With our camp last night at 10,464 feet, it got cold, which felt good in the sleeping bag but not so good to get up. But get up we do because we have a long day. We are trying to get a day ahead of our plan because we had to pay for 3 nights to stay at the Fireside Inn in Breckenridge over the July 4th weekend. If we can average at least 15 miles per day, we can get there the first night we have a reservation.
Because of water, we decide to push for the Kenosha Pass Campground which has a water spigot. The trail is dry for the 6 miles to the campground. To get to Kenosha Pass campground, we have to hike 20 miles today.
We start at 6am and soon meet up with Indie again. We are now starting to see the same thru hikers. Indy is a guy in his 50s from Florida who wears an Indiana Jones hat, long shorts, leather hiking boots and a green backpack. We are not sure if he calls himself Indy after Indiana Jones or the Indie 500. He seems to have a similar pace and gets up early like we do.
The morning is crisp and we hike along the edge of the broad valley meadow in the north fork of Lost Creek. The Lost Creek meanders through the meadow which has ponderosa pine and fir forests on both sides. Although my hands are a little numb to start with it is very pleasant. I keep thinking it would be a great place for moose but we don’t see any.
We climb through a small saddle and start winding down through a forested hillside. We are making good time and have hiked 5.3 miles and are through Segment 4 before 8am. Segment 4 ends at the Long Gulch TH which leads into the Lost Creek Wilderness approximately 12 miles away from Highway 285 and Jefferson.
We continue to hike in the forest and then drop down into Rock Creek and Johnson Gulch which are both wide meadows with a creek flowing through them. Then back up on a ridge above 10,000 feet. We have been curling around the Kenosha Mountains which is a granite batholith 1 billion years old. This granite is greyer than the pinkish Pike’s Peak Granite because it has less potassium in it.
Around 1pm we look across a ridge and see a fire that is just starting to smoke and shoot up a pine tree. Ray is able to get telephone reception and he calls 911 to report the fire.
We are about 4 miles away from Kenosha Pass and US285 and the fire is near Lost Park Road, close to a house and the weather is hot and windy. The dispatcher is glad we have called it in and is sending multiple agencies out to address it. It is likely a flare up from a fire they had in this area during the past week. The dispatcher warns us to take care of ourselves and get out of danger. We are only 1 mile away from the fire and it is very windy! Wildfires this time of year in Colorado are serious business.
We get to Kenosha Pass campground at around 3:30pm with 20 miles and a fire behind us. The campground host explains to us that there is a fire ban in Park County starting today so no wood or charcoal fires in the campground. Maybe the fire we called in had something to do with it. I don’t know. The good news is when we looked back to where the fire was later several miles away from across a ridge, it looked like it had been put out.
Just the Facts
Total Miles: 20 miles
Cumulative Miles: 71.7 miles
Trail Segments: Start on Segment 4 at McCurdy Creek in the North Fork of the Lost Creek Wilderness and end at Segment 5, at the Kenosha Pass Campground on US285.