Explore the most popular camping trails in Lost Creek Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Love this area. We did the goose creek loop counter-clockwise, 3 nights and 4 days. Days 2 and 3 are by far the toughest, lots of uphill and steep switchbacks. Stayed on McGurdy park trail instead of taking the Lake Park “shortcut”. Pretty much all downhill from Hankins pass back to the trailhead. It was my 10 year old son’s first pack it in pack it out trip. He did great, so any dedicated novice can do this.

backpacking
14 days ago

Stunning, but tough. My wife and I (both 56, from Atlanta) and our 20-something kids from Denver did the loop over Labor Day weekend. Thankfully, we had the chance to acclimate ahead of time with some long hikes at altitude. We did the 28-mile Lost Creek Loop in three days and went counter-clockwise, which I would highly recommend. First day includes a big climb, with a payoff of spectacular views. We camped a little more than 10 miles in at McCurdy Park, which offers beautiful campsites in a meadow setting with good access to water. Day two starts out pretty easy and includes the really unique and beautiful Refrigerator Gulch. Coming up and out of the gulch though is a butt-kicker, with a 1,000 foot climb in just over a mile. We did another roughly 10 miles day-two and camped in a great spot in the woods along a stream, just before the intersection of the Wigwam Trail. Day three was an easy, and much faster, 8-mile walk to complete the loop. Milkshakes at the Sonic in Conifer, on the way back to Denver, capped a really wonderful long weekend!

Kid friendly camping spots early on, trail was very busy and lots of people with poorly trained off leash dogs. Wilderness area was beautiful, saw some cows in the burn scar area before the trailhead. Spotted some grouse and the biggest beaver dam I’ve seen in person on goose creek.

Great loop. We hiked counter clockwise and it is definitely easier. I agree with others that the loop is 30 miles according to GPS. Refrigerator gulch is a good place to camp. We saw a moose and other wildlife along the way. Next time I will do it clockwise for the bragging rights, I feel like I cheated going CC.

amazing view long hike and I hike it Counter clockwise is the best and easy way out

I requested an edit to the trail description. From the trail head (adjacent to the trail head for segment 4 of the Colorado trail) to Wigwam trail, a hike travels about 6.4 miles. That was the information from the forest service and that was my experience on the hike (12.8 miles round trip). The first three miles are rolling and pretty. Most of the creeks were dry. I saw some camping spots at Rolling Creek, which had plenty of water. From there, the trail begins a steep ascent over 2.5 miles to a nice saddle with camping, but no water that I found. The descent tow Wigwam trail was a touch washed out in places, but you're in the amazing Lost Creek Wilderness. There's some additional camping and water around the intersection of Rolling Creek Trail and Wigwam trail. I only encountered two groups on the trail after the first three miles (once it starts climbing). I saw more along the first three miles, which looked like a great little hike with nice views of the Castle. If you take Wigwam Trail up to Brookside-McCurdy and connect with CO Trail segment 4, you can hike back out for a nice 25 mile loop.

Beautiful scenery, sort of a desert feel to it at first.

backpacking
22 days ago

completed this loop 8/26/2018. Garmin watch said about 30 miles. We did it clockwise but almost think we would have been better off counter clockwise. If you go clockwise it's pretty flat for first about 7 or 8 miles. There is cool cave that the river flows through a mile or 2 past refrigerator gulch. good camping in refrigerator gulch. pretty good water sources throughout except up above 10500(there are still water but not ideal). We completed the loop in 2 nights. Out of staters from lower elevations should plan for 3 nights. makes it more fun and can do some exploring.

Hiked this on 8/18-8/19. Flowing water in several creeks beginning approximately five miles in.

First part of this trail is amazingly beautiful and varied. Super lush. Mixed pine, aspen, and spruce, changing up frequently. The meadow portion is also beautiful in its own way, but be mindful of the lack of shade for that portion. I prefer forest, but even I found the meadow to be starkly beautiful, especially in the early morning.

Completed this trail going clockwise from Lost Park Campground

Day 1: I took off down Wigam Trail 609 and split south to follow lost creek. Starts out as grasslands with marshes around until you first see the creek. All around the creek is a beautiful old growth pine forest. Magical campsites were all over the place here!

It was easy going until around mile 4 where the canyon narrows and boulders fill the creek bed. Lots of scrambling and climbing was required here. The trail was difficult to follow at points simply because there was nothing to do besides sig-zag down the creek by hoping across boulders.

I lost the trail at mile 6 where it turns 90 degrees up a very steep hill to go around the canyon. There is a trail that goes around some huge boulders that cover the entire creekbed. I mistakenly followed this instead instead of up and out. This adventure unknowingly off trail led to a beautiful little campsite right next to the creek where I stopped for the night. No need to worry about losing the trail until the end since it's marked by cairns throughout


Day 2: I had to backtrack and find the trail again. Following Muccurdy trail uphill across many switchbacks was extremely tiring and everyone I passed on the trail was going the other direction. This section of trail is mostly aspen and young pine. Huffing and puffing as a lowlander not used to the altitude I made it up to the creek again, where old growth pine & large aspens created groves intermixing with the marshy brambles not far off. Plenty of great campsites along the creek just before the junction onto Brookside Mccurdy trail.


Day 3: The Brookside Mccurdy trail felt the same as the day before but with more aspens and a much better view of the canyon I had climbed out of. Sunrise here was beautiful

Cresting Mccurdy mountain there was a sudden change to an alpine biome with spectacular views south and west! The rest of the trail west to Bison mountain was a series of ridge-lines with interment marshes in the gulch. Easy going compared to the uphill switchbacks on day two, and much more wildlife! I surprised a herd of dear 25ft away, and ran into a huge moose on the trail

After reaching the Bison Mountain peak, a series of very gravely switchbacks began on the way down. It begins to follow the creek through the marshes keeping to the edge of a pine forest with dead logs all over the place. The marshes are beautiful with a few good campsites around in the trees that overlook the entire area. This section of trail was easy going

I recommend a hiking pole/stick for the lost creek bouldering, and also for the gravely switchbacks where I nearly slipped a few times even with a stick.

As one reviewer pointed out, the downhill section is very steep around mile 4-6. Having a 60L pack made it difficult at points, but I would still go clockwise if I did it again as my knees are still young and can take the load. Going uphill would have taken me twice as long along this section... if you are worried about this steep downhill the rest of the trail is probably easier going counter clockwise!

All my pictures are from the southbound lost creek trail canyon, miles 4-6

Agreed with the comment below, this was a difficult hike. First off, bring a paper map as there are multiple trail junctions that are not highlighted on this AllTrails screenshot. I actually downloaded a map from the Hiking Project titled 'Lost Creek Wilderness Loop', and it ended up being a completely different loop. I'd also recommend starting counterclockwise. We went clockwise and the hardest, steepest climbs were by far at the end of the hike. Aside from this being pretty dam difficult, the views and wildlife are second to none for being so close to the front range.

backpacking
29 days ago

Rated hard for a reason. Went counterclockwise starting at lost creek/Park trailhead. First 3-4 Miles are easy then you start a difficult ascent. Little or no water for Miles 5-10.5. Around 10.5 have good place to camp. 2nd day hike looks easier but the first ascent is quite steep. Once you make it to the top it is pretty easy the rest of the way. There are consistently great views, saw a moose and a elk.

very well maintained trail. Great camp spots just down from the old miner buildings with great water supply. I hiked in another few miles and was able to use a small creek in a very secluded area. some spectacular views when you hiked off trail and onto rock. a little hot last week.

backpacking
1 month ago

Difficult backpacking trip taking you around the amazing lost creek wilderness and the amazing and awesome refrigerator gulch with its massive granite boulders.

hiking
1 month ago

The fairly level, rolling trail for 2.5 miles is a bit unique and nice. After that is a steady, steep climb up 3 miles to a saddle, which gave us the work out we wanted. It's all in a pretty forest with limited views but the granite outcrops that we did see were great. We saw about a dozen friendly people on a Saturday in August, so not bad for the crowds.

Backpacked 5 miles into the trail. The first mile or so is burn scar, but after that is exquisite. I've never seen more beautiful scenery anywhere. Plenty of good campgrounds and water sources.

Our backpacking trip went counterclockwise, starting at Goose Creek, forking left onto McCurdy, left again at Lake Park, and final left at Hawkins Pass. Around 24 miles total.

Goose Creek trail was cool; there is a diverse landscape varying from mountain views to aspen groves to large rock formations. Plenty of water from mile 1 though 6 along this route for the backpackers. Can’t speak to further sections, as we created a loop with McCurdy.

We continued our trek that day into McCurdy (junction at about 6 miles into Goose Creek). McCurdy is tough, required lots of breaks for us as we are relatively new to backpacking and carrying +/-30lb packs. Decent water sources from the Goose Creek / McCurdy junction — for us, we filled up around our mile 8, mile 9 (cave / stream area), and close to mile 10.

All water sources are low, keep in mind we had a low snowpack this year, therefore streams and cave water are lower than normal. Related to this, there are fire restrictions in the area! Always a best practice during a hot and dry summer to NOT start an open fire. Bring fuel and a personal stove to cook. Don’t be that guy, the one who starts a completely preventable forest fire.

I was on a different loop, but started on this trail around mile 6 on this map. It was so steep at one part that we had to turn around. We had backpacking backpacks so it was also harder to go downhill at such a steep gradient. Would also note that there is a lot of bouldering and the river is hidden under the boulders at that point (mile 7 or so).

backpacking
2 months ago

Did the loop ccw, camped in refrigerator gulch first night and hiked out the next day. Most of the raging streams in the past were dwindled down to a trickle if nothing flowing at all. Many bridge crossings were done walking over the dry creek bed. Still plenty of options to refill on water just not as many in previous years.

Saw pronghorn, and a couple moose.

Amazing trail, only went in 2 miles, to a sweet campsite then scrambled down to the river. Perfect quick afternoon hike

Very beautiful, but we only went one mile in and back

Good conditions, but some erosion on the trail. Easy to follow.

backpacking
2 months ago

I drove from Denver and even though the description doesn't say it, the road from Bailey to the trail head is 100% gravel. Long time for gravel. But, that is the only negative. The hike was fantastic. We hiked in on a Saturday Afternoon in June and prime open camp sports were everywhere. One of the guys in my group caught a bunch of fish at the beaver ponds (very small however).

backpacking
2 months ago

3 of us completed the loop clockwise in 2 ½ days. We started at the Goose Creek trailhead. Day 1 was all uphill and we had to put in about 2 hours of night hiking to reach a campsite with good water. We didn’t start until 3PM though. Day 2 was a mix of both up and down hill but mostly downhill. The views were absolutely stunning. We camped day 2 in Reservoir Gulch. Excellent camp site and good water. Day 3 was the last 4-5 miles out. We were back at the trailhead where we put in well before noon. Easy day 3 hike. We read a lot of posts from others on this trail beforehand. I definitely recommend going clockwise. The first 7-9 miles will be very challenging but the rest of the hike is much easier and the views are incredible. If we did this again I’d start early morning, but that’s it. Have fun!

This trail was probably too ambitious for our group of 3 casual backpackers ages 20, 27, and 57. ( The 20 year old had the toughest time due to altitude).

The scenery is fabulous. There are wonderful campsites. We saw a moose. The trail conditions are real sketchy in a lot of places. Be prepared to do some bouldering. The whole loop should take you more than 3 days if you are not an expert. We went CL and took a short cut through Lost Creek Trail back to Wigwam Creek Trail.

I do not recommend the southern 2 miles of Lost Creek Trail. We made it without incident, but it's treacherous in spots. We needed our rope, and guidance from other hikers who knew the route. We were scared of being stuck with no safe way out, but we did fine and had a nice trek.

We had fun. If I did this trip again, I would plan 4 to 5 days for the whole loop, or make it a shorter out and back route. I you are up for a big challenge at high altitude, go for it!

backpacking
3 months ago

Hiked this trail clockwise and thought the best views were at the end; although It had a longer, steeper hike to reach these views. Also, was nice to have the six easy miles at the end. A lot of people were hiking in the opposite direction.

Ended up being closer to 29-30 miles for us. We didn’t see any wildlife. Water was a little harder to find, so we made sure to fill up when we came across water. We did this hike in two long days. Was amazing. Would totally recommend.

backpacking
3 months ago

We made it to the 3.75 mile mark and ran out of water. We only crossed 2 streams and both were dry. There was not a stream that ran alongside the trail. On the positive note the views incredible and it was very lightly trafficked.

backpacking
3 months ago

Went weekend of May 4th. Just passed the cabins we veered left toward what we called “hitchhikers thumb” and climbed all the way down to the creek. Tough decent, but well worth it. Out of earshot the whole weekend. Weather was OK. Low in the 20s overnight. Will definitely go back.

I took this loop CW starting at the Lost Park TH, took me a day and a half to finish. I camped about 2 miles outside refrigerator gulch (12 miles from TH) on goose creek trail in a lovely little aspen grove. CW direction definitely saves the best for last in my opinion, but comes with steep elevation gain coming from refrigerator gulch that you have to be prepared for (think 3000 feet over about 4 miles). However, the payoff at the saddle is so rewarding, and the last 6 miles are easy meandering downhill. Beautiful aspen groves, lovely ponds, and some amazing rock formations. Looked decent if you like fly fishing as well, I saw some nice sized brookies before my dog jumped in and scared them away. Overall a beautiful hike, I plan on returning in the fall when the aspens are changing.

A few trail notes:

Black flies and mosquitos were bad at lower elevation, so bring a net and/or some spray.

Refrigerator Gulch has a lot of side trails that lead to campsites, I recommend using a trail guide here because I got lost for about 30 minutes trying to find the real trail.

I never had an issue finding water but about 6 miles of Brookside McCurdy (ascending and descending the summit to the Ute Creek intersection) were dry. Keep an eye on your water supplies and refill as often as possible.

I didn’t see any large wildlife at all, but that could be because I have a pretty barky dog. I spoke to a couple who swears they saw a mountain lion about 20 ft from their campsite on McCurdy trail. Moose are also prevalent here. Just be smart, know your wildlife, and hang your food at night!

I read about this place on different websites so we decided to give it a go. We opted for an out and back overnight camping trip on goose creek trail. The scenery was nice and the trail was easy to follow. We stopped at a site about 5.5 miles in a decided to set up camp. It was a nice big camp site with a decent water source. There was a little trail across from our site that went up hill to a more secluded camp site with nice views of the mountains. I wish I would have noticed that site before settling in. Either way we had fun and would like to try one of the loops next time.

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