This past weekend was the first backpacking trip of the season. I’m not the planner in the family so my husband picked our spot. After I coached the early morning CrossFit classes on Friday and a work meeting we took off on Friday morning for the trail. From Arvada it took about 2 hours to get to the trail head: Lost Park Trailhead. We had all our gear and headed in around 11:30 a.m. We started out on the Goose Creek Trail. The views were gorgeous with tons of red rock formations all around. We hiked til about 3:30 p.m. and decided to stop once we found a running creek. We found a nice camping spot and got the tent all set up and fresh water purified. Then the rain came in and we were stuck in the tent for the rest of the evening.
Got up at about 6 a.m. on Saturday, ate some bacon and eggs (dehydrated meal) and made coffee and packed everything up. Got back onto the trail at 8 a.m. Unfortunately, it rained off and on all day… more so on that we were drenched and not feeling in the mood to camp another night in the rain where we would just have to sit in the tent all night. Our favorite part of backpacking is the relaxing evenings by a fire and it’s just not the same if you’re wet, cold and stuck in a tent all night. So we made the executive decision to hike out.
We didn’t really know how far we had gone by we kept trekking along. Pretty sure on Saturday we hiked a good 20ish miles, which in the end was pretty miserable with our packs and unfortunately due to the weather the views along the way were not as great as we had hoped. After 10 hours of hiking we finally made it back to the start of the trailhead exhausted and frustrated. We can’t control the weather sometimes, but I think we definitely plan to go back another time to give it another go. The views looked amazing and if the weather had been right I’m sure we would’ve had a blast!
Trail: Lost Creek Wilderness Loop… Start on Goose Creek Trail #612 -> McCurdy Park Trail #628 -> Lake Park Trail #639 (left) -> Hankins Pass Trail #612 (left)
Forest: Pike National Forest
Distance 27.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 5,000+
A list of backpacking essentials:
- a map of the area – you never know when you may get lost
- camel back – for drinking water… dur
- water purifier
- hiking clothing: stay away from cotton. Pick comfy clothes that can dry quickly in case it rains or let’s be honest because you sweat a lot.
- hat – keep the sun out of your eyes and the sweat from sliding down the forehead
- deodorant (because if you’re with someone else it’s just courteous)
- sleeping bag
- sleeping pad
- inflatable pillow – I know this sound like a luxury but they pack down to nothing and are totally worth it
- bear container – for your food
- dehydrated food and a few snack items like protein bars
- jet boil
- instant coffee
- plastic mug
- knife or saw can be useful
- head lamp/flashlight
- wet wipes – you’ll feel like a million bucks after using one of these after a long day of hiking
- first aid kit – always be prepared or if you’re like me you need tums on hand
- alcohol – optional (but let’s be real, the only fun way to camp) – we always bring some honey whiskey so you don’t have to mix it with anything