The weather wasn't great either day this weekend, however, the weather on Sunday was forecasted to be blizzard conditions in the mountains, so we figured Saturday was the day to go hike. We haven't been to the Brainard area in over a year, so that was our choice. The weather wasn't bad, but it was overcast during the entire hike and windy at Long Lake. Surprisingly, it wasn't windy at Brainard Lake, which is something that Brainard is known for. This was the season's first hike that felt cold and required us to bundle up; It's been so unseasonably warm on all our other hikes this year that we haven't had to worry about that yet.
Before going, I read my blog entry from the first time we snowshoed at Brainard Lake and it was comical to us both because I said that "this is one of the hardest hikes we've done in a long time". This isn't an easy hike, but with less than 1,000 feet in elevation gain, this hike shouldn't be (and wasn't) something that should be a hard hike. But it puts into perspective how much more snowshoeing we've done this year, and shows that we've kept some of our summer hiking endurance.
That being said, this was a moderately difficult hike. We decided to take a different trail than the one we took last year and made it all the way to Long Lake before stopping at Brainard Lake on the way back down. The most difficult part of the hike was when we were breaking trail between two trails which made that section brutal. Since this trail isn't hiking up to a summit and back down, the way back was a little torturous since we had some elevation gain heading back to the car. Since we already got the views we just wanted to be back to the parking lot without having to do any more ascent.