Hankins Pass Trail #630
The Hankins Pass Trail is the southernmost trail in the Lost Creek Wilderness. From the east, the trail gives the hiker a gradually rising climb up Hankins Gulch through dense forest to pleasant open meadows and aspen groves. From the junction with the Lake Park Trail at the top of Hankins Pass, the trail drops down the west side of the Tarryall Mountains to a junction with the Lizard Rock Trail coming up from the Spruce Grove Trailhead, and then continues to descend to meet the Brookside-McCurdy Trail.
The trail is easy to follow and heads in a general westerly direction. There are horse corrals near the Goose Creek Trailhead that are available for public use. There are a number of campsites between the trailhead and Hankins Pass. However, there are few areas suitable for camping west of the pass due to the steep gradient of the trail.
Because the trail is entirely in designated wilderness, Wilderness regulations apply.
At a Glance
|Operational Hours:||Although open year-round, access during the winter may be limited due to snow.|
|Permit Info:||The Forest Service is implementing a mandatory self-issuing permit system in the Mount Evans and Lost Creek Wildernesses to enable us to better manage these heavily visited Wildernesses. The same type of system is already in place in other Wildernesses. The intent is to use the data obtained through this permit system to more accurately assess the amounts and types of existing Wilderness use. This will enable us to better preserve their natural condition for future generations, balanced against the pressures of growing populations and increased use. These permits have no quotas associated with them nor will there be any fees required to obtain them. They will be available free at each trailhead. As you enter the Wilderness, fill out the provided permit and deposit the white paper copy in the slot in the lower front of the register box. Keep the yellow tag in your possession and please follow the Wilderness regulations found on the back.|
|Open Season:||Open year-round|
|Restrictions:||The following regulations / restrictions apply to the Lost Creek Wilderness:
|Operated By:||Forest Service|
|Information Center:||Appears on the following maps:
This trail is open year round; however, weather may make access difficult especially in the winter and spring months.
Access to various traiheads:
- Goose Creek Trailhead (8,220 ft. elevation): From the trailhead, you can ascend to Hankins Pass on the Hankins Pass Trail or up the Goose Creek Trail past the Shafthouse into the heart of the Wilderness Area.
Reach via by Forest Road 211 at the south end from Tarryall Road (Cty Hwy No. 77) near Lake George or from the north end near Deckers. Includes a parking area and horse loading and unloading facilities.
- Spruce Grove Trailhead (8,520 ft. elevation): The Lizard Rock Trail leads north to Wilderness boundary and the Hankins Pass Trail.
Located at the Spruce Grove Campground on Tarryall Road 3 miles southeast of the Twin Eagles trailhead. Hiker parking is located at a small lot outside the campground gate.
- Twin Eagles Trailhead (8,560 ft. elevation): The Brookside/McCurdy Trail leads into the southwest side of the Tarryalls and to the McCurdy Park and Hankins Pass trails.
Located on the Tarryall Road 25 miles southeast of Jefferson. Includes horse unloading and holding facilities.
From the Goose Creek Trailhead, hike downhill to a footbridge across Hankins Gulch. Just across the creek the Hankins Pass Trail heads west, while the Goose Creek Trail goes east (right). Climbing at first up through a forested valley, the trail eventually reaches a series of open meadows surrounded by aspen groves. The trail from here to the pass is very gorgeous in late September when the aspen leaves are changing color. At the top of Hankins Pass is a junction with the Lake Park Trail. That trail heads north (right) toward Lake Park, while the Hankins Pass Trail begins its descent to the west.
The grade on the west side of the pass is quite a bit steeper than the gradual rise up to the pass from the east. After a short descent, the trail reaches the wilderness boundary and the junction with the Lizard Rock Trail. The Lizard Rock Trail leads south to the Spruce Grove Campground, while the Hankins Pass Trail continues down in a northwesterly direction to its end at the junction with the Brookside-McCurdy Trail. If you head south from this junction on Brookside-McCurdy Trail you will reach the Twin Eagles Trailhead.