Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
I have hiked several trails in Lost Creek Wilderness, however this was the first time that I have hiked Lizard Rock Trail. This was a quick little day hike that Lisa and I did as an out and back, but there are several opportunities to make a loop at different points along the trail. This hike would not be good for young children, however it is a good hike for families with teenagers.
To get there from Colorado Springs, take I-25 to the U.S. Highway 24 exit and go west. Drive through Woodland Park and Florissant to Colorado Highway 77 (also known as Tarryall Road) and turn right. Travel about 15 miles to Spruce Grove Campground on the right. The trail head is located in the campground, however non-campers will need to park in the parking lot just outside the campground entrance. The trail head is a bit difficult to find because it is hidden among various camp sites. As you are hiking into the campground, keep right to the outhouse and you will see the trail head.
The trail as a whole is very well maintained and groomed, however the signage is a bit dilapidated in most areas and is in need of repair/replacement. The trail this direction is a consistent, albeit mild to moderate climb, up to an intersection with the Brookside trail to the left. This is one potential loop, with the trail head for Brookside Trail at the Twin Eagles campground another mile up the road on Highway 77. We continued straight (right) which actually turns into the McCurdy trail and a series of switchbacks as you continue up. There is not much in the way of sweeping mountain vistas on this trail as most of the time you are in the forest, but it is a very pleasant hike. We only saw 2 other groups of hikers during the hike which was surprising to us since it was a Saturday and the campground at the trail head looked pretty full.
We continued to the junction of the Lake Park Trail which is about 5 miles from the trail head at Spruce Grove. We ran into some weather here, so we turned around and back-tracked. There is another opportunity to create a loop here with the Lake Park Trail connecting to the Hawkins Pass Trail and back to the Lizard Rock Trail. I recommend picking up a map that includes Lost Creek Wilderness since there are many great trails to hike on; I have been using National Geographic Trails Illustrated map numbers 105 (Tarryall Mountains, Kenosha Pass) and 135 (Deckers, Rampart Range) for these areas (see Amazon.com links below).
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It is a relative short drive to the trail from Colorado Springs (it took us about an hour and 15 minutes to get there from our house), so Lisa and I may return here in the near future to do some more exploring. Happy hiking!
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