Little Raven Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

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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Day Hiking

This trail is within the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. It connects the Sourdough Trail and Left Hand Park Reservoir Road to Brainard Lake via 1.5 miles of singletrack trail.
Fire InformationUnless seasonal restrictions are in effect, campfires must be attended at all times and cold to the touch with the bare hand before being abandoned. Collection of dead and down wood is allowed; do not break branches from standing trees for firewood.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Winter Sports

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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'