Brainard Lake status


News from USFS Boulder Ranger District.

  • Crews are working hard to address hazard trees, repair damaged roads, and work around snow drifts that are still blocking vehicle access to the parking area. This work must be complete before the Brainard Lake Recreation Area gate can open. The gate will tentatively open between June 21 and June 30.
  • Pawnee Campground contract work continues. The campground will open this summer, tentatively the first week in July. The renovated campground features two main loops with walk-in tent only campsites, regular tent campsites and RV sites (no hook ups). Pawnee Campground sites cannot be reserved this summer; they will be come, first served.
  • There will be changes to the roads this season. The road around the sound end of the lake will be transformed to accommodate two-way traffic accessing Long and Mitchell Lake Trailheads. The road around the north end of the Brainard Lake will be foot traffic only.
  • Lefthand Park Reservoir will become day use in late June, overnight camping and fires will no longer be allowed.
  • Gates to Long Lake and Mitchell Lake Trailhead parking areas typically open in early July. Trail conditions will likely be snow packed and muddy through mid-July. Be prepared to walk through the mud and snow when venturing this high early in the season (skirting the path to avoid these wet areas widens and erodes the trail).
  • Trails west of the Brainard Lake Recreation Area lead into the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Special regulations apply including camping restrictions, group size limits and leash regulations. Visit for more information.