Situated in the San Isabel National Forest, halfway between Leadville and Buena Vista, Lost Canyon is a fantastic day drive for any 4wd vehicle. Home to some great primitive camping, this off-road trail delivers some of the best overall views you can find in the area. You can observe multiple, 14,000+ foot peaks on this drive and also gaze down on several of the largest bodies of water in the area including Clear Creek Reservoir, Twin Lakes, Mt Elbert Forebay, and even Turquoise Lake. During the fall, this trail provides spectacular aspen viewing because of the plethora of Aspen all along the trail. If scenery really isn't your thing, try your luck at gold panning and hope to strike it rich in the popular Cache Creek.
From Granite, Colorado, halfway between Leadville and Buena Vista on Highway 24, look for County Road 398 directly behind SAGE Outdoor Adventures. There is a green and white sign on the west side of the highway marking the direction for Lost Canyon Road.
Land Use Issues
This road is part of the current Pike San Isabel Travel Management Plan. The Draft EIS will be released in September 2019. The current MVUM has the route chopped way short of its true ending. It is imperative that the OHV community submit substantial comments about the length of the road, and all spur roads off of Lost Canyon.
Nice little trail drive. Did the entire trip in 2WD. The only drawback and why it only got four stars from me is the south end of the trail is closed to motorized vehicles. Signs look very new, so this could be something that was put up after the spring thaw. Lots of space, great views, and easy trail.
Very scenic once you get above the trees. Eight of the 11 miles of the trail are just a flat open dirt road, it’s not until waypoint 7 that it gets a little rocky. Even then I did the entire trail in 2wd.
This trail is fully open. We made all the way to the end with no trouble. Easy, fun trail with spectacular views above the tree line. Ran the trail in a 2D JK, 3” lift, 33” tires aired down and sway bar disconnected.
Great trail I was able to do it entirely in two wheel drive. The views at the top are great and there is plenty of camping opportunities on your way up, this is not a technical trail however I wouldn't recommend full size trucks attempt this due to vehicle width. the trail is blocked by snow halfway between way points eight and nine. Only ran into five other rigs on July fourth weekend and there was plenty of room to let them pass.
Fantastic 360 degree views at the top if you go right at waypoint 9. This route is a little more difficult - will require a more aggressive stock vehicle like a Wrangler or FJ. Highly recommend.
As another commenter noted, waypoint 7 now has the road closed and marked private property, forcing you to take the off camber road to the right. I'm trying to figure out how since 2016 a public forest service road became closed to the public for one, 100 yard section. Mining claim?
Same comment as John (1 day later...). Forced to use off camber washout @ Waypoint 7. Long, somewhat exposed reverse if you decide not to do it, so I'd recommend getting out & hiking forward to see, prior to driving up the road. There is a small pad where you can park next to the old hut structure while you hike up to the washout.
Stock FJ made it through in dry conditions. Definitely would not recommend if the road is wet.
The more maintained road at waypoint 7 was closed and physically blocked forcing use of the higher road with the dangerous off camber washout. This might just be temporary; however, take note for stock vehicles and novice drivers
Hi, I'm Ryan!
I am a Colorado native and I've been wheeling since I was 16 years old. I grew up with a relentless passion for all things Jeep and off road related, and that passion has never died out. I am a member of the Mile-Hi Jeep Club, Patrol 16 Sasquatch Jeepers and currently own an '06 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (LJ) nicknamed "Minion".
I am a huge supporter of Stay the Trail and Tread Lightly, and have participated and even been in charge of many trail restoration projects. I have been a trail leader several times for events such as All-4-Fun, ColoradoFest, Set Them Free, 14er Fest, and other. I am also the creator of the Unlimited LJ Adventure.
My rig is built for extreme offroading, but I love to get my tires dirty on any kind of trail whether it's rock crawling or just scenic high Alpine drives. I've wheeled all over the country including Colorado, Utah, Kansas, the Carolinas, AZ, and California. I love a great adventure, and love even more to share those adventures with others.
If you see the "minion" out on the trail, make sure to stop and say hello.