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Brainard Lake Fishing Site

  

Photo of Brainard Lake with Indian Peaks in the background

A very popular destination, Brainard Lake offers a spectacular panoramic view of the lake, surrounding forest, and high peaks along the Continental Divide. A boat launch area is adjacent to the south side of the bridge/dam for non-motorized boating access. Brook trout are common in Brainard Lake.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Closed to motorized access. Park at the Gateway Trailhead, located two miles east of Brainard Lake, for free non-motorized use.
Fees Brainard Lake Recreation Area CASH OR CHECK ONLY fees apply during the summer operating season (typically late June through mid-October):
  • Passenger Vehicles & RVs (per vehicle/3 days): $11
  • Vans (per vehicle/1 day): $27
  • Buses (per vehicle/1 day): $44
  • Motorcycles (per cycle/3 days): $6
  • Hiker/Biker/Walker (per person/3 days): $1
  • Short-term Bicyclist: 30 minute free pass
  • American Land & Leisure Season Pass (passenger vehicles): $60
  • American Land & Leisure Season Pass (hiker/biker/walker): $22
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).
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions:
  • 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; when open, developed camping is only allowed at Pawnee Campground (no camping in closed campgrounds); dispersed camping is only allowed north of the South St Vrain Creek.
  • 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; skis only on Little Raven and CMC Ski Trail.
  • Fishing and Hunting: Permitted in accordance with regulations established by Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Closest Towns: Ward, Colorado
Water: Lakes and streams; treat water for drinking.
Restroom: Vault toilet nearby
Operated By: Concessionaire: American Land & Leisure
Information Center: Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301, Phone 303-541-2500, Fax 303-541-2515; Contact Us

General Information

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 two miles to Brainard Lake.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Fishing

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Hiking

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Nature Viewing

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Picnicking

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Water Activities

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Boating - Non-Motorized



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/arp/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=28188&actid=79