Topaz Mountain and Wallace Gulch 4x4 trails wind their way up through the forested hillsides of North Tarryall Peak and Topaz Mountain on the south side of Lost Park near Jefferson, Colorado from Lost Creek to an altitude just over 11,300 feet and back down again. As you pass through the pine, fur and spruce forests punctuated by gorgeous green meadows, you are treated to occasional glimpses of the peaks of the Lost Creek Wilderness Area north and east, across the valley. On the way down Wallace Gulch, back toward Lost Creek, you encounter a relic of a bygone era as you come across the rusting carcass of an old pickup truck. Wildflowers are abundant in the spring and early summer while changing aspen grace the view in the fall. There are many opportunities for camping making this a great place for a peaceful weekend get-a-way.
Turn right off of Lost Park Road at Waypoint 9 and go south on FSR 446. The trail continues to turn sharply to the right until you are going almost due west before turning back to the left and heading south. There is a sign post marking FSR 446 but it is part way around the corner and not visible from Lost Park Road.
**From Fairplay:** From the intersection of Colorado Highway 9 and US Highway 285, take Highway 285 north/east 17.5 miles over Red Hill Pass and past the towns of Como and Jefferson to Lost Park Road (Park County Road 56). Turn right and go east/southeast on Lost Park Road 13.6 miles to Waypoint 9. This is the trailhead for Topaz Mountain.
**From Bailey** From the Conoco station at Main Street and US Highway 285, take Highway 285 south/west 21.8 miles through the towns of Shawnee and Grant and over Kenosha Pass to Lost Park Road (Park County Road 56). Turn left and go east/southeast on Lost Park Road 13.6 miles to Waypoint 9. This is the trailhead for Topaz Mountain.
Please note: at the time of this writing the store and gas station in Jefferson has closed. You will need to get fuel and supplies in either Bailey or Fairplay. There are no services in Shawnee, Grant, Como or Jefferson.
Land Use Issues
This area is part of Pike-San Isabel National Forest, and as such is part of the 2011 Lawsuit where a coalition of conservation and recreation groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service over what they say is the illegal addition of 500 miles of motorized roads and trails. A settlement was reached in late 2015 that is requiring the U.S. Forest Service to re-evaluate the roads and create a new travel management plan. Over the next year, 30 roads will be partially or completely closed while this evaluation takes place over the next 5 years.
It is imperative that the OHV community let's their voices be heard on this issue. If we do nothing, those 500 miles will be shutdown. Contact the local ranger districts and let them know why the area is important to you and the history you have there.
Media Coverage On going Forest Service information,
Nice loop, especially if you add Bonis Creek & Banana Peel! Doable in a stock 4x4. Trail is in excellent shape. Trail is narrow in several sections due to new tree growth - not a problem if you don't mind some Colorado pin striping on your rig. Full size truck/SUV might be a tight fit in some sections.
Trail is fully open as of 6/27. Got a bit of penstriping on the Tacoma due to the narrow trail from the new growth trees. Fun trail., but nothing too challenging. I'd say you can run this easily with a stock 4x4.
It was closed at waypoint 1. I think this might be temporary as there were no dates posted at this closure but farther up County Road 58 at Ryan trail, there was a sign saying closed for elk calfing from 6/1 to 6/15.
Awesome trail! However I bet the suburus in the prev. post had a hard time. Some of the sections had a lot of lose rocks and really made for some interesting segments. Overall I think any stock truck or suv could manage this trail. Having a lifted vehicle with good suspension makes this trail more interesting though.
Penstriping - if you manage your line right you could get away with out any of very little pen stripes on your paint.
This was a nice trail that didn't offer too many challenges. The trail is long enough to keep your attention but not so long that you need to pack any food. At the end of the trail there is one decent water crossing but not anything to be concerned about. I was able to do this trail with a Xterra on 265 tires and a 2 inch lift with no scraping or rubbing what so ever. the first part of the trail turned into a small river which was enjoyable and very shallow. There is a high potential for pinstripes however no severe damage. This trail was completely open when I did it.
Second half of Lost Park Road was closed due to the seasonal gate. It's weird because it looked like there was tracks from vehicles passing through it recently. Maybe we just were unlucky, but I would be hesitant to go until summer time.
Lead a group of 13 Subarus ranging from bone stock to lifted+big tires+skid plates along this trail on sat 25Aug2018. Very easy trail, nice views, a few tighter spots gave a few of us some pinstripes, but overall a very nice, relaxing trail ride.
Ran this trail backwards on 7.24.18. Very pretty, very quiet. There was a burn of some sorts in the past and the whole trail is surrounded by new growth saplings mixed with downed timber everywhere. Very unique to see the forest healing itself. Primitive two lane track on the backside of the mountain for the most of the way. Stay the trail and enjoy!
Bill is an off-road enthusiast with nearly 30 years of 'wheeling experience. At one time he had a streak of about 20 years of 4-wheeling at least once a month. He likes anything from easy, dirt roads to difficult trails but stops short of extreme. Over the years he has traveled over 700 different trails, mostly in Colorado and Utah. He loves finding and exploring new areas and sharing his knowledge with others. He has been the coordinator of Calvary 4-Wheelers for many years.