Lost Creek Scenic Loop

Just returned from what has become a spring tradition,  a hike of Colorado’s Lost Creek Scenic Loop.

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The hike begins at the Goose Creek Trailhead, at the edge of the Hayman Burn.

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Goose Creek winds lazily through a meadow.

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I stop for a moment in an aspen grove.


About the gear: The pack is a Granite Gear Vapor Trail. I’m carrying a base weight of about 11# and a total weight of about 17# for this three-day trip.

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It’s been a wet spring along the Front Range of Colorado. Wildflowers are plentiful.

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Parts of the McCurdy Park trail feel like an enchanted rock garden.

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Aspen and granite are two constants throughout most of the Lost Creek Wilderness.

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My first night’s camp on a ledge high above Lost Creek. There is an incredible 360 degree view of rock formations from here.

About the gear:  The tarp is an Integral Designs Silshelter. Holding it up in an inverted V are two Pacerpoles. The stakes are 6″ Easton. The ground sheet is a piece of polycryo. On top of that is a Montbell 90 pad plus pillow.

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This dome is a prominent feature near my camp. Here, the clouds have rolled in and it’s starting to rain. The rain continues for most of the night.

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The clouds have mostly melted away and from my perch up here it seems like it’s going to be a sunny day. Still it’s cold in the morning and I’m wearing everything I brought except my sun hat and extra pair of socks.

About the gear : from top to bottom I’m wearing a Polartec 200 toque, lightweight Golite poly top, Polartec 100 pullover, OR Ion hooded windshirt, Golite Virga, REI Sahara Pants, Golite Reed rain pants, wool 1/4 socks and New Balance trail runners.

The second day is indeed mostly sunny and the light too harsh for taking pictures so I put my camera away for the day.

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Evening light plays on my second night’s camp deep in the forest near Hankins Pass.

A storm is brewing as I make camp and the wind is blowing strongly from the west. Nevertheless, I erect my tarp with the long end perpendicular to the wind to take advantage of the direction of the slope for sleeping. The Silshelter is set up as taut as I can make it. Much to my surprise, it makes  it through the night without so much as a flap.

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The sun sets as storm clouds race toward my camp.

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Golden banner appear as I re-enter the Hayman Burn area along the Hankins Pass trail.

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The stream along Hankins Gulch dances over moss and lichen-covered granite.

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3 thoughts on “Lost Creek Scenic Loop

  1. Hi Dondo–

    Do you have a topo map or something of the route? I would like to piggy back on your route–it looks too amazing to pass up.

    Also, how crowded was it? About how many other packers did you see on a daily basis?

    My email is Dimarq@gmail.com

    I hope to hear from you! Thanks for the website and your contributions to various forums across the internet.

    • Hi James,

      Get a hold of the National Geographic #105 map. The entire route is on the map. In recent years this loop has become popular, so you will see people out there. However, many never make it past the Shafthouse. It’ll be less crowded on the rest of the route. My strategy is to avoid summer weekends. Mid-week or after Labor Day would be good times to do the loop. It is an amazing area and definitely worth seeing–crowds or not.

      • I can’t thank you enough for posting all the knowledge you accrue from these trips across the internet. You’re helping out a lot more people than you know!

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