Regarding COVID-19: Please recreate responsibly and practice social distancing. Closures and travel restrictions are changing rapidly, always check and respect local regulations.

Ward, Colorado

Snowshoe Long Lake

8 Miles Total - 200 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Frankie S

Great winter exercise leading to super scenic views of the snow covered Indian Peaks Wilderness just outside Nederland and Ward, Colorado.

long but extremely scenic hike tucked in Colorado's Indian Peaks wilderness. The entire Long Lake trail says 2.3 mile but due to winter conditions and snow pack you can really only make it the east edge of the lake. Exit Long lake loop back on to Brainard Lake Road (currently under construction) for 2 miles to return to parking lot. 

Due to winter road work and road closures this may add 2 miles each way to the normal 2.3 mile trail since you have to park outside "the gates".  This portion of the hike is frustrating because you are walking along a closed road, exposed to wind and conditions for 2 miles before reaching the trail head (however the views are tough to beat). So all in all we did about ~8 miles (2 miles for the road closure, 2 miles to the east edge and then return). 

You will park at parking lot outside Indian Peaks entrance gates then walk 2 miles along Brainard Lake Road to reach trailhead for Long Lake (but again, you can't complete the whole thing). During beginning of walk we used spikes / also optional snowshoe trails...then locate Long Lake trailhead. This is a snow packed trail (you will need microspikes or as winter continues snow shoes). Once you reach the trailhead you can either keep walking on the road through the Pawnee campground to access to the lake trail or start when you see Long Lake trailhead sign (which will come first) to your left off Brainard Lake road. 

Long Lake Trail is traditionally a 2.3 mile loop moderate-traffic trail (we have seen moose and other wild life back here) but we weren't able to complete the whole loop, so this is more a 4 mile out-and-back. Conditions are usually blisteringly cold at the Lake's edge so time up your sunrise or sunset photography as you won't be spending much time here.  

We used the micospikes almost all the entire hike back to the car. Microspikes and snowshoes may be required for this trail however because of a mild winter we passed plenty of people without spikes just winter boots.  As winter begins to hit the higher elevations; this hike may require snowshoes or micro spikes.  

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Snowshoeing
Hiking
Bathrooms
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Lyons, Colorado

Camp Dick

Ward, Colorado

Pawnee

Allenspark, Colorado

Olive Ridge

Rollinsville, Colorado

Kelly Dahl

Nearby Adventures

Winter Camp at Lefthand Reservoir

3 Miles Round Trip - 250 ft gain

Summit Mt. Toll

6 Miles Round Trip - 1800 ft gain

Snowshoe Mount Audubon

13.9 Miles Round Trip - 2715 ft gain

Tours

Summer, a season not to be missed in Aspen!

"I came for the winter, and stayed for the summer," is a phrase you'll often hear around town.  The weather is one of the highlights. During the day the temperature hovers in the 70's and 80's, and by evening the mercury will drop into the 60's. Arts & culture enthusiasts will be just as fulfilled as the adventure junkie during summer in Aspen.  The events calendar abounds with activities for everyone, from cultural events to athletic pursuits.

Experiencing all Aspen has to offer is as easy as opening the front door. Join us for a summer adventure that’s anything but ordinary.

Learn More