Lost Creek Wilderness is located approximately 60 miles southwest of Denver. Unlike most of Colorado's jagged Wilderness profiles, Lost Creek is a land of fascinating rounded granite domes and knobs, split boulders, rare granite arches, and tree-lined mountain parks. Its rock formations are among the most spectacular in the entire Rocky Mountains. Wilderness elevations range from 8,000 feet to 12,400 feet. Lost Creek got its name from its habit of repeatedly disappearing underground, later to reappear farther down the valley. Black bear, deer, elk, bighorn sheep, and bobcats share the region. The northern section contains most of the Platte River Mountains and the Kenosha Mountains. In 1963, the 15,120 acre Lost Creek Scenic Area was created under the precursor of the Wilderness Act, the "U-Regulations" of 1939. In 1966, the Scenic Area was also designated a National Natural Landmark. During the first U.S. Forest Service RARE process, Lost Creek received more comments recommending its wilderness designation than any other Colorado area. In 1980 the 105,000 acre Lost Creek Wilderness was created under the Colorado Wilderness Act of 1980. Approximately 14,700 additional acres were later added to the west end of the Wilderness under the Colorado Wilderness Act of 1993. Lost Creek is accessed by a 136 mile trail network, 105 miles of which are within the Wilderness boundary. The cross-state Colorado Trail passes through the Wilderness.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Lost Creek Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Colorado Wilderness Act - Public Law 96-560 (12/22/1980) To designate certain National Forest System lands in the States of Colorado, South Dakota, Missouri, South Carolina, and Louisiana for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System