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Lost Creek Wilderness Area

Government information and links are at the bottom of this page.

Located in Pike National Forest

Neighboring towns: Tarryall, Deckers, Buffalo Creek, Bailey, Estabrook, Glenisle, Shawnee, Singleton, Grant, Jefferson, Englewood, Colorado Springs

Lost Creek's countless polished granite domes and half-domes, knobs, spires, and buttresses make it one of the state's unique wilderness areas. In many ways, the open parks and granite outcrops resemble a miniature Yosemite Valley. Granite rock piles swallow Lost Creek no less than nine times, giving rise to the creek's name. And despite the fact that the area includes most of three mountain ranges - the Platte River, Kenosha, and Tarryall mountains - its character remains one of forest-ringed parks and clear streams rather than alpine tundra.

Lost Creek got its name from its habit of disappearing several times into rock piles and reappearing later downhill. The northern section contains most of the Platte River Mountains and the Kenosha Mountains. During the first U.S. Forest Service RARE process, Lost Creek received more comments recommending its wilderness designation than any other Colorado area. The cross-state Colorado Trail passes through the area.

Lost Creek offers an intimate encounter with wilderness, much different from the overpowering alpine scenery of the Maroon Bells or Weminuche. Beyond the Lost Park Campground, for example, the trail rounds a bend and granite shoulders narrow to literally form a wilderness portal around Lost Creek. In the restricted confines of this small canyon, the creek reflects darkly and its roar reverberates through the dense forest that encloses the trail.

Mule deer, elk, bobcat and black bear all roam the area, and one of the state's most productive bighorn sheep herds inhabits the Tarryall Mountains.

Size:119,790 acres

Elevation:8,000 to 12,400+ feet

Miles of trails: 100

Year designated: 1980,1993

Hunting areas: 50, 501

For more information contact:

Pike & San Isabel National Forests, 1920 Valley Drive, Pueblo, CO 81008
Leadville Ranger District, 2015 N. Poplar, Leadville, CO 80461  (719)486-0749
Pikes Peak Ranger District, 601 So. Weber, Colorado Spgs, CO 80903  (719)636-1602
Salida Ranger District, 325 W. Rainbow Blvd., Salida, CO 81201  (719)539-3591
San Carlos Ranger District, 3170 E. Main St., Canon City, CO 81212  (719)269-8500
South Park Ranger District, Box 219, 320 Hwy 285, Fairplay, CO 80440  (719)836-2031  Fax: (719)836-2033
South Platte Ranger District, 19316 Goddard Ranch Court, Morrison, CO 80903  (303)275-5610

Wilderness sunset

NOTE: Eloquent descriptions of our wilderness areas provided by Mark Pearson, author of "The Complete Guide to Colorado's Wilderness Areas", Westcliffe Publishers, Englewood, CO. The book also contains many beautiful pictures by renowned photographer and Colorado resident John Fielder.


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Lost places and lost people can be found and if you ever tried to find someone you've known years ago then you know how difficult it is to find people.