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Lost Park/Lost Creek Wilderness

Hike Name: Lost Park/Lost Creek Wilderness
Location: central CO
Length: 38
Submitted by: Andy Kay
Date Submitted: 0/0/00

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Distances on this trail can be deceiving even with a better map. Begin at Lost Park Trail Head. Pick up the trail on the south side of Lost Creek for a ~6 mile steady climb (+1250ft) along and thru pine forest on the Brookside-McCurdy Trail following Indian Creek. Refresh water supplies from Indian Creek before junction with Ute Creek Trail at Bison Pass as it is a steep 2 mile (+750ft) climb eastward from that point along the Brookside-McCurdy Trail to the lower shoulder of Bison Peak. Trail becomes indistinct to cross the alpine summit. Watch for pylons and ascend southeast to find trail. Excellent view from the top of the Tarryall Mountains, with no tree cover. Find available water ~1 mile east on the trail where old burn area becomes apparent at the source of Sand Creek. Enjoy excellent views to the south of the Tarryall Creek Valley. Follow trail east/se on gradual climb then leveling thru increasing apsen groves on south slope of McCurdy Mountain. Heavy pine forest along the path approaching the junction with McCurdy Park Trail (~11,000ft).
Available water source begins along north descending path of trail thru lighter pine forest. Trail continues steady descent thru mixed pine/aspen forest. Steep descent at 9750ft thru heavy switchbacks. Thunderstorms likely in summer starting early afternoon/be prepared for heavy rain along this route. At time of this writing lots of larger fallen aspen timber on trail to negotiate in this section slowing travel considerably. After creek/trail crossing (9250ft) trail begins series of ascents/descents thru mixed forest with varied trail surfaces. Watch for trail crossings. Heavy short switchbacks on descent to crossing of Lost Creek. (After drenching rain for 2 hours, this was a welcome sight for us). At this point in the trail Lost Creek appears/disappears into tumbled rock formations/canyons running deep in some spots. Scramble in this area with copius amounts of loose rock on the trail mixed with large boulders. Cut thru heavy creekside vegetation on trail catching regular views of Lost Creek. Begin climb thru aspen wooded slopes with large rock formations. Keep close eye on the trail as side trails cut off in several places in this area. Trail runs thru many grottos and quiet shaded areas before emerging on drier slopes in good trail condition. Follow trail east thru Refrigerator Gulch. Begin heavy switchback trail ascent (+500ft) with steep slopes on all sides thru pine forest toward Goose Creek Trail junction. Hard ascent northward on Goose Creek Trail (+600ft) brings you up to height with the surrounding peaks. Follow trail north/ne along steady path to follow Goose Creek. Watch for thick patches of Strawberries (just forming berries in this mid-July) along the trail. Trail continues steady descent to Wigwam Park and the junction with Wigwam Trail. Follow Wigwam Trail westward along Wigwam Creek past multiple sets of beaver ponds thru mixed forest. Steady evelvation trail for most portions with smaller (+-250ft) changes in elevation. along trail. Follow trail to Lost Creek at East Lost Park. Possible small trout fishing in Lost Creek. Watch for byproducts of cattle grazing thru this trail section. Heavily bouldered trail section about 1 mile east of Lost Park trailhead is the last obstacle to finishing this Backpacking event.

A challenging trek that can be broken into a weeks' trip with great views. Pack appropriately for wet weather as thunderstorms gather quickly in this area. Watch weather before ascending into treeless areas.

Directions to Hike
Take Hwy 285 from Denver area south thru Bailey and over Kenosha Pass to Lost Park Road. Take Lost Park road southeast to the end of the road at Lost Park Campground. Lost Park Trail Head is located at west side of campground. There are three trail access areas around the campground going in different directions so double-check to ensure you depart from the correct one.

Contact Information
South Park Ranger District
PO Box 219
Fairplay, CO 80440
(719) 836-2031

South Platte Ranger District
19316 Goddard ranch Ct.
Morrison, CO 80465
(303) 697-0414

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