Filed Under: Skiing, Snowshoeing
Distance is based on one-way travel. This is the easiest route to Brainard Lake, and the only route between the Red Rock Parking Area to Brainard Lake where dogs are allowed on the trail. It is often adequately hard-packed for hiking in winter. The snow may be windblown and icy; parts of the road may be blown bare. About two-thirds of the way to the lake there is a cut-off to the CMC Trail and Snowshoe Trail to the left (south), and one to the Waldrop Trail to the right (north) shortly afterwards.
Drive on Highway 72 just north of Ward. Turn west on the Brainard Lake Road. Drive 2.8 miles to the winter gate closure. Park as far off the road as possible. Parking may be limited because the area receives heavy use. Watch for "No Parking" signs posted high up along the south side of the road.