Inspired by our recent discovery of @hikingbob, Upadowna and our own Be Outside campaign, several Natural Therapeutics team members went for a short backpacking trip into the Lost Creek Wilderness (we found the Creek – it was kinda easy. We’ll notify the proper authorities) near Tarryall, CO. We planned for 3 days and two nights.
We drove into the area from Denver, which took us about 2 hours. Once you hit Wigwam Road, you’ll be on a bumpy dirt road for about another half hour. This is most comfortably driven in a truck or SUV, but we made it in a Toyota Matrix, which is a testament to Japanese engineering. At this point, we had already lost cell phone reception.
We got in fairly late on the evening of the first day, and had planned to camp at the Goose Creek camp ground which is well appointed with benches, fire pits and plenty of wind cover, but found the campground to be closed for still unknown reasons. We backtracked about a half a mile and found a pull off with a camping spot, of which there are many in the area. The area was victim of the Hayman wildfire and is thus sparse in terms of trees. The seasonal cold was made worse by the wind as we slept.
The second day we packed up and went to the trail head, which was about a mile from the Goose Creek Campground. Registration there is required, but is free. Just fill out a form declaring how many in your party, contact info and the name of one person and stick it in the box. Easy. Once you head in, you’ll come to a split in the trail and we headed up the Goose Creek Trail.
Within a mile of the trailhead, you’ll come across some great camp sites, which had we known, we would have used on our first night. There’s great access to water right away, and you should go ahead and fill up, but don’t be concerned about water too much as you’ll encounter plenty on both the Goose Creek Trail as well as the McCurdy Trail. You begin ascending almost immediately on the Goose Creek trail and will find some mind blowing sites almost right away. About 4 miles in, you’ll come across a short trail to some historic buildings. There’s some great camp sites right there, but if you’re not stopping, it’s worth it to take your pack off and explore a little.
As you continue on, in another mile or two, you’ll come to the McCurdy Trail. We chose to go down this path and you almost immediately begin descending into refrigerator gulch. It will be cooler, but it’s about another 2 miles before you come across some great campsites. Once you find them, you’ll have access to water and plenty of protection from the wind. Wood can be a bit harder to access and you’ll have to choose between either a great site and lugging wood over to it, or a lesser site with access to wood. We chose the former.
On the third morning, we awoke to snow, which was predicted. It was light, but it was helpful that we brought waterproof shells. We hiked back the way we came, which being downhill, went a lot faster than the way in.
From the trail head, we drove out of the area and drove through Woodland Park on our way back to Colorado Springs. The route was easy and we stopped at Ute Pass Brewing for food and beers before arrive back in the Springs. We showered and headed into the clinic for some great deep tissue massages to relax our sore muscles.