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Friends of Mount Evans and Lost Creek Wilderness

Lost Creek

Wilderness

autumn in coloradoThe Lost Creek Wilderness is a 119,790-acre wilderness area located in central Colorado in Jefferson and Park counties south of the town of Bailey. The area is situated entirely within the boundaries of the Pike National Forest.

The area is named for Lost Creek, a perennial stream that repeatedly disappears and reappears before finally emerging as Goose Creek, which empties into the South Platte River at Cheesman Reservoir just east of the Wilderness area. The entire watershed lies in the Upper South Platte River Basin. The area is notable for its many rock formations, natural arches, and rounded granite domes and knobs, carved of red Pikes Peak granite. The area contains two mountain ranges: the Kenosha Mountains and the Tarryall Mountains. 12,431-foot (3,789 m) Bison Peak is the highest peak in the wilderness.

Weather

Mountain weather, particularly at high altitudes, can go from one extreme to another in a short amount of time. Carry adequate clothing for any type of weather. Snow is not uncommon in the middle of summer and can blow in quickly. Summer days typically begin clear and sunny, but warm air rising from sun-warmed slopes generates increasing clouds and afternoon thunderstorms, often accompanied by intense lightening. At other times, thick fog or a sudden snow may envelop the high country, obscuring all landmarks. If traveling off trail, carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. A GPS unit is also a valuable navigation tool, but dead batteries will render it useless.

Available Maps

The following maps cover the Lost Creek Wilderness and can be purchased at many area stores:

National Forest Maps:

  • Pike National Forest

National Geographic/Trails Illustrated:

  • #105 Tarryall Mountains / Kenosha Pass

USGS 7.5 Minute Quadrangles:

  • Bailey
  • Pine
  • Green Mountain
  • Shawnee
  • Windy Peak
  • McCurdy Mountain

Wilderness Regulations

In the Lost Creek Wilderness, please adhere to these regulations. The following are prohibited:

  1. Possessing or using a motor vehicle or motorized equipment.
  2. Possessing or using a hang glider or bicycle.
  3. Landing of aircraft, or dropping or picking up of any supplies, materials or persons by aircraft is prohibited.
  4. Having groups of more than 15 persons and/or 10 saddle, pack, or draft animals.
  5. Possessing dogs, unless under physical restraint of a leash.
  6. Camping within 100 feet of trails, lakes, or streams.
  7. Building or using a campfire within 100 feet of trails, lakes, or streams.
  8. Hitching, hobbling, or tethering saddle, pack, or draft animals within 100 feet of trails, lakes, or streams.
  9. Possessing, storing, or transporting unprocessed feed for horses or other stock.
  10. Possessing or using a cart, wagon, or other vehicle is prohibited. Wheelchairs suitable for indoor use are exempted.
  11. Short-cutting switchbacks on trails.