Colorado Trail #1776 - Segment 4

  

Segment 4 of the Colorado Trail #1776 brings the hiker up out of the Ponderosa pine forests north of the Lost Creek Wilderness and into the open parks and Lodgepole pine and Douglas fir forests to the west. This section of the Colorado Trail closely follows the old Hooper Trail, a logging road built in 1885 by W.W. Hooper and two others to their millset at the highpoint between Craig Creek and the North Fork of Lost Creek. They later moved the mill to a point just southeast of the North Fork Trailhead. Shortly thereafter the operation was closed down by Department of the Interior agents (pre-Forest Service) for timber trespass. A few years later, after the creation of the Forest Service, Hooper became the District Ranger out of Bailey.  

Most of the first half of this section is within designated wilderness. Mountain bikes are prohibited and Wilderness regulations apply. 

The second half, from the North Fork trailhead to the Long Gulch trailhead, is outside of the Wilderness. It is frequently mountain biked as part of a loop from the Long Gulch trailhead, east to the North Fork trailhead, south on the Brookside McCurdy Trail to the Lost Park trailhead, and back west on Park County 56 (Lost Park Road) to the point of beginning. 

(Read more about the Colorado Trail at https://coloradotrail.org/trail/.)

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Although open year-round, access during the winter may be limited due to snow.
Permit Info: There is a mandatory self-issuing permit system in the Mount Evans and Lost Creek Wilderness areas to enable us to better manage visitation. The same type of system is also in place in other Wildernesses. The intent is to use the data obtained through the permit system to more accurately assess the amounts and types of existing Wilderness use. This enables 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 are there any fees required to obtain them. They are available free at each trailhead. As you enter the Wilderness, fill out the provided permit and deposit the stub in the slot in the lower front of the register box. Keep the permit 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:
  • No motorized equipment (chainsaws, drills, etc.) or mechanized transportation (bicycles, wagons, etc.)
  • No landing or dropping of supplies by aircraft (including parasails)
  • Groups size is limited to 15 persons and/or 10 pack or saddle animals in any one party.
  • Dogs must be leashed.
  • Camp at least 100 feet from lakes, streams, or trails.
  • Campfires must be at least 100 feet from lakes, streams or trails.
  • Hobble, tie, or tether any pack or saddle animals at least 100 feet from lakes, streams or trails.
  • All livestock feed must be processed and weed free.
  • Do not cut switchbacks.
  • Pack it in; pack it out.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles.
Water: No
Restroom: No
Information Center: Appears on the following maps (Buffalo Creek areas):
  • Pike National Forest
  • USGS Quad Green Mountain
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated #135 (Deckers / Rampart Range)
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated #105 (Tarryall Mountains / Kenosha Pass)
  • USGS Topo: Windy Peak
  • USGS Topo: Topaz Mountain
Contact the South Platte Ranger District at 303.275.5610 for more information.

General Information

Accessibility:

This trail is open year round; however, weather may make access difficult especially in the winter and spring months.


General Notes:

From the Rolling Creek Trailhead the Colorado Trail heads west a short distance, then joins the old Hooper Trail logging road and turns southwest. The old logging road that is very distinct and its gentle grade makes for pleasant hiking. A short distance after crossing the Wilderness boundary, the trail meets the south end of the Payne Creek Trail, which goes north toward Bailey. The Colorado Trail continues rising to the southwest, but before reaching the saddle it leaves the old road and begins to climb rather steeply to the south to avoid some large bogs. At the top of the saddle it rejoins the old road and begins to descend into the North Fork Lost Creek drainage. Upon reaching the creek, the trail joins the Brookside-McCurdy Trail at the North Fork Trailhead. From here the two trails follow the same route up North Lost Park for roughly 2.5 miles. When the two split the Colorado Trail continues up North Lost Park to its west end and then descends to the Long Gulch Trailhead.

Connecting Trails:


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Hiking

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Horse Riding & Camping

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/psicc/recarea/?recid=79326