The Little Raven Trail is only open to hikers during the summer as it is reserved for skiing only during the winter months. However, from May through October, this furrific five-mile out and back trail is a great way to get a good workout with your canine kid and see some gorgeous mountains, beautiful forest, a plethora of wildlife, and vibrant wildflowers. If you are in the Nederland, Colorado area, you and your pooch should take a trip to the Little Raven.
The trail is actually located at the Brainard Lake Recreation Area on Brainard Lake Road (Forest Road 112) where there is free parking in the large parking lot there. However, this is a popular recreation area, and the lot can fill up fast, especially on the weekends. The trail starts on the Sourdough Trail right there at the parking lot of the recreation area about a half of a mile south of Brainard Lake Road.
You and your pooch will head west up a very steep incline for about a half of a mile where it gradually levels out when it gets close to the Forest Road 232. Continue west on the Little Raven Trail for another half of a mile where you will see an old quarry. You will start a downward trek here for another mile until you get to the CMC Trail. You have to turn around here because the CMC Trail is only designated for skiing.
Along your walk, you will mostly be in the Rocky Mountains and the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests where you will be shaded from the hot sun. However, there are some places where the treeline just disappears for a while, and this is when you can enjoy the best view of the woofderful mountains of the Continental Divide. There are no restrooms on this trail, but there are vault toilets and water access at the Brainard Lake Recreation Area where you start and end your journey. Bringing water for the journey, as well as clean up bags, are recommended.
For a puptastic adventure in this beautiful are, check out the Little Raven Trail.