Brainard Lake is a wonderful engagement location in the Indian Peaks Wilderness above Ward, Colorado.
About an hour drive from Boulder via the Peak-to-Peak highway or Lefthand Canyon, you’ll find the the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. From June through the middle of October you can drive all the way to Brainard Lake though the area is often way too busy with camping traffic.
Where this location sings is in the winter months because parking is limited to the winter lot outside the gates and everyone must hike in. The good news is that we only hike in to Red Rock Lake which is about a half a mile from the parking lot. It is uphill but the cross-country skiers and snowshoers pack down the snow on the road so it is walkable.
Make sure to bring warm clothing, boots for hiking in the snow and plenty of water. This location is great for the adventurous couple looking for something different.