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Brainard Lake Recreation Area

8 Reviews
Review Campground Win Gear

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About This Campground

National Forest

Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland

The Brainard Lake Recreation Area is the most popular destination on the Boulder Ranger District. Because of the area's high elevation, the best time to visit is after the snow melts in July and August. For road status, check the Road Status Table. PLEASE NOTE: Visitors that hike trails leading…

Fee Info

Brainard Lake Recreation Area fees apply during the summer operating season (typically late June through mid-October): Passenger Vehicles & RVs (per vehicle/3 days): $12 Vans (per vehicle/1 day): $30 Buses (per vehicle/1 day): $48 Motorcycles (per cycle/3 days): $7 Hiker/Biker/Walker (per…

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  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Hike-In
    Backcountry sites.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
  • Verizon
  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile

Site Types

  • Tent Sites


For Campers

  • ADA Access
  • Trash
  • Picnic Table
  • Firewood Available
  • Reservable
  • Drinking Water
  • Electric Hookups
  • Toilets
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Fires

For Vehicles

  • Sanitary Dump
  • Water Hookups


8 Reviews of Brainard Lake Recreation Area

Ratings Breakdown

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • 7
Mitchell H.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Aug. 17, 2021

Great Location

Pawnee Campground gets you on the trails early, and is great for enjoying the beautiful views of Indian Peaks Wilderness.

Month of VisitSeptember
KThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed May. 13, 2021

A favorite in Colorado

We love Brainard. The campground is clean, spacious, and there are beautiful trails to ride your bikes, fly kites, read, hike, fish. Some campsites are a little close, but if you pick a good spot you have great seclusion. It’s such a relaxing spot and we love how easy it is to get to from town.

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Month of VisitOctober
Erik S.
Reviewed Sep. 7, 2020

The views at the lake are amazing!

This is a scenic area but many of the campsites are not very good because so many dead trees were removed that there’s no shade or privacy at those campsites. The best campsites with some shade and privacy are 13, 14, 32, 35, 37 and 39.

Month of VisitSeptember


Brainard Lake Recreation Area is located in Colorado


From Colorado Highway 72 at Ward, turn west onto the Brainard Lake Road. Travel 2.5 miles to the Brainard Gateway Trailhead, and continue another two miles to Brainard Lake. The entrance station is open seasonally.


40.0792685 N
105.5673344 W

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