The Beauty of Brainard Lake

The forecast called for a sunny day with a high of 50. That happened around 4 pm, but most of our hike took place beneath the clouds with gusting winds! Donning a t-shirt, ski sweater, and down jacket, I was already frozen before we even reached the trailhead.

Thankfully, the cover of the evergreens blocked the wind, so it only took a mile for my hands to thaw. The trail was snow packed, so our snowshoes were unnecessary. Microspikes were the perfect tool for our stroll through the woods to Brainard Lake, a hike I have wanted to do for the last two years.

We reached Red Rocks Lake first, a small ice covered pond. We continued along the trail, across the road, and through the campground before eventually we came to Brainard Lake with a backdrop of snow-covered peaks. The wind, so strong, moved my camera as I was shooting. And when on the slick surface, it nearly blew me backwards!

So much for warming up! I was frozen again while waiting for the group, and I didn’t want to take off my jacket to add a fourth layer. Lucky for me, Bernard had a fourth layer that I could add over my jacket. Somehow I was the only person that was cold…imagine that!


We took the same tree covered trail back to the parking instead of following the road. I warmed up again, just in time to spot a white rabbit. So cool! We enjoyed a lovely 5.4 mile out and bike hike with little elevation gain at 10,000 feet. ETB



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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

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