Brainard Lake Recreation Area + Gateway Trailhead

Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest near Ward, Colorado

The new Gateway Trailhead aims to reduce summer-use pressure on the Indian Peaks Wilderness and provide another node of mountain biking opportunity. Many existing trails were pioneered by skiers, but with increasing summer use are exhibiting several badly eroding fall-line sections.

Despite difficult terrain and tight constraints, ContourLogic designed several reroutes to be sustainable while offering a quality user experience year-round. In just two years, volunteers from partner organizations completed the major new alignment of South St Vrain and reclaimed old scars and parking lot construction impacts.

In 2013-2014 partners will pair volunteers, youth crews, and professional operators with mentoring by ContourLogic to build a key connection from the new Gateway Trailhead to the core trail system and Red Rocks Lake. We’ll also repair a heavily traveled trail across talus to the popular Isabelle Glacier in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

Trail Segments Include:

  • Waldrop connector trails design (2011-2013)
  • Isabelle Glacier Trail maintenance Rx (2012)
  • Rainbow Lakes Campground connector trail design (2011)
  • Sourdough Reroute design and construction (2011)
  • South Saint Vrain reroute design (2009, 2010)
  • Little Raven retrofit and reroute design (2005)

Key Topics

  • Trailhead and System Connectivity
  • Retire Unsustainable Trail
  • Reduce Impacts in Wilderness
  • Backcountry Character
  • Hybrid Construction with Volunteers


  • 2005-2013


  • USFS
  • Wildlands Restorataion Volunteers
  • Colorado Mountain Club
  • Boulder Mountainbike Alliance


  • Ed Self, Executive Director, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers,
  • Ed Perault, Recreation Manager, USFS Boulder Ranger District,
  • Jenn Archuleta, Trails Director, Boulder Mountainbike Alliance,