Ben Tyler Trail #606


The beginning trailhead at Ben Tyler Trail. This trail is part of the Lost Creek Wilderness.

Beginning at the North Ben Tyler Trailhead, the trail climbs steeply in a series of switchbacks. Please do not cut across these switchbacks. After the last switchback, the trail becomes less steep up to a crossing of Ben Tyler Creek. At this point the trail gradient increases and the valley tightens. There are few areas along this section of trail suitable for camping. The final section up to the Craig Park Trail junction is a series of long switchbacks that, when traversing east, offer spectacular views down Ben Tyler Gulch. The Craig Park Trail junction is marked by a sign indicating the Craig Park Trail to the left (east), and the Ben Tyler Trail to the right (west). The trail continues to climb, crossing Ben Tyler Creek again, to a high saddle above tree line, which offers some spectacular views. From here the trail descends to the south into the Rock Creek drainage. As you near the end of the trail, you pass the remains of an old lumber camp. Continue hiking downstream to eventually join the Colorado Trail.  The western access point is from the Rock Creek Trailhead.

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
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
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.
Closest Towns: Bailey is east of the Ben Tyler Trailhead along Highway 285 by 6.8 miles. Jefferson is south of Lost Park Road by 2 miles.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Appears on the following maps:
  • Pike National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated #104 (Idaho Springs / Georgetown/ Loveland Pass)
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated #105 (Tarryall Mountains / Kenosha Pass)
  • USGS Topo: Shawnee
  • USGS Topo: Mount Logan
  • USGS Topo: Observatory Rock
  • USGS Quad Mt. Evans
Contact the South Platte Ranger District at 303.275.5610 for more information.

General Information


The Ben Tyler Trail has two trailheads:

North side: Ben Tyler Trailhead (8,260 ft. elevation). The Ben Tyler Trail runs southwest up Ben Tyler Gulch. Go 6.8 miles west of Bailey on US 285 and the trailhead on the left (south) side of the highway. This roadside trailhead has limited parking. There are plans to build a new trailhead just west of Shawnee on US 285 within the next few years.

South side: Rock Creek Trailhead (9,750 ft. elevation). From US 285, go 7.3 miles on the Lost Park Road (County Road 56) to Forest Road 133. Go left (north) 1 mile to Rock Creek Trailhead.


Leave vehicles overnight at your own risk.


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

General Notes:

This popular trail is named for Ben Tyler, who lived with his family in the gulch that bears his name. He operated a lumber mill during gold rush days, hauling the sawed timber over the ridge and into Fairplay. In 1903 a 3,000 acre fire burned up and out the end of Ben Tyler Gulch and is responsible for the huge aspen grove dominating the valley.

Major attractions include the numerous and colorful wildflowers in late spring and early summer. The trail also offers spectacular views to the north and south from its high point, and the changing colors in September, particularly in the large aspen groves in Ben Tyler Gulch, are outstanding. Because the trail is almost entirely in designated wilderness except for about a mile at each end, Wilderness regulations apply.

Connecting Trails:



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  Area/Length : 
11.4 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
8,263' - 11,650'