Brainard Lake Recreation Area is one of the most beautiful spots in the Front Range. Nestled between Nederland and Ward, Brainard Lake is just 45 minutes up the mountains from Boulder. To complement summer hiking, fishing, backpacking, and cycling, this area offers incredible winter activities such as snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and picnicking.
From about November to May, the Brainard Lake Road is closed beyond the entrance station. This road turns into an excellent start for any skiing, snowshoeing, or picnic adventure. From the entrance station, you have three route options: stay on the road, veer left onto Lefthand Park Reservoir Road, or turn right onto the Sourdough Trail.
Heading straight on Brainard Lake Road offers adventurers a relatively flat path, perfect for learning to cross country ski or snowshoe. Red Rock Lake is the first destination on this path, just ½ mile beyond the entrance station. From here, users can follow the road another 1.5 miles to Brainard Lake.
Those looking for some elevation gain may opt to follow Lefthand Park Reservoir Road to Lefthand Park Reservoir for beautiful views of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. This winter trail climbs 600 feet over the course of 1.8 miles to the reservoir.
For people who enjoy the solitude of snowy singletrack, Sourdough Trail offers miles and miles of pristine winter wilderness. This trail connects to South Saint Vrain and Waldrop trails for a long, scenic route to Brainard Lake.
"My plan never included this many roadblocks. But maybe the only difference between 'roadblock' and 'adventure' was my perspective..."
Life often doesn't go quite as planned. In fact, many of us are familiar with the old saying, "The only constant in life is change." Depending on the day and your mood when such change strikes, it can be difficult to embrace it fully for the adventure that it is! REI's short film "Adventure in Real Life" touches on the importance of changing perspective in order to appreciate experiences as they come; for better or for worse.
(Video Credit: REI)
"Slowly I discovered that nature was all the more beautiful because of the unplanned and the unexpected."
"I guess life is like that; full of setbacks and roadblocks. But when we love something enough, we can turn any obstacle into an Odyssey. The truth is, life isn't going to go as planned... The only question is will you choose to call it an adventure?"
Nothing forces someone to embrace a humble attitude like a tough challenge. You're bound to become kinder and more sympathetic to others and their own obstacles, too. Embracing your failures will better prepare you for your next great adventure, and remind you that you are indeed human.
The most efficient use of your mental and emotional energy is to focus on yourself first; what do you think of your efforts? How do you prioritize personal growth? What makes you truly happy? What makes you feel accomplished? While the validation of others can be a temporary relief, your own validation will provide long term satisfaction in any situation.
REI partners with Outside Magazine to discuss and explore women's approach to outdoors adventuring. Both groups aim to ensure that women are equally inspired, supported and equipped to embrace the great outdoors.
Shelma Jun, narrator of the 'Within Reach' documentary, is the founder of Flashy Fox and the Women's Climbing Festival. She often writes for publications like Climbing and Outside magazines.
To be here in the now and fully experiencing this moment. Free from any weight of the past or any anticipation of the future. Just free. Free to realize that only you can control how you feel. About anything.... Free to see things for what they are and free to give your time and energy to what really matters.
(Video Credit: High On Life)
Accept the fact that everything that makes up your world is there because you attracted it with your own thoughts. Realize that you can control your thoughts and emotions. There’s no big secret. Just choose to think better feeling thoughts. Listen to your emotions and chose to feel good. You can decide to be in a place of attraction and abundance.
What do you want to do in your life? What makes you tick? What makes you feel awe? Don’t be misled into thinking that you’re supposed to do anything. You are supposed to do only what you chose to do.
The world is vast and full of possibilities.
Follow your bliss.
Get out of your comfort zone.
Stop looking for reasons why you can’t and look for reasons why you can...
Corey Rich of Corey Rich Productions filmed "WHY" exclusively on his Nikon D4. Though technology has continued to advance in the 5 years since it was filmed, it is stunning nonetheless. His goal was to capture the drive, passion and outlook of those who are the very best at what they love to do. During this endeavor he and his crew traveled to Veracruz, Mexico, Moab, Utah and Joshua Tree, California interviewing three exceptional athletes that are a cut above the rest in their respective pursuits.
His list of requirements was short but concise. They needed to A.) Be the best in the world at what they do and B.) Be true role models/heroes. Dane, Rebecca and Alex certainly didn't disappoint. What Corey found was that asking "WHY" was merely the tip of the iceberg. Everyone has their own why that speaks true to them, but perhaps we all share a bit of the same why, too!
Adventure.com is a resource for anyone who ventures outside of their comfort zone, and those who want to live a life of adventure - around the world and in their own backyards. Their goal is to inspire people to make their next adventure a reality.
Originally, it was created as a place for people from all walks of life to share their experiences and stories. Through sharing their adventures with a like-minded community, they hope to cultivate an online environment in which individuals can continue to draw inspiration and discover new things they've never tried before!
"Your life can be the greatest adventure you've ever dreamed of..."
Jimmy Chin is many things - a husband, a father, a photographer, a film maker and a long-time North Face athlete. But for countless others he is firstly an inspiration. In this short film, he shares what motivates him to never stop pursuing his dreams and curiosities.
"Anything great that I feel like I've accomplished is always from taking a big risk...."
"The two great risks, I believe, are risking too much - but the one I'm really scared of is risking too little, because you have missed opportunity and you should make the most of it."
For the first time in the outdoor retailer giant's 78-year history, REI has partnered with the The Stanley Hotel to create outdoor experience, outings, classes and events throughout Rocky Mountain National Park. Activities are already being offered for visitors.
"It's the first such partnership in REI's 78-year history," stated Reed Rowley, Vice President of Grand Heritage Hotel Group.
The Stanley Hotel is a 140-room, Colonial Revival hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, just 5 miles into Rocky Mountain National Park. Though it is best known for it's vital role in Stephen King's novel, "The Shining", it has also been featured as one of America's most haunted hotels and boasts many famous visitor, magnificent architecture and beautiful backdrop.
REI's Outdoor School will staff instructors at an outdoor concierge location called 'REI Basecamp.' The vision is for them to host activities across the Stanley Hotels' property. The hotel has always had a commitment to wellness, which complements the way in which REI centers themselves around inspiring an outdoor-focused lifestyle.
"REI Basecamp is the first remote outdoor school for REI, which will create new opportunities for Stanley and Estes Park visitors to experience Rocky Mountain national Park," Rowley said. "It ties in nicely to the national park's centennial celebration as well."
Throughout the summer months, they plan to have a varied selection of adventures that people can take part in, one being hikes that include a gourmet backcountry meal. Whether you're interested in exploring the most popular trails that include waterfalls, discovering sub-alpine lakes, or if whiskey & wine pairings pique your interest, the program will offer something for everyone and at every level of experience. At the Stanley Hotel, visitors can also learn about first-aid 101, learn how to navigate their phones for taking great photos, and how to climb a fourteener!
"From day outings that give hikers a fresh perspective about one of the country's beloved national parks, to sessions where participants can master the art of s'more making at a roaring campfire, we look forward to offering classes and events for all outdoor interests," says John Sheppard, REI's Divisional Vice President of Outdoor Programs.
Regularly scheduled and fully-guided hiking trips throughout RMNP are offered. Outings can take you through some of the most beautiful and near perfect locations in the area! Transportation, professional guides, natural interpretation and a gourmet lunch are included.
(Photo Credit: REI)
If you're looking to turn your adventure into a full day experience, you can delve deeper into geocaching, outdoor games and campfire socials. Fun ranges from phone photography to Wilderness 101.
(Photo Credit: REI)
After being out all day you're sure to work up an appetite. Enjoy homemade Little Man Ice Cream, lemonade, ice tea, beer and wine and chili and chowder by the campfire of the REI Basecamp. For anyone who loves a good s'more, you'll have all the gourmet options one could dream of - choose from exotic flavors such as fireball whiskey & chocolate, Madagascar vanilla or toasted coconut...
(Photo Credit: REI)
REI's Basecamp is staffed by an Outdoor School instructor from 10am-6pm, Thursday and Sunday and 9am-9pm Friday and Saturday. Click here for more information!