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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Pike and San Isabel National Forests > South Platte Ranger District

Quick Facts

Colorado Trail (Wellington Lake Road to Long Gulch Trailhead)

Beginning Elevation: 8,350 Feet (2602.9 Meters) Rolling Creek Trailhead - Wellington Lake Road
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,280 Feet (710.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 10,016 Feet (3122.2 Meters) Long Gulch Trailhead
Handicapped Accessible: No
High Point: 10,610 Feet (3307.4 Meters)
Length, One-way: 15.5 Miles (25.83 Kilometers)
Other Maps: Pike National Forest; Trails Illustrated 135, 105
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
Trail Number: 1776
Usage: Light
USGS Maps: Windy Peak, Topaz Mountain

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This segment of the Colorado Trail extends 17 miles from Rolling Creek Trailhead through the Lost Creek Wilderness to Long Gulch Trailhead. The route is considered more difficult due to the lengthy climb, 6.5 miles, through most of the wilderness area. Mechanized and motorized vehicles are not permitted in any wilderness area. This segment of the Colorado Trail is open to foot and horse travel only.

The Rolling Creek Trailhead is located at 8,350'. From the trailhead the Colorado Trail follows a road that is gated to motorized traffic. The trail leaves this road shortly after Rolling Creek Trail forks to the left. For most of the trek through the Lost Creek Wilderness the Colorado Trail follows an old logging road that is very distinct. It leaves and rejoins this road to avoid wet ground. Eventually the trail climbs to 10,610'. After this high point the trail begins to descend into the North Fork Lost Creek drainage. Approximately 2 miles from the high point the trail passes the North Fork Trailhead. This access point may be reached from North Fork Road, 134, via Lost Park Road, 56. At this point the Brookside McCurdy Trail joins the Colorado Trail and they follow the same route for roughly 2.5 miles. When the two split the Colorado Trail follows the creek bed. The Colorado Trail leaves the creek about 2 miles before the Long Gulch Trailhead.

Directions from Denver: Eastern Access: Drive south on 285 to Bailey. In Bailey turn right on to County Road 68. This eventually turns into Forest Road 560. Pass Estabrook and continue traveling on 560 for approximately a mile to a fork in the road. Take the right fork which is Wellington Lake Road #543. Drive about 3 miles to the Rolling Creek Trailhead on the western side of the road.

Directions from Colorado Springs: Eastern Access: Drive west on Highway 24 to Woodland Park. Turn right on Highway 67 toward Deckers. When you reach Deckers turn left on County Road 126. Follow 126 past Wigwam and Kelsey Campgrounds to Forest Road 550. Turn left on to 550 and follow it to the second junction of with 543 (Wellington Lake Road). At the second junction of 550 and 543 turn left and travel 1.25 miles to the trailhead.

Directions from Jefferson: Long Gulch Trailhead Access: Travel north on Highway 285 approximately 1 mile to Lost Park Road (Forest Road 56). Turn right on to Lost Park Road and travel approximately 11 miles to Long Gulch Trailhead.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: May through October .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Colorado Trail
ICON Hiking & Walking Colorado Trail (Wellington Lake Road to Long Gulch Trailhead)
ICON Horseback Riding Colorado Trail
ICON Animal Identification Colorado Trail
ICON Bird Identification Colorado Trail
ICON Mushroom Identification Colorado Trail
ICON Wildflower Identification Colorado Trail
ICON Mountain Biking Colorado Trail - non-wilderness areas only
ICON Viewing Scenery Colorado Trail

Related Activities
Colorado Trail (Buffalo Creek to Wellington Lake R - This segment of the Colorado Trail leads 13.5 miles west from the Buffalo Creek Area to the Rolling Creek Trailhead. The terrain is considered easy, but users gain some elevation after crossing Buffalo Creek.

Colorado Trail (Long Gulch Trailhead to Kenosha Pa - This segment of the Colorado Trail leads users 14 miles from Long Gulch Trailhead to Kenosha Pass. The first few miles are within the Lost Creek Wilderness boundary and closed to mechanized and motorized travel.


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