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Lost Creek Wilderness - Current Conditions

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Re: Lost Creek Wilderness - Current Conditions

Postby Jim Davies » Wed May 23, 2007 4:13 pm

seeitallbeforeidie wrote:Since there's so much new snow up high, I'm going to do a 2-3 day backpacking trip in the Lost Creek Wilderness. I'm going to do the Goose Creek, Mc Curdy, Lake Park, Hankins Pass Loop. I've never been there before. I'm not fit, but I like pain. Can I do the loop (23-25 miles) in 2 days?

I did this loop (clockwise) with a group a few years ago over a weekend. We hiked in a few miles Friday evening (camping below Hankins Pass), camped the second night near where the route reaches Lost Creek (we wanted to go for Refrigerator Gulch but couldn't make it that far before the storms came in), then out from there on Sunday. It was a fairly strenuous trip from my perspective, but the scenery is awesome. There was more elevation gain/loss than I expected, especially on the third day when we were parallelling Lost Creek; the trail was continually going over ridges, it seemed. We saw almost nobody for the first two days, then it got almost crowded in the last few miles before the end (between the trailhead and the shafthouse turnoff).
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Postby cbell94 » Wed May 23, 2007 6:59 pm

a possible shorter alternate might be to start at wigwam creek (6 miles by forest road north of the goose creek trailhead), hike along the creek to wigwam park (4 miles) and then turn left and go down the goose creek trail the 11 miles to the goose creek trailhead. This would be about 15 miles total and it will give you adequate time to explore the cool formations around the shafthouse and along goose creek.

if i could have a mulligan on last weekend i'd have done it that way. Also, if you are approaching from Bailey be warned - the road is washed out 2.5 miles north of the wigwam trailhead. I high clearance SUV could pass it, but not my passenger car. We parked there and added the 2.5 miles along the road to our hike. The next morning I saw a passenger car at the trailhead so I assume the road coming from the south is clear.

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Postby Mountainman18 » Wed May 23, 2007 8:34 pm

Did Bison from ute creek last saturday. it was clear to 11,000 then patchy snow increased to crotch-deep in sections.

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Postby seeitallbeforeidie » Thu May 24, 2007 4:17 pm

Also, if you are approaching from Bailey be warned - the road is washed out 2.5 miles north of the wigwam trailhead. I high clearance SUV could pass it, but not my passenger car. We parked there and added the 2.5 miles along the road to our hike.


Thanks, cbell94, for this info. I was going to come from Bailey, and that would have sucked! I have a tiny commuter car, so it looks like I'll have to come from the south.

I think your advice about a shorter route is probably a good idea. It looks like Lost Creek has been dumped on the last couple of days, so there is probably a lot more snow, and the route I was planning is above 11K for a long way. If I park at Wigwam park and exit at Goose creek, do you think I'll be able to get a lift back from Goose Creek Trailhead to the Wigwam TH? I've never been to Lost Creek, so I'm not sure how many people are up there.

Thanks!

Eric

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Postby seeitallbeforeidie » Fri May 25, 2007 1:32 pm

cbell94 wrote:if i could have a mulligan on last weekend i'd have done it that way. Also, if you are approaching from Bailey be warned - the road is washed out 2.5 miles north of the wigwam trailhead. I high clearance SUV could pass it, but not my passenger car. We parked there and added the 2.5 miles along the road to our hike. The next morning I saw a passenger car at the trailhead so I assume the road coming from the south is clear.


Is it Wigwam creek that washed out FR 560, or is it FR211 that is washed out? If it is 560, I think I can still get to the Goose Creek trailhead from the north.

Thanks!

Eric

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Postby Linda Jagger » Tue May 29, 2007 11:18 am

I was at Lost Creek Wilderness this wkend. Hiked in from Goose Creek Trhd, to hankins pass. Camped there 1st nite. quite bit water running down trail but no snow. Then went up Lake Park trail thru lake park and to high point. Met 2-3 couples that hiked around from other direction, reported that from high point we were standing on at 11,500 there was about a mile of snow to post hole thru that got hip deep in places. My group decided not to continue. It was reported that after the snow it was "clear sailing" back to Goose Creek.
Linda Jagger

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Postby seeitallbeforeidie » Tue May 29, 2007 2:50 pm

I did the Goose Creek loop this weekend as well. The weather was great, with warm nights just isolated afternoon showers.

I went up Goose Creek, then west on McCurdy park. I stayed about 1/2 mile past the place where the river flows out of what looks like a cave right near the trail.

The next day I hiked through McCurdy park to the junction with the Lake Park trail. McCurdy park has a little bit of snow, so it is easy to lose the trail, but if you stay below the trees in the valley you'll be snow-free and you can catch the trail at the opposite end of the park - it's very easy to find again.

Because I was by myself and I didn't want to get lost in the snow, I avoided take the Lake Park trail. Instead I dropped back down out of the Wilderness on the Brookside trail, then went up Hankins pass and back to the trailhead. I think this makes the route a little longer, but I'm guessing it was actually a lot easier as there was no snow whatsoever.

The first day was great, only ~9 miles in. I think the second day was ~15. I'm going to do this trip again, but I'll do it a couple of weeks later in the year and I'll spend the second night in Lake Park. This area is fantastic. I wish I had taken more time to scramble and explore.

Eric Bailey

Postby Jon Frohlich » Tue May 29, 2007 3:17 pm

Thought someone in this thread might be able to answer this question. I was thinking about going with a friend up to McCurdy Park for an overnight trip in about 2 weeks. What is the water situation in McCurdy Park? None of the information I've looked at really says much. Better place to camp before that?

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Postby Jim Davies » Tue May 29, 2007 3:31 pm

Jon Frohlich wrote:I was thinking about going with a friend up to McCurdy Park for an overnight trip in about 2 weeks. What is the water situation in McCurdy Park?

There's a creek flowing through McCurdy Park (at least the lower part), so it should be no problem. It had quite a bit of water in it when I was there in mid-summer (post-snowmelt).
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Postby Linda Jagger » Tue May 29, 2007 4:06 pm

we drove FS 211. its fine. 2 wh normal car is fine on this rd.
Linda Jagger

Postby Jon Frohlich » Wed May 30, 2007 11:13 am

robinmtns wrote:FWIW Jon, the very last saddle just before descending into McCurdy park has some awesome places to camp. Should be plenty of snow left for melting for water if you decide to camp there. Are you looking to climb something? If so, I highly recommend Pt 11,180... awesome little climb, with only a single 4th-class chimney-move at the top if you do it right. Plenty of beta floating around out there.


Thanks. That helps. This would be in 2 weeks so the snow may be gone by then. Not sure about climbing anything. I'm out of shape and just wanting to get outside. McCurdy Park has been on my list of places to vist for quite a while. At the rate I'm going I may not be climbing 14ers until July at the earliest.

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