Apr 1, 2010 at 12:06 pm #1257200
Has anyone been out to Lost Creek Wilderness (Colorado) recently, and can give me some idea about trail conditions, snow, etc.? I'm thinking of hitting it for next weekend (April 10-11).Apr 2, 2010 at 8:49 am #1593518
NOBODY has been out there?
I was out at Florissant a few weeks ago, but that's much lower elevation.Apr 2, 2010 at 8:57 am #1593521
Greg MihalikBPL Member
This Thread from last year posits that you are really waiting for May to roll around.Apr 2, 2010 at 10:48 am #1593549
I'll bet certain stretches of the trail are relatively free of snow, or at least well on their way. However, as that thread suggests, it is sure to be quite deep snow and slower going for an extended section above Lake Park, probably on the approach to Bison Peak and along the river gulch west of the TH as well. It all depends on what you are willing to slog through, I guess. There aren't really any technical sections, so the primary consequence of snow is that you have to hike in snow, or bring along some snowshoes.
Long as the TH is accessible, and you don't mind turning back if the conditions warrant or spending an extra night due to slow progress, could be worth a shot! Others might have better info than me.
JamesApr 2, 2010 at 12:12 pm #1593568
Well, I've been looking for an excuse to get some MSR Lightnings… :o)
I don't have a heck of a lot of snowshoeing experience, though.
Unless anyone else can recommend a fun overnighter for this time of year within an easy drive of Colorado Springs? I did Great Sand Dunes last fall, but I guess I could hit it again…Apr 2, 2010 at 12:36 pm #1593576
Lost Creek might be just the place to discover your newfound snowshoe talents! You can always return to the TH if things aren't working out. As for other hikes in the area, if you are willing to drive a bit further, Dondo has done some backpacking in the Grand Junction area that looked beautiful. There was no snow on the ground in Grand Junction as of a week ago, so there is a good chance those areas might be relatively snow free.
JamesApr 2, 2010 at 12:55 pm #1593581
For the sake of maximizing time actually *hiking*, a 5 hour drive kinda sucks. But maybe I could leave Friday night or something, so I guess Grand Junction is an option.
Got links to Dondo's hikes? It can't have been recent.Apr 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm #1593583
Greg MihalikBPL Member
Take a look at Purgatoire River southeast of La Junta. It is supposed to be a magical slickrock canyon environment, but I know nothing about it, except that it is on my list.
edit to correctly spell and identify Purgatoire River
To advert more thread drift Look Here.Apr 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm #1593596
Here is the trip report I was thinking of:
JamesApr 3, 2010 at 7:31 pm #1593986
Dean, I haven't been to Lost Creek since October but based on experience from past years, you'll most likely encounter early-season conditions. I would agree with Greg that you'll have an easier time if you wait until May, but if you want to go for it, be sure to read Andy Skurka's article on the challenges you're likely to face. It's the best thing I've found anywhere on the subject.
James pointed out that the Grand Junction area is a great place to be this time of year and I'd have to agree with him. The Dominguez Canyons area that James linked to is one of my favorites out there. The Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness is also beautiful, especially the arches area of Rattlesnake canyon. I probably won't get out there this spring for the same reason that you're hesitating. It's hard to justify a ten-hour round-trip drive for a simple overnighter.
There's a place in your own backyard that looks really interesting to me. It's the Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area. By all accounts, it a very beautiful place teeming with wildlife. With elevations starting at 6,000' you'll be sure to find at least some snow-free hiking.Apr 4, 2010 at 10:58 am #1594101
I saw Beaver Creek on the local Trails Illustrated map, but I wasn't certain of access. (And it is still listed as a Wildlife Area.) Looks like I might have to drive all the way to Canon City, then come north, again.
I COULD try my new Hane…
FWIW, the NOAA website shows 4-6 inches of snow in parts of Lost Creek. But that's all modeled, not ground truth.Apr 4, 2010 at 4:44 pm #1594166
Yeah, though Beaver Creek is very close to Colorado Springs as the crow flies, humans have to go the long way around.
This area has long been on my radar. Here are the directions from my notebook:
From Colorado Springs take 115 south through Penrose. Take a right onto Hwy. 50 and go four miles. Another right onto Phantom Canyon Rd. and travel 1.7 Miles. Right again onto County Rd. 123 for a quarter mile and then a left onto Upper Bear Creek Rd. The trailhead is about 11 miles up the road.
It's still a wildlife area as well as a WSA, so you
have to have an annual Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp to be legal.
Don't let me dissuade you from trying out Lost Creek in April. I've done a number of short overnighters there at this time of year and it's been fine, just a bit more work than I like doing in my free time. Generally, in April I like to stay high in the snow, say above 9,500' or below the lower snow line and leave those mid-level elevations for another month or two.
I COULD try my new Hane… ???Apr 4, 2010 at 8:39 pm #1594235
The Hane is a fly fishing rod…
I have to look up the rules for fishing in this state, though.Apr 4, 2010 at 8:46 pm #1594236
Luke SchmidtBPL Member
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
I would expect snow on north slopes and shaded areas and less in sunny areas. I'd call the forest service and ask about conditions. If it was me I would go but bring snowshoes just in case. It shouldn't be really hard camping there you'll just want snowshoes for the bad spots. Have fun I'm jealous.Apr 8, 2010 at 4:05 pm #1595871
I will be heading to Lost Creek Wilderness this Saturday for an overnighter. Im not sure on my route or destination. I am bringing snowshoes, and I hope to use them. Im down to meet up if your still interested. I don't know if posting your phone number is illegal, but im willing to take the risk due to it being Thursday and my limitied access to the internet. So call me 6155046350 Might even leave Friday nite. Not sure.
Keep walkin' on yallApr 8, 2010 at 6:43 pm #1595954
Drew SmithBPL Member
@drewsmithLocale: Colorado Rockies
The rules are pretty simple – just buy a license, there is no "season" in CO. There are local restrictions on heavily fished waters, but that's never a problem when backpacking. And you can't keep greenback cutthroats (the state fish, once thought extinct), but they are limited to the Boulder, St Vrain and Big Thompson drainages.Apr 11, 2010 at 7:36 am #1596704
Sorry, Jared, I missed your post. As it turns out I have a patient admitted, so I couldn't do an over-nighter, anyway. I'm just doing a couple of day-hikes.
I hope it was fun at Lost Creek…Apr 12, 2010 at 5:47 pm #1597227
For anyone interested: I did try Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area for an overnighter Sunday to Monday and would have to definitely give the place a thumbs-up. A trip report will be forthcoming at Dondo Outdoors as soon as I find the time to write it up and process the photos.Apr 19, 2010 at 9:35 am #1599503
How was your trip to Lost Creek? I'm thinking about a trip soon and am curious about the conditions!
JamesApr 24, 2010 at 7:37 pm #1601716
It's a pleasant little area. There's about a ten-meter section of the loop hike where you have to boulder along over the creek, though, before the trail becomes recognizable, again.
Random shot of me on the trail:
This big gap in the cliff face is where Beaver Creek cuts through the ridge:
The creek from high above:
The rock face that the creek hits before veering right is the section you have to scramble across:
Some of the granite has so much mica in it, it looks like little fragments of mirror are scattered over the rock:
Huge inclusions of mica leaves are in there- some the size of a football, and when they're on-end you can riffle the layers like pages in a book.
Final shot, from above:
I took my Hane, but there was just a tad too much wind for THIS novice fly fisherman to keep his line out of the brush…May 12, 2010 at 5:37 pm #1609239
Any reports on Lost Creek snow conditions? Looks like they might be getting snow during this storm but wanted to find out if any snow was hanging around before this week. I'm trying to plan an overnighter for next weekend that's either close to the Boulder area or the Springs.
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