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Mountain Biking: Colorado > Pike and San Isabel National Forests > Leadville Ranger District

Quick Facts

Lost Canyon Four-Wheel Drive Road

Beginning Elevation: 9,000 Feet (2805.5 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate first 2 miles accessible by 2 WD vehicle
Elevation Gain: 3,570 Feet (1112.8 Meters) from Highway 24 to Columbine Mine
Ending Elevation: 12,570 Feet (3918.3 Meters) Columbine Mine
Length: 8.5 Miles (14.17 Kilometers)

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This road begins on Highway 24 south of the Granite store and ends at a wide alpine meadow to the northeast of Quail Mountain. The first few miles of road are accessible by passenger vehicle. The road gets rough and rocky beyond that point, we recommend the use of a high clearance 4 WD vehicle. The road winds through lodgepole stands and passes an abandoned placer mining operation on Lost Canyon Creek. Above timberline a broad alpine meadow permits visitors views of Clear Creek Valley to the south, Boswell Gulch to the west and Lake Creek Valley to the north. Excellent opportunities for observation of alpine tundra, wildflowers and wildlife abound.

Directions from Twin Lakes: Drive east on Higway 82 to the junction of Highway 24. Travel south on Highway 24 for approximately 2.75 miles to Lost Canyon Road on the right.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: April through November (NOTE: Snow and mud May obstruct the road.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Rylie Larimer (COLORADO SPRINGS, CO)
Time of Day: Afternoon
Length of Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Tops out above treeline 12500'with great views of 14'rs & Twin Lakes. The road starts out very easy thru Aspen groves mixed with tall stands of native pines. It is a steady climb all of the way.The top 1/4 is worth the drive. We were driving our 87' stock Suzuki Samarai. The road at the high end is rocky but not difficult.
Water Availability: Just pond water up high.

Filed By: Richard (Enid, Oklahoma)
Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I did this road on a Suzuki DRZ 400 S dual sport bike. All mileages were off my odometer. At the Granite Store take FR 398 to the west for 2.9 miles to the intersection with Flume Creek Road (FR 398A). This intersection is clearly marked with a FR sign. Go straight if you want to do the Flume Creek Road. Turn left to take the Lost Canyon Road. At about the 8.6 mile point you come to an abandoned log cabin on the right. The road is surprisingly easy up to this point. Take the left fork (lower road) to go to the Basin Gold mine, an active mining operation by a husband and wife, who spend four months in the summer working the mine. They offer gold panning, etc. for a small fee and have very limited snacks for sale. Back at the abandoned cabin, take the right fork (upper road)to continue up the road to the Columbine Mine. The road gets a little rougher and steeper from this point on with more rocks on the road. At the 9.8 mile point, I came to a triangular fork in the road. To the right led to a dead end road with a pretty good view to the south. To the left led to where the mine apparently used to be. Continuing to the left I came to a couple of abandoned cabins at the 10.5 mile point. At the 11.2 mile point, the road becomes fairly faint and looks as if people have created their own road by continued travel. The road ends at the 11.7 mile point overlooking Twin Lakes. I never did see any sign of the Columbine Mine. I was informed later that this was totally an underground operation. I saw two bikers coming down hill from the upper sections and two jeeps at the top.
Conditions: This road was very easy compared to many I have done in the Leadville area. For a bigger challenge, do the Mount Zion trail or Birdseye Gulch up to Mosquito Pass just north of Leadville.
Water Availability: No water available on this road.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Four-Wheel Driving Lost Canyon Four-Wheel Drive Road
ICON Hiking & Walking Colorado Trail - Twin Lakes to Clear Creek Road
ICON Horseback Riding Lost Canyon Road
ICON Mountain Biking Lost Canyon Road - (Forest Road 398) The last 1.5 miles is very steep - for riders in good condition.
ICON ATV Riding Lost Canyon Road
ICON Motorcycle Riding Lost Canyon Road

Related Activities
Flume Creek Road - This road near Twin Lakes provides access to the backcountry for various uses. Because it is not within a wilderness area boundary, motorized vehicles may be operated on Flume Creek Road to the gate closure.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Greater Leadville Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 861 , Leadville, CO, 80461, Phone: 719-486-3900, Fax: 719-486-8478, leadville@sni.net


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