Juiskie and I went to Brainard Lake Recreation Area recently to drink in the fall colors of the Rocky Mountains. Brainard Lake is about a 45 minute drive from Boulder, set in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, and at about 10,000 feet of elevation. We last visited in March for some awesome snowshoeing.
This visit started out a bit wobbly, as we forgot our Rocky Mountain National Park annual pass which also gets us into Brainard Lake, so we had to park at the outer parking lot and walk the 2.5 miles to the lake. Luckily it’s a pleasant and low-travelled trail, but to shorten the walk we took the road after about 1.5 miles. Hiking the road is no fun, but after 20 minutes we made it to the popular lake.
I should add, since this is what we came for, that their was a nice explosion of golden Aspen color on the road in to the Recreation Area.
There are many trails in the Recreation Area, but we had to be back in town for some kid event or another, so we merely walked around the lake, probably about a mile, with Jessica of course looking for birds. Jessica got so excited about some water fowl at one point that she took a hard spill and badly bruised her leg. Insult to injury, the “water fowl” turned out to be a oddly shaped stick in the water.
With Jessica limping, we asked around the parking lot for a ride back to our car, and the first couple we asked looked like they thought we were serial killers. Fortunately, a cute couple from Denver gave us a ride and even offered Jessica use of their first aid kit.
On the drive back we came across some wonderful foliage in a valley of the Indian Peaks. So wonderful, in fact, there were dozens of cars parked on the side of the road taking pictures and enjoying the view.
All-in-all, not the greatest excursion, but any chance to get to the mountains is worth the effort and a bruised leg.