Tuesday, June 2, 2020

A Climb to Brainard Lake

On May 26, I made my first-of-season climb to Brainard Lake.

My first-of-season bird up there was the gray jay - even before I took out my sandwich, which is a magnet for gray jays, a reliable denizen of this altitude. I heard tweets that were probably migrating warblers, but didn't see them.

It's an ideal time to be at Brainard, since the campgrounds and day use areas aren't open - under 10 feet of snow at the moment - and perhaps wouldn't be open anyway, in this Time of the Virus.

Climbing up to Ward, you reach the early bright green just-unfolded foliage near Ward at 9,000 ft.

The evidence that spring is finally here! 
And that summer is coming.

But no leafing out yet at 10,000 ft.

Near the entrance to Brainard Lake.

At Brainard: plenty of cars in the parking lot before the entrance.

And then that classic first view of the Indian Peaks.

Brainard Lake Road just past the entrance hut

Higher roadside snow passing the closed campgrounds

Looks like a while until Day Use will be open.

(The clear roads are only clear because of plowing.)

Not plowed across the lake outlet bridge

South part of lake loop - time for a break!

The snowfield provided warming rays while I took a moment for a sandwich.

Among the few folks on bikes were (1) an angler with fishing gear headed to the lake and (2) a mountaineering skier with backcountry skis heading to a trailhead.

Heading back for a chilly but delightful descent.

Here's hoping you can enjoy a cool get-away on this eve of summer!