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Brainard Gateway Figure-8

  4.1 ( 8 ) Favorite


10.1 mile 16.2 kilometer loop
93% Runnable


Ascent: 1,290' 393 m
Descent: -1,289' -393 m
High: 10,245' 3,123 m
Low: 9,391' 2,863 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)


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Trail shared by John Scalese

This is a great route through a high forest with nice views of peaks, ridges, and a nice lake.

John Scalese

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife


Head through the forest just below treeline in the Brainard Lake region of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Take your time to enjoy this great pine forest. The closeness of the trees will keep you out of the wind and in a lush shadowed area.

Need to Know

There are several areas with tough footing, otherwise, great running.

Runner Notes

Expect to run on all singletrack with some loose footing and many loose rocks.


From the parking area at the Brainard Lake gate, follow the North Sourdough (#835) trail for approximately 1.8 miles. The trail starts to the left of the bathrooms and is signed as such. The first intersection is a short distance down the trail, take a right. Pay close attention to the next two intersections you pass, you'll need to know them for later!

At 1.8 miles, take a left at the intersection of the North Sourdough (#835) and Wapiti Trail to start this loop clockwise (the reverse is fun, too). Follow the Wapiti Trail (#816) to Baptiste Trail (#815), another 2.2 miles until the signage for Wapiti/Baptiste.

Staying to the right (back onto North Sourdough (#835), follow the trail another 1.2 miles until you reach the intersection where the loop began. Continue on North Sourdough (#835) south for .4 miles to the South Saint Vrain Trail (#909).

Keep right onto South Saint Vrain Trail (#909) and follow for approx. 2 miles. After that, you'll come to another intersection where you'll need to keep left, and take the Waldrop Trail (#814) and head back to the first intersection. A final right-hand turn will lead you back to the trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Lodgepole pine forests will dominate. There are possible moose sightings at the lake at the end of the run.

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Aug 18, 2019
Johnny Robertson
Jul 14, 2018
Chris Vonderhaar
Get there early if you're going on the weekend. Early meaning before 9. Had to wait in a line of cars for 30 mins even to park in the Gateway TH lo… 10.1mi
Jul 7, 2018
Todd Straka
part of our loop from the main gate 7mi

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 8 votes


  4.1 from 8 votes
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in Colorado


104 Views Last Month
2,974 Since Oct 23, 2015



Moose cow hanging out in a small lake on the trail.
Oct 23, 2015 near Nederland, CO
Small mountain pond surrounded by marsh land
Jul 6, 2018 near Nederland, CO
Climbing Sourdough from Beaver Reservoir offers some nice views from time to time.
Jul 31, 2019 near Nederland, CO
Very nice view here!
Jul 31, 2019 near Nederland, CO
Rocky approach to stream crossing.
Jul 31, 2019 near Nederland, CO
Alternative route vs taking the road when parking at the Brainard Gateway parking lot.
Nov 7, 2016 near Nederland, CO

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