Proposal Brainard Lake | Spring
Spring Hike into Brainard Lake to Propose
No the Brainard Lake Recreation Area was not open for the season but the road was definitely clear of snow on the last day of May. For Ken and Jen they did a 2.3 mile hike in to the lake that was still frozen over from the winter. On the northern side of the lake things were melting but on the south end where we normally shoot there was a 12 to 15 high snow drift that completely covered these huge trees and carried down toward the lake to fill it in with some deep snow. The perk is for this time of year no one was around and they literally could propose in the lake.
Now if someone is fearful of falling in near the shoreline the water is not very deep so worst case scenario you are not dropping all that far. We are all for being safe and would never advocate for going out on literal ice. This was more of a snow bank where I doubt you would have even know you proposed in the lake.
Due to the conditions making it harder to hide we took a different approach and brought our dog Bokeh to make it seem like we were some enthusiast photographer out to take photos of wildlife. Basically a happy Golden Retriever will break down any walls and make it seem like you are not a stalker creep. In this case it really helped as I saw them coming right on time and then they started to go the wrong way so I could say ‘You looking for the lake?’ and redirect them. Any dog lover will understand that you would want to pet our pup.
As we chatted (which is not normal before a proposal) Bokeh then did figure 8 moves under their legs like any Golden Retriever owner would understand. This getting personal made it a little less obvious when we needed to get closer to get the photos. She was floored and so elated to get engaged there and in the way he did it!
As for a little bit of insider take on this all between the pro level camera gear, lighting equipment, and the champagne and glasses there was easily 30+ pounds for a hike. With the increased travel there is an increased cost and she generally will be in yoga pants as seen in this blog. The point is you can get there late June to early October but there are some other times where to get these views you can make it happen but it will require a small hike down the road.
Why is it closed? Well it is 10,200 feet up and so fills up with snow rather easily. The cost to maintain the location over the winter would be more than the profit. This shoot was also done in noon lighting as they were coming from Estes Park, had to hike in, and had afternoon thunderstorms. Isn’t the lighting the worst? Well if you did not use an off camera flash powerful enough to overpower the sun the answer would be Yes. In this case it was just a variable.
You can get proposal ideas from reading past blogs and read about how we do proposals on our engagement proposals page. If you like what you see here and are considering using this location here are some of the other shoots we have done at Brainard Lake.