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Brainard Lake Recreation Area to Open for Summer Season July 1 with Minor Changes to Facilitate Safety and Access

The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland is opening the Brainard Lake Recreation Area for summer use on July 1 with some minor changes to help facilitate social distancing in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines. This includes allowing 80% capacity in parking lots. Please be sure to check the Brainard Lake Recreation Area website for details on the changes.

The Brainard Lake Recreation Area, located in Boulder County, is approximately 3,000 acres of higher elevation forest. It is a highly popular recreation destination on our Boulder Ranger District, with parking lots often filling by 9 a.m. during the peak summer season. This plan will take parking spots available to 238 from 298, optimizing access for the public while emphasizing public and employee safety. It will also include a scheduled entry plan the public can utilize when planning their visit. This plan will allow staff to focus on needs, such as increased frequency of restroom cleaning, as opposed to managing traffic congestion issues.

Changes at the Brainard Lake Recreation area this year are tiered to a 2016 transportation study of the area and were made in close coordination with the concessionaire who manages the Brainard Lake Recreation area, American Land and Leisure. Staff from both the Forest Service and American Land and Leisure will monitor the plan over the season and make adjustments as necessary to meet the intent. Data gathered this summer can also be used, along with previous information gathered, to help make management decisions for the area into the future.

Changes do not impact access for those with reservations at the Pawnee Campground or permits for overnight use in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Plan details, including information on the scheduled entry plan, will be posted on the Brainard Lake Recreation Area website.

Visitors are also urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with local health and safety guidance. Tips for preventing illnesses like the coronavirus are available from the CDC website.