Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lost Creek Wilderness Loop

It has been a while, but finally got out and hiked with my Colorado Trail partner Nick.  He has been exploring the Lost Creek Wilderness in Colorado and invited me along on an epic hike of 22 miles (some posts say 26 miles... I didn't bring my gps: mistake #1).  Of course Nick wanted to do it all in one day: August 18, 2012!

We got to the trailhead early and headed out.  Due to the length of the hike Nick was worried about finishing before dark so he set a blistering pace.  I almost broke into a trot to keep up.  There were many cars in the parking lot and quite a few folks in the first couple of miles, but we soon found solitude.   The picture above shows a typical Lost Creek scene of monuments.
 We came upon a nice campsite near the spot of the failed dam and old buildings.  We also seen the first hikers we had seen in a while.  Nice quakies.

Goose creek starts to become lost in this area.  We witnessed the tunnel where the creek makes its way through the rock and a man sitting lotus position meditating.  Very spiritual and feng shui.
At the top of the pass you see refrigerator gulch.  I'm not sure where it gets its name, but there are many monumental rocks in this fine wilderness.  Here is where I started seeing many mushroom species.  I'll post pictures later.
Approaching McCurdy park we were far from civilization and had not seen another person for hours.  My dogs were barking and we were only half way.  Serenity is in abundance here.
How about a nice combination of aspens, pines, and granite?

How about my ugly mug?  Hiking in my approach shoes, but why not.  Don't tell anyone, but fly agaric in this area.
Long before you reach this lovely rock, a word of extreme caution: you will reach the massive blow down of Lake Park trail.  There are so many trees blown down that you are in for one hell of a bushwhack.  It is easy to get lost here.  Funny how the wilderness rules work: no chainsaws, so it will be awhile before this trail is nice again.
Proof I made it.  The hike to the top of the pass after an unwanted set of switchback descent sapped me of any remaining energy.  Plus we still had six miles to go.  The long gradual descent back to the truck was enjoyable despite my tired feet and empty tank.  Here again you see the unique beauty of Lost Creek Wilderness.

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