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Lost Creek Loop
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Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Lost Creek Loop on 08/28/2009 13:04:45 MDT Print View

This spring I had the chance to do four backpacking trips in the Lost Creek wilderness area. I highly recomment the area especially when wetter mountain ranges are still snowed in. Here are a few pictures from my two favorites. My friend Jeff and I did about a 31-34 mile loop hike from Ute Creek TH over McCurdy Mtn, up Wigwam Creek and back through East Lost Park. Jeff went fairly light with traditional gear, he had about 30-35 pounds. I had my baseweight around 8-9 pounds with a total of about 16 pounds in a modified Golite Trek pack.
The second weekend I did the hike solo. I started from East Lost Park which is a much easier start in my opinion. The trail up Ute Creek is brutal and its not all that scenic.

Me at the Ute Creek Trailhead

Bison Mtn. behind Jeff.

height="413">That McCurdy Mtn. in the background.  This is fairly easy hiking but the views were great.

Looking down towards Refrigerator Gulch.

The trail down was very steep I personally would not choose to hike it from the other direction. The climb out of the Gulch to McCurdy Mtn. would be hard.

Rock Spires above Wigwam Creek.

The geography along Wigwam Creek was much differnt, for some reason there weren't nearly as many cool rock formations. Wigwam Creek was nice but I couldn't see why so many people I met were hiking there instead of the much more scenic areas to the south.
I learned a couple of things from this trip. First I LOVE light packs. Second I was not packing nearly enough calories. I felt weak and sick Monday and according to my athletic friend was experiencing a calorie crash.
I decided to redo the trip but start from East Lost Park (the road had just opened). Because it was getting warmer and I planned on camping low I went really light and ended up with a base weight around 6 pounds including 31 oz. of insulation plus long johns(11 oz BPL quilt plus a 20 down jacket). I also got smart and carried more chocalate and less water (with snowmelt water available every mile or so).

Me holding up my modified Ion at the T.H.

The hike up to Bison pass was easy but I got caught in a thunder storm near treeline. Since I wasn't going above treeline in that I hunkered down under my poncho and waited it out. Afterwards I hiked faster to make up for lost time.

It snowed insteaded of rained during the thunderstorm.

Looking Northwest toward the Kenosha Mtns.

Up on McCurdy Mtn.

These spires are in McCurdy Park.

Weather permitting I would love to go back and camp above treeline where I took this picture of McCurdy Park.

My campsite in Refrigerator Gulch.

I hiked till about 8:30 before I pitched camp. I would guess it was between 35-40 degrees that night and my BPL quilt kept me plenty warm.

Hiking in the rain.

I finished my hike just as it was starting to rain.
Overall it was a great trip. I felt guitly with such a light pack. I was able to really fly down the trail. All the other hikers I met were carrying packs in the 40-60 pound range and they were planning to do the same mileage in three days or not at all. They kept asking how I got away with such a small backpack.

Edited by Cameron on 08/28/2009 19:37:49 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Goofed. on 08/28/2009 13:09:04 MDT Print View

Looks like I goofed the way those pictures came out. Oh well, it looks bad but you get the idea, its a good place to check out for shoulder season trips.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Lost Creek Loop on 08/28/2009 17:18:09 MDT Print View

Thanks for sharing your pics, Luke. I'm also a fan of Lost Creek, especially for early and late season trips.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Lost Creek on 08/28/2009 19:41:58 MDT Print View

Hey Dondo,
Those rock formations look suspiciously familiar is that Lost Creek there?

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Lost Creek on 08/28/2009 21:48:35 MDT Print View

Yeah, Luke. It sure is. My avatar photo was taken back in June just off the McCurdy Park trail in Lost Creek. You can see my trip report here.