Hiked 32 miles in the Lost Creek Wilderness, near Baily, Colorado, on August 21st, 2021. I started this hike from the Lost Creek trailhead next to the Lost Creek Campground. Access to this trailhead is achieved by driving down a 19 mile dirt road that is directly off of US Highway 285. The dirt road is in pretty good condition and had no problems driving on it in my Toyota Corolla. The loop that I took is a popular one on Alltrails, more information on the direct route I took can be found here.
From the Lost Creek campground I tackled this loop counter-clockwise. Going south on the Brookside-Mccurdy trail #607 > Mccurdy Park trail #628 > Goose Creek trail #612 > Wigwam trail #609, heading west back to the Lost Creek Campground.
- Trailhead elevation: 9,980 ft
- Highest elevation: 11,886 ft
- Lowest elevation: 8,869 ft
- Total elevation gain: 5,558 ft
- Total hiking distance: 32.4 miles
- Total time to complete loop: about 28 hours. 2 days 1 night.
Reviewing the Lost Creek Wilderness Loop
I began this loop at around 7am.The weather was foggy, a little windy and cold. I moved fast through the forest and got up to the high point in a few hours, right near Bison Peak. Everything was still foggy so I missed out on some stellar views. I think. At around 11am the sky finally cleared up. Blue skies and white puffy clouds greeted me. Pretty sure I was at the one of the most scenic spots of this loop at this point. The entire loop is pretty gorgeous but my favorite stretch was from about mile 5 to mile 16, right after the Lost Creek river crossing.
I really enjoyed the wide variety of terrain that this loop offered. Also like the serenity on the trail. Didn’t see many hikers at all especially once I got deep into the trail. There were also some wildflowers still in bloom here in late August, which was awesome to see. Another benefit of hiking this trail in late August is there were not many mosquitoes at all. Even down by the creek crossings.
Silent Hiking Video
Lost Creek Wilderness Permit System
There’s a self serve station where you have to fill out a permit. Rip off the top portion and keep the bottom on you. There is a station on the Brookside-Mccurdy trail and Wigwam trail, about 1/2 mile from the Lost Creek campground.
Lost Creek Wilderness Camping and Rules
- Camping is dispersed but you need to be at least 100 feet away from streams and trails. Use existing campsites and fire rings in popular areas.
- You need to bear-proof your food. Use a bear bag such as an Ursac that you can hang in a tree or a bear canister. This is bear country.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times
- Stay on established trails. Don’t shortcut the switchbacks.
- Bikes and motorized vehicles are not permitted. Drones are not permitted in Wilderness areas.
- No more than 15 people and/or 10 pack, saddle or draft animals allowed per group.
- Leave No Trace. Take only pictures, leave only footprints.
There are several creek crossings throughout the trail. The major one is around the halfway point of the loop. It all depends on recent rainfall and how early in the summer it is, but when I went to fjord the river it wasn’t bad. Just a little bit above my knees. There is a log placed across the river but it felt kind of sketchy walking over it with camera gear and a heavy backpack. There’s another decent sized creek about 3 miles from the Lost Creek campground (end of the loop if you are going counter-clockwise). Several other smaller creeks will need to be crossed. Most of them have logs placed to help keep your feet dry. Others are located in meadows and there’s no way to keep your feet dry.
Whenever you encounter a creek you may want to fill up, treat the water there. Some of the smaller creeks that appear on the TOPO map were dried up in late August. There was also a stretch for about 6 miles where I didn’t encounter any type of water source. Make sure to treat all water before consumption. I use a Grayl Water Bottle for my primary water filtration.
Gear I Brought
My backpack weight with all the camera gear weighed in at about 30lbs. I am definitely not good backpacker. Half that weight was camera gear and mostly batteries that didn’t even get used.
- GoPro Hero 9 – https://amzn.to/2UZNZ0t
- Telesin Ultra Long Selfie Stick for Action Cams – https://amzn.to/3sg9E3M
- Nikon D780 – https://amzn.to/32pDh88
- Nikkor 24mm f/1.8 – https://amzn.to/3kgOVs1
- Acratech Ballhead – https://amzn.to/3irsYFU
- Really Right Stuff Ground Level Tripod – https://amzn.to/2FgZrkh
- RODE Video Shotgun Mic Old Model Discontinued. New model – https://amzn.to/3mgLRhd
- 5 Nikon Batteries, 3 gopro batteries and charger, portable charger, iphone 12.
- LowePro Powder Backpack 500 AW
- Ursack Major Food Sack Bag
- ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Person tent (first time using this backpacking, it rained a lot and kept me dry)