WARD – Due to heavy snowpack and unsafe conditions, the opening of Brainard Lake Recreation Area in the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forest has been tentatively scheduled for June 19. The road west of the lake to the Long Lake and Mitchell Lake Trailheads will likely open later in June. Pawnee Campground is scheduled to open on June 26.
Northwestern Colorado received a large amount of snow in May. Snowpack levels for high elevation areas west of Boulder are at 320 percent of normal for this time of year, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. At the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, where snowpack in June is a normal occurrence, the above-average amount is melting slowly in some areas but not others.
Recent storms have oversaturated soils and loosened tree roots, creating hazardous trees – both leaning and snagged – which pose a risk of falling and injuring somebody, especially on windy days. Public safety is the primary concern for delaying the opening date. Forest Service crews will be working to remove these hazards prior to opening. For more information and regulations for the Brainard Lake Recreation Area visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/brainard.