“This lasso takes you to the two best areas of LCW without some of the pacing issues of other similar loops.”
— Thomas Horner
Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife · Commonly Backpacked
This route is almost entirely in the Lost Creek Wilderness area. Typical wilderness restrictions apply.
I prefer this lasso to some of the other loop variants. It can be done clockwise or counterclockwise, and the route allows you to reach the two best areas of Lost Creek Wilderness without either doing it all at the start of the trip or only at the very end. The low point (figuratively) is Lost Park, which comes between the two high points (Bison-McCurdy and Refrigerator Gulch) no matter which direction you do this lasso in. This makes for a nice three or two night trip.
Need to Know
Water can be scarce later in the season, and is generally only available from the streams. This is usually not much of a problem except at the higher reaches of Bison-McCurdy.
Ascend through the forest from Twin Eagles Trailhead, turning left at the junction with the Brookside McCurdy Trail #607
. From there, you ascend over McCurdy Mountain and Bison Peak, two 12,000+ ft. peaks that feature an open expanses of tundra dotted with otherworldly granite formations. A low point in the saddle between the two peaks sometimes has water access and provides a more sheltered place to camp. If thunderstorms are not likely, most anywhere on the massif provides amazing views and wonderful campsites.
Continue down the Brookside McCurdy Trail #607
as it descends west off of Bison Peak, following it north to the Lost Park Trailhead. Take Wigwam Trail #609
to the east through East Lost Park, which offers numerous sheltered camping locations all the way to the junction with Goose Creek Trail #612
. Take Goose Creek Trail #612
south to the junction with McCurdy Park Trail #628
, turning right to go west into Refrigerator Gulch.
You'll soon find yourself in the namesake area of Lost Creek, with building-sized boulders and strange rock formations all around. The creek disappears in and out of multiple caves and rock formations, and the trail can occasionally be difficult to follow here. There are plenty of ups and downs, and an incredible quantity of amazing campsites.
Eventually, you'll find yourself at the eastern base of McCurdy Mountain again, intersecting with the Brookside McCurdy Trail #607
. Proceed south back to the Twin Eagles Trailhead on Brookside-MCcurdy to Ute Creek.