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Friends of Mount Evans and Lost Creek Wilderness
Resthouse - Trail # 57


(Click Map for PDF)

Beginning Elevation: 10640
High Point: 11360
End Elevation: 10550
Difficulty: Moderate
Length, One Way: 6 miles
Seasons: Summer Through Fall
USGS Quads: Harris Park, Idaho Springs
Other Maps: Arapaho National Forest, Trails Illustrated #104
Usage Level: Medium


Access

Trail Heads

Echo Lake


Connecting Trails

Captain Mountain
Chicago Lakes
Lincoln Lake
Summit Flats
Cub Creek
Beaver Meadows



Description

This high north-south trail accesses the upper Bear Creek basin from the Echo Lake Trailhead.

The first mile climbs gradually through the trees, then descends to Vance Creek. Crossing the creek, it climbs again southeasterly to cross a ridge. After crossing the ridge, it climbs slowly to the southwest and opens up into a meadow created by the 700 acre Lincoln Lake Fire (1968). Near here you may spot old dozer lines from the Owls Head and Lincoln Lake fires, prior to the designation of the Wilderness. Soon after entering the burn, you reach the junction with the Lincoln Lake Trail. From here the trail descends steeply through a ghost forest created by the 1968 fire. When the trail reaches the bottom of the slope at Resthouse Meadows, the Summit Flats Trail takes off to the west and about one quarter mile later you reach the trail's end at its junction with the Beaver Meadows and Cub Creek Trails.


Trail's History

The southernmost sections of the Resthouse trail are part of the original trail system in the Upper Bear Creek Basin, probably built sometime around 1915 and provided access to Lincoln Lake from the east, and from the Resthouse cabin south on what is now the Cub Creek trail to the junction with the Beartracks trail.

The northernmost section was originally part of the Lincoln Lake trail, but sometime between 1940 and 1945, it was added to the Resthouse trail and the section, from the Resthouse to the Beartracks trail, was added to the Beaver Meadows trail.

The Resthouse was constructed for public use by the Forest Service in 1916-1917 and furnished by the Colorado Mountain Club. It was a log structure with a fireplace on the north side and a porch on the east and south sides. Later, the porch was walled in, probably to accommodate more visitors. A fire camp was located here during the 1962 Resthouse Fire. The Resthouse was in use until 1968 when, according to a note in Forest Service files, it was burned by “parties unknown.”

Although the original Resthouse trail crossed the meadow north of the Resthouse, it was at some point in the 1980s, rerouted out of the wet meadow to its present location and no longer goes to the site of the Resthouse.