Little Raven Trail


Photo of the Little Raven Trail and directional signs with a dense pine forest in the background

The Little Raven Trail/Little Raven Extension Trail is within the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. It begins about a half-mile south of Brainard Lake Road on the Sourdough Trail.

In the winter, this trail is designated as skiing only.

From the Sourdough Trail, the Little Raven heads west up a steep incline for a half-mile, gradually leveling out as it approaches National Forest System Road (NFSR) 232. A turn to the north/east returns to Brainard Lake Road after 0.8 miles.

To continue west on Little Raven Trail, turn south/west on NFSR 232 for 0.4 miles. Little Raven Trail breaks north/west from the road across from the old quarry. From here, the trail gently loses elevation for one mile, until it ends at the CMC Trail.

At a Glance

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
  • 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: Practice Leave No Trace principles
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
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.



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Areas & Activities

Campgrounds At-A-Glance


  Area/Length : 
Red Rock Trailhead to: Little Raven Ext. Trail - .5 miles; NFSR 232 - 1 mile; Little Raven Trail - 1

  Elevation : 
10,100' - 10,600'