5.2 miles
386 ft
-386 ft
2 miles
High Point

Winter recommended ride. While this route can be done in summer, the first 3 miles will be on a paved road with motorized traffic.

This is a great choice for a first time fatbike ride at Brainard Lake. You'll park at the winter parking area, then head out on Brainard Lake Road. In summer this is a paved road to another parking area but in winter it's closed to motorized traffic and becomes a snowpacked trail. It's 3 miles and 300 feet of climbing to Brainard Lake. It's mostly a mellow, packed climb but be warned that after a snow or wind storm it can have some deep, drifty areas.

Brainard Lake offers amazing views and a choice. If the ride up the road was challenging and you've had enough, just go back the way you came. If the ride up the road went well and you are ready for Level 2 riding, cross the bridge and find the Brainard Lake Cutoff trail. This is handcrafted backcountry artisanal packed singletrack and it will be narrow and more challenging. Take the Cutoff trail to South St Vrain, then make the right on Waldrop. Waldrop is *mostly* downhill back to the parking lot but there is a bit of climbing and a couple really punchy short sections that are hike-a-bike for many riders.

Detailed Description
Easiest Brainard Fatbike Route is a 5 mile popular intermediate route located near Ward Colorado. This mountain bike primary route can be used both directions and has a moderate overall physical rating. This route includes 2 trails. This route climbs 386 ft with a max elevation of 10,361 ft then descends -386 ft.
Local Trail Association
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Boulder Mountainbike Alliance (bouldermountainbike.org)
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Trails in Route


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  • Winter only route
  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Other Activities
    • Snowshoe
    • Nordic Ski
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  • eBike Allowed
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More Stats for Easiest Brainard Fatbike Route mountain bike route
  • Avg time
    1 hr 36 min
  • Altitude min
    10,055 ft
  • Altitude start
    10,070 ft
  • Altitude end
    10,069 ft
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    3 miles
  • Distance down
    2 miles
  • Distance flat
    2,589 ft
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youtuber FAT Bike ❄️ | Brainard Lake | Snow angels...
FAT Bike ❄️ | Brainard Lake | Snow angels are fun
trail: Waldrop
15:42 | 340 | comments: 0 | favs:
Feb 13, 2020

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

Sep 11, 2023 @ 9:05am
Sep 11, 2023
Brainard Lake Cutoff
Sep 11, 2023 @ 9:05am
Sep 11, 2023
more reports »
  • By WendyBMA BMA & contributors
  • #26968 - 885 views