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Lost Creek Wilderness

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The United States Congress designated the Lost Creek Wilderness (map) in 1980 and it now has a total of 114,864 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Colorado and is managed by the Forest Service.


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.

Planning to Visit the Lost Creek 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.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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