Winter Activities at Brainard Lake

View from below Lefthand Reservoir

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.

Rocky Mountain National Park – Estes Park September Festivals 2017

Rocky Mountain National Park – Estes Park September Festivals 2017

Not far from Rocky Mountain National Park lies beloved Estes Park, where visitors and locals alike celebrate life in the Colorado Rockies with special events throughout the year. Below are the events this month that you will want to pencil into your calendar!

Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival September 7th through 10th 

If you've never made it up the hill in the past three decades for this festival, this is the year! For 3 days, Estes Park becomes the setting for one of the nation's largest celebrations of Scottish and Irish cultures. Held annually the weekend after Labor Day, there are events such as jousting, bagpipes, dancers, precision drill teams and more. One of the weekend's highlights is the parade along Estes Park's main street.

Scottish Irish Shopping Markets will have a variety of vendors selling things such as clothing, kilts, accessories, home decor and highland-inspired jewelry. The Strong Man Competition on the festival field will allow athletes to show off their skills in the hammer throw, putting the stone and caber throwing. If something more traditional is what you enjoy, then the International Jousting Championships entertain with games and competition in both light and heavy armor. Dogs of the British Isles put on quite the show for the entire family, with dog agility and herding, terrier races and dog exhibit booths with goods.

Click HERE to purchase your ticket and for an event calendar for the weekend!

  Autumn Gold Festival - September 23rd and 24th

Celebrate the changing of the seasons in one of the region's most beloved festivals! Everyone is welcome to enjoy the live music and dance for FREE, and the Estes Valley Sunrise Rotary will have bratwursts and cold drinks for purchase once inside. Other vendor booths will have treats such as corn on the cob, funnel cakes, roasted almonds and fresh lemonade; there's bound to be something for everyone.

The kiddos will be well entertained with face painting, corn bag tosses, a bounce house and classic car show. Perhaps the most popular portion of the festival is the raffle - entrants can take home prizes of $5,000 or $2,500 cash prizes, and various other cash and runner-up awards. Raffle tickets cost $25 each.

Performance Park Summer Concert Series, Mason Street - September 16th

​Mason Street is a Fort Collins-bred bluegrass band that will be finishing up the Summer Concert Series at the Performance Park Amphitheater. The show goes from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, for FREE! Don't miss out...

Motivational Monday – Being In the Moment

Motivational Monday – Being In the Moment

What does it feel like to be present?

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...

Motivational Monday Series – “WHY”

"People ask me why I do this over and over again and the best thing I've come up with is 'Because I have to'. I  don't know how to live my life any other way."

- Rebecca Rusch, mountain biker

Nikon - WHY from Corey Rich Productions on Vimeo.

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!

Motivational Monday – “Venture Out”

Motivational Monday – “Venture Out” 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..."