Peak(s):  Bison Peak - 12,431 feet
Date Posted:  12/29/2008
Date Climbed:   12/24/2008
Author:  piper14er
 Bison Peak - Southwest Ridge - Ute Creek Trailhead  

Bison Peak
Lost Creek Wilderness - Tarryall Mountains
12,431 feet
Ute Creek Trailhead - 8,760 feet
10miles +/-
3,700 vertical feet

A must see area that has a scenic plateau and a rock garden with a myriad of rock formations. A good hike to stretch your legs and get yourself into winter conditioning.

Basically a Class 1 hike that is only an hours + drive from the Colorado Springs area, 21 miles or so off of Highway 24 on Park County Road 77 just west of Lake George. North from Highway 24 towards Tarryall reservoir the trailhead is on the east side of the road with parking for a number of cars.

Cross Tarryall Creek on a nice footbridge and follow the well worn Ute Creek trail southeasterly to the Ute Creek drainage. Head northeasterly and follow the drainage for 2+ miles to the McCurdy Trail junction at about 4.2 miles from the trailhead. This junction is at 11,200 feet.

Head east then switchback northeasterly to the plateau. There is a trail all the way to the plateau.

After a nice hike through the trees you get above treeline and hike across a short stretch of sideslope. The plateau or arm for Bison is there with plenty to see.

The trail ends there and there are few rock markers with branches to follow but you basically see the top and head for it.

Trail conditions on this day started with bare spots to 2" of snow up to 10,000 feet. The snow gradually increased to the McCurdy trail up to 12". Above there the snow stayed about 12" deep with some deeper drifted areas maybe 18".

I could hear the wind through the trees and it got louder the higher up we got. The day was sunny with single digit temperatures.

Once out on the arm the wind was kicking around at 30-35 miles an hour making it a bit frigid with the temps.

Looking back across meadow.

Looking up the trail.

Sunny day.

Tree arch.

Looking back down the trail.

McCurdy trail sign.

Looking towards the rocks above.

Side hill.


Gaining the plateau.



Rock formation.

Looking towards the northeast and Bison Peak

My camera froze up at this point with the wind and cold. Camera error messages and dead batteries.

There is however several good trip reports/Lost Creek Wilderness overviews at and or
search Bison Peak (Baker Boys).

Approx. 3.5 - 4 hours up and 2 hours down. Did not use snowshoes but you could on the ridge. No snow on the plateau to speak of.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

OT. Dog?
12/30/2008 16:25
Looks like a nice walk. Is your dog a Kelpie?


12/30/2008 17:50
Yes I have two kelpies that hike with me.

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