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Fishing: Colorado > White River National Forest > Aspen Ranger District

Quick Facts

Lost Man Trail

Average Time: 6 - 7 Hours
Beginning Elevation: 11,506 Feet (3586.7 Meters)
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation Gain: 1,294 Feet (403.4 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 10,504 Feet (3274.3 Meters)
High Point: 12,800 Feet (3990.0 Meters)
Length: 8.8 Miles (14.67 Kilometers) 14 km
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 127 Aspen, Independence Pass
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
Trail Number: 1996
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Mt. Champion, Thimble Rock

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The parking lot for the Lostman Trail provides ample parking and is located on Independence Pass East of Aspen, Colorado
Copyright: - US Forest Service
The parking lot for the Lostman Trail provides ample parking and is located on Independence Pass East of Aspen, Colorado
This is a moderate climb with a couple steep sections. This trail is good for hiking and backpacking. Fishing is fair in Independence Lake, Lost Man Lake, and Lost Man Reservoir. The trail is not a complete loop; it is a good idea to set up a shuttle. The narrative is from Lost Man Campground, follow in reverse if starting from the upper parking lot. The trail begins to the left of the bulletin board and quickly crosses a wooden bridge. At the 1/2 mile mark, the trail forks. Take the right (left goes to Midway Pass) and continue to Lost Man Reservoir and keep left around the reservoir. At approximately the 3-1/2 mile mark there is a junction, turn right (left goes to South Fork Pass). The trail gradually ascends to Lost Man Lake. From the lake the trail ascends steeply to the top of a pass and then descends steeply to Independence Lake. The trail descends gradually to Highway 82, about 4 miles to the trailhead.

Directions from Aspen: 1. Lost Man Campground: Drive 14 miles east of Aspen on Highway 82 to the parking lot directly across from Lost Man Campground. The trailhead begins on the left (north) side of the highway. 2. Last Switchback: Drive 18-1/2 miles east of Aspen on Highway 82 to the parking lot at the last switchback before the top of Independence Pass. The trailhead is on the left (north) side of the highway.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: June through September (NOTE: The trail may be obstructed due to snow in the Spring, Fall, and Winter months.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter Conditions. Beware of avalanche danger and hypothermia. Updated: 2002-12-23 14:37:00.0

Ranger TipA more popular route for this trail begins at the S curve on Independence pass 18 miles further on the highway.

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Filed By: kmjmmm (austin, TX)
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: A surprise of a hike. You can see the continental divide, hike over the mountain, hike just to Lost Man Lake, hike the 3 Geissler peaks. We encountered a lot of mud and snow after the first hour. This hike has wonderful views. Small waterfalls, rushing creeks, fields of flowers & mountains on both sides with snow. We are old and from sea level and so took it slow. But every stop had a view. After the hike to Lost Man Lake we came back down and had enough time to make the short hike to Linkin Lake where we met my daughter who had hiked the three peaks across. She encountered a lot of snow, no other hikers but spectacular views.
Conditions: Snow, Mud, Steep to Linkin Lake Rocky Very sunny, no trees
Recommended Clothing: Long pants, water proof hiking boots (you sank into snow and needed to walk across creeds), rain jacket

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We hiked in from each of the two trailheads over the course of two days. Marsh Marigolds are blooming like crazy!
Conditions: The lower trailhead (across from the campground)allows a much longer hike this time of year. Trail clear with muddy spots for about 5 miles. Starting from the upper trailhead (11,400 ft.), the trail was muddy but snow-free until 12,100 ft. The snow was fairly deep after that, we turned back after .25 miles of "post-holing."
Water Availability: Tons of water available
Recommended Clothing: Need to wear layers this time of year. When the sun was out it felt warm. When the sun went behind a cloud and the wind blew, we were glad to have our coats and hats.

Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We didn't do the hike as described. We began from the parking lot closer to Independence Pass intending to hike up to Independence Lake. It was just so beautiful we had to keep going. We hiked up to the pass behind I. Lake and saw Lost Man Lake on the other side. The views from the pass are spectacular. We hiked down to Lost Man Lake and sat there for a while. It was late in the day though so we had to turn back. When we got back up to the pass, we hiked up to the left and got to the top of some peak. Awesome 360 degree views. I would highly recommend this hike. It was mostly moderate, but our side hike up to the peak was very difficult. I think I got a little altitude sickness.
Conditions: This is above treeline, so very sunny.
Water Availability: Plenty of beautiful creeks to get water from (at least on the part we did).

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking
ICON Cold Water Fishing Independence Lake, Lost Man Lake, Lost Man Reservoir
ICON Hiking & Walking Lost Man Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Lost Man Trail

More Information

Visitor Information:

Snowmass Village Resort Association, 38 Village Square, P.O. Box 5566 , Snowmass Village, CO, 81615, Phone: 800-SNOWMASS, info@snowmassvillage.com

Links to other sites:
Forest Conservancy - Current Information from Local Volunteers: Closings and Conditions


Local Lodging

Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel
Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel

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