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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Lost Creek‏

August 27th, 2010 · No Comments

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My friend Sharon and I found Lost Creek yesterday. We were the only ones.

Last week when we went to the top of Mount Evans, we picked up a map of the area. Sharon noticed that the map showed something called the Mount Evans State Wildlife Area about seven miles to the east of Mount Evans itself. It also confusingly appears on other maps as the Colorado State Game and Fish Reserve or the Mount Evans Elk Management Area. Neither of us had ever heard of this area by any name before.

So, of course, we went there yesterday. It’s a 40 mile drive from Boulder.  One of Sharon’s guide books showed that the Lost Creek Trail starts in this wildlife area and after a mile or two enters the Mount Evans Wilderness, which surrounds the 14,265-foot peak.

Our hike took us from about 9,000 to about 10,000 feet. We arrived at the trailhead about 7:30 a.m. when the temperature was just 46 degrees. But when we returned to Boulder in mid-afternoon it had climbed almost 50 degrees.

We had perfect hiking weather with no wind and brilliant sunshine under completely clear skies until the early afternoon, when a few clouds began to form.

During our six hours on the trail we had it all to ourselves. The trail itself is overgrown with grass in several spots, indicating little use. Following close to Lost Creek much of the way, the trail gave us lots of shade and green vistas.

Lost Creek

Lost Creek

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I had hoped to see elk, but they managed to be somewhere else. Sharon had wanted to see a flammulated owl, which breeds in this area. But this reddish owl is so small — only about 6 inches long — and so secretive and nocturnal, that we knew we had little chance of seeing one. Her philosophy is the same as mine — if you try, you will often fail, but if you don’t try, you will always fail. We failed, so the best that I can do is to show this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo that’s in the public domain.

A Flammulated Owl

A Flammulated Owl

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We feasted on wild raspberries, which were probably organic, although they lacked proper USDA labeling.

A Wild Raspberry

A Wild Raspberry

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We also saw more varieties of mushrooms than we had ever seen before. While we enjoyed seeing them, we decided to forgo the opportunity to eat them.

This Mushroom Reminded Sharon of a Snake's Skin

This Mushroom Reminded Sharon of a Snake's Skin

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Mushroom Design

Mushroom Design

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Although the Lost Creek Trail is only an hour from Boulder, the area felt quite different to us. This is a good reason to travel.

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