11/2015: Roads and trailhead lots are closed. Use the Brainard Gateway Trailhead for free non-motorized access. Winter regulations apply (Nov 15 - Apr 30).
Brainard Lake Recreation Area fees apply during the summer operating season (typically mid June through late October):
Passenger Vehicles (per vehicle/3 days): $10
Vans (per vehicle/1 day): $25
Buses (per vehicle/1 day): $40
Motorcycles (per cycle/3 days): $5
Hiker/Biker/Walker (per person/3 days): $1
Short-term Bicyclist: 30 minute free pass
American Land & Leisure Season Pass (passenger vehicles): $55
American Land & Leisure Season Pass (hiker/biker/walker): $20
Interagency Annual, Military, Senior or Access passes, Golden Age and Golden Access passes are accepted. No fee is charged when the seasonal gate is closed (winter season).
No permits are required at this time.
Prohibited: Pack animals (horses/llamas); recreational shooting (except for legal hunting) and being on trails posted as closed.
Brainard Lake Recreation Area Summer Season (May 1 - Nov 14): Dogs must be on a hand-held leash at all times; dispersed camping is prohibited. When open, camping is only allowed within Pawnee Campground (no camping is permitted in closed campgrounds).
Brainard Lake Recreation Area Winter Season (Nov 15 - Apr 30): Motorized vehicles are prohibited; dogs allowed only on the Brainard Lake and Lefthand Park Reservoir Roads; camping is prohibited within 1/4 mile of developed recreation sites except Red Rock Lake.
Fishing and Hunting: Permitted in accordance with regulations established by Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Lakes and streams; treat water for drinking.
Practice Leave No Trace principles
Concessionaire: American Land & Leisure
Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301, Phone 303-541-2500, Fax 303-541-2515; Contact Us
Directions: From Colorado Highway 72 at Ward, turn west onto the Brainard Lake Road. Travel 2.5 miles to the entrance portal, and continue another 1/4 mile to Red Rock Lake.
Brainard Lake Recreation Area is among the premier destinations for non-motorized winter recreation along the Front Range. The Red Rock Trailhead is located 2.5 miles west of Colorado Highway 72, at the seasonal closure gate on Brainard Lake Road. From here, the Waldrop Trail, Sourdough Trail, South Saint Vrain Trail and Left Hand Park Reservoir Road are accessible to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The Snowshoe trail is not restricted to snowshoers only, however it is not well-designed for skiing. The CMC Trail and Little Raven Trail are restricted to skiers only. Dogs are prohibited on all single track trails in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area except for Sourdough Trail from November 15 - April 30.