lake at 9:45 AM. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to drive and we allow people up to 15 minutes to show up, particularly in the mountains.
Directions: From the park-n-Ride at 56th. Ave. and Wadsworth Bypass, take Wadsworth Bypass north and follow Wadsworth until you get to U.S. 36 (Boulder Turnpike). Take U.S. 36 north to Boulder and then head north on 28th. St. to Canyon Blvd. Turn left on Canyon Blvd. (CO Rte. 119) and follow west until you get to Nederland. Take CO Rte. 72 (Peak to Peak Hwy.) until you get to Brainard Lake Rd., just north of Ward. Take Brainard Lake Rd. west until you get to the entrance to Brainard Lake Recreation Area.
Carpooling is recommended as parking may be limited. However, there is NO fee for parking at Brainard Lake Recreation Area in winter (there is in summer). Park in the lot before the seasonal gate for winter recreation. New toilet facilities and warming hut adjacent are complete and available for public use. Steve will be holding a Colorado flag at both the park-n-Ride and at Brainard Lake Recreation Area to help you identify him and the meetup group.
There are several trails in the area according the Colorado Mountain Club map:
We will be taking the Snowshoe Trail (near the entrance gate) to Brainard Lake and will return by the Brainard Lake Rd. It is about 2.5 miles from the entrance gate to Brainard Lake via the Snowshoe Trail and 2 miles back by the Brainard Lake Rd. so count on about 4.5 miles of snowshoeing. Total time should be about 4 hours. There is about 250 feet of elevation gain (10,100' to 10,350').
The website for Brainard Lake Recreation Area is here:
Dress warmly and in layers and be prepared for cold/windy weather - Brainard Lake is over 10,000 feet in elevation. Bring adequate food and water. Sunscreen is also recommended as the sun can burn skin quite easily at high elevations in the snow.
Steve's cell phone number is (720) 626-1546. Note: there is no cell phone reception at Brainard Lake.
Finally, there is a chance that inclement weather may force postponement or cancellation of this meetup, so check with the website beforehand.
Indian Peaks from Brainard Lake Rd.