Can you believe this is an actual place in Colorado? I feel like I was transported to the Swiss Alps as we entered in to Brainard Recreation area just an hour north of Boulder.
It’s such a magical place and honestly one of my favorite “hidden gems” of Colorado. While most people trekking an hour and half north head to Rocky Mountain National Park, Brainard has less people and in my opinion just as epic views if you can hike a little.
This hike to Mitchell lake in particular is awesome for families because it’s one mile in and one mile back. (That is if you get there early in the morning to park at the trail head parking lot. It’s about 4.5 miles round trip if you don’t.) Bonus it’s like 200ft elevation gain meaning it isn’t crazy up hill. Thankfully you do most of that driving up through the cute little mountain towns.
I love how lush it is up there. It feels like the Pacific Northwest but in Colorado. With all the moss and rushing waters it’s so beautiful. Although with more moisture comes hungry mosquitos so bring your bug spray or you may look like you’ve had chicken pox.
Also don’t forget to bring cash or check because there is an $11 fee to get in unless you have a park pass.
One day I hope to be able to camp up at Pawnee Campground and enjoy making it all the way to Blue lakes ( a 3.5mile out and back hike from the trail head).
Here are some photos from my families time up there. We were rained out for part of it but thankfully had shelter until the mountain Colorado rain calmed down.
Shameless plug though if you’re headed up there and want some couple anniversary photos, wanna get eloped or take adventure family photos up there I’d love to be your Colorado photographer!