Brainard Lake is surrounded by subalpine forest set in a glacially-carved valley. The peaks of the Continental Divide loom to the west. With a wide variety of year-round outdoor recreation opportunities available, Brainard Lake Recreation Area (BLRA) is the most popular destination on the Boulder Ranger District.
Hiking trails to the west of the BLRA enter into the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Visitors that hike trails leading west from the Long Lake or Mitchell Lake Trailhead, are responsible for following all Indian Peaks Wilderness Regulations and permit requirements.
Recreational shooting closures exist in this area. Hunting is allowed in accordance with regulations set by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Moose may be present in the area. Be considerate of all wildlife. Approaching closely can be threatening to the wildlife and their reactions are dangerously unpredictable.