Brookside-McCurdy Trail

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Brookside-McCurdy Trail #607

The Brookside-McCurdy Trail is the major north-south artery through the middle portion of the Lost Creek Wilderness. Its northern terminus is the Payne Creek/Brookside Trailhead near Bailey and its southern terminus is the Twin Eagles Trailhead, southeast of the Tarryall Reservoir. About midway between these two trailheads the Brookside-McCurdy Trail passes through the Lost Park Trailhead. Along the way it connects with nine other trails, providing numerous opportunities to create loop trips of various lengths. Throughout its length, this trail presents the hiker with a wide variety of the different landscapes found in the Lost Creek Wilderness, including different forest types, wide-open parks, wild formations of red Pikes Peak granite, and the tremendous views found along the ridge between Bison Peak and McCurdy Park. Deer, elk, and bighorn sheep are some of the wildlife that can be seen along the trail. Because the trail is almost entirely in designated wilderness, Wilderness regulations apply.

Operational Hours: Although open year-round, access during the winter may be limited due to snow.
Permit Info: The Forest Service is implementing a mandatory self-issuing permit system in the Mount Evans and Lost Creek Wildernesses to enable us to better manage these heavily visited Wildernesses. The same type of system is already in place in other Wildernesses. The intent is to use the data obtained through this permit system to more accurately assess the amounts and types of existing Wilderness use. This will enable us to better preserve their natural condition for future generations, balanced against the pressures of growing populations and increased use. These permits have no quotas associated with them nor will there be any fees required to obtain them. They will be available free at each trailhead. As you enter the Wilderness, fill out the provided permit and deposit the white paper copy in the slot in the lower front of the register box. Keep the yellow tag in your possession and please follow the Wilderness regulations found on the back.
Open Season: Open year-round
Best Season: June- August
Busiest Season: June- August
Restrictions: The following regulations / restrictions apply to the Lost Creek Wilderness:

  • No motorized equipment (chainsaws, drills, etc.) or mechanized transportation (bicycles, wagons, etc.)
  • No landing or dropping of supplies by aircraft (including parasails)
  • Groups size is limited to 15 persons and/or 10 pack or saddle animals in any one party.
  • Dogs must be leashed.
  • Camp at least 100 feet from lakes, streams, or trails.
  • Campfires must be at least 100 feet from lakes, streams or trails.
  • Hobble, tie, or tether any pack or saddle animals at least 100 feet from lakes, streams or trails.
  • All livestock feed must be processed and weed free.
  • Do not cut switchbacks.
  • Pack it in; pack it out.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles.
Closest Towns: Bailey is 2.25 miles east of the trailhead along Highway 285.
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Appears on the following maps:

  • Pike National Forest
  • USGS Topo: Shawnee
  • USGS Topo: Topaz Mountain
  • USGS Topo: Farnum Peak
  • USGS Topo: McCurdy Mountain
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated #105 Tarryall Mountains / Kenosha Pass

Contact the South Platte Ranger District

Directions:
From US 285 in Bailey, go south across the South Platte riveron County Road 64 between the Post Office and Moore Lumber. After 0.45 miles take a left at the Y. Go 2.2 miles to the trailhead on the left (south) side of the road.

Parking:
The parking area is a medium size area.

Accessibility:
This trail is open year round; however, weather may make access difficult especially in the winter and spring months.

General Notes:

Trail Information:
Starting from the Payne Creek/Brooks id e Trailhead, the trail rises gently and soon reaches the junction at which the Payne Creek and Brookside-McCurdy trails diverge. The Payne Creek Trail goes left, and then swings southeast on its way to join the Colorado Trail. The Brookside-McCurdy continues south, climbing gradually at first, and then steepening as it climbs the Platte River Range. After crossing the boundary of the Lost Creek Wilderness the trail eventually meets the Brookside AG Trail, which rises up from the west after leaving MacArthur Gulch. As of 2001, this trail is in place, but has not yet been opened while a new trailhead for the Ben Tyler and Brookside AG trails is constructed. Check with the South Platte District office for current information. From the junction, the Brookside trail continues to climb up and over into Craig Park, where it intersects with the Craig Park Trail.

The next segment rises south out of Craig Park over a saddle, and then descends into North Lost Park, where it leaves the Wilderness and joins the Colorado Trail. A couple of miles down valley from this junction, the North Fork Trailhead is reached, where the two trails part. The Colorado Trail runs east and north to the Rolling Creek Trailhead on the northeast side of the wilderness and the Brookside-McCurdy veers south following North Lost Creek to the Lost Park Trailhead.

From Lost Park the trail goes south across Lost Creek to a junction with the Wigwam Trail. The Wigwam Trail goes left (east) through the Wilderness to the east side at the Wigwam Trailhead. The Brookside-McCurdy continues south and soon re-enters the Wilderness, then follows Indian Creek upstream to a high saddle between the Lost Creek and Tarryall Creek drainages, where it meets the Ute Creek Trail climbing up from the south. Here the trail swings southeast, continuing to climb for a short distance to its high point on the southwest shoulder of Bison Peak. From the high point the trail follows a ridge to the southeast through the remnants of an old burn. This stretch has tremendous views to the south and west, particularly in the fall, but be aware of your exposure to lightening from summer afternoon storms. Eventually the trail drops down to the pass at the south end of McCurdy Park and meets the McCurdy Park Trail, coming up from the north.

On the last segment of the Brookside-McCurdy Trail, it descends a short distance to another junction, this time with the Lake Park Trail. The Lake Park Trail rises to the east, and then drops south to Hankins Pass. The Brookside-McCurdy drops steeply south, leaving the Wilderness, to a junction with the Hankins Pass Trail, which extends east toward the Goose Creek Trailhead. One last gentle downhill leg brings you out at the Twin Eagles Trailhead.

Connecting Trails:

  • Payne Creek Trail
  • Ute Creek Trail
  • Brookside AG Trail
  • McCurdy Park Trail
  • Craig Park Trail
  • Lake Park Trail
  • Colorado Trail-Segment 4
  • Hankins Pass Trail
  • Wigwam Trail

Dispersed Camping

No camping or building fire within 100 feet of lakes, streams and forest development trails. Do not cut switchbacks. Practice Leave No Trace by dispersing any rocks used for fire rings and leaving the area so there is no evidence you were there.

Day Hiking and Backpacking

The Brookside-McCurdy trailhead is the starting point for the Payne Creek Trail and the Brookside-McCurdy Trail. It also is one access point for the Craig Creek trail off of the Brookside-McCurdy trails.

Trail Use: heavy
Length: 32.6 Miles (52.4 Kilometers)
Elevation: Starts at 8,040 Feet (2450 Meters); ends at 7,560 Feet (2304 Meters); highpoint is 11,880 Feet (3621 Meters)

Difficulty Level: More to Most Difficult

Horse Riding

The Brookside-McCurdy trailhead is the starting point for the Payne Creek Trail and the Brookside-McCurdy Trail. It also is one access point for the Craig Creek trail off of the Brookside-McCurdy Trail.

Stats

  • Trail Measurement: 32.6 Miles
  • Compass Latitude: 39°24'20.0"N
  • Compass Longitude: 105°30'24.8"W
  • Numeric Latitude: 39.405546
  • Numeric Longitude: -105.506888
  • Elevation in Meters: 2304 to 3621
  • Elevation in Feet: 7,560 to 11,880

If you have information about this trail please fill out the Add/Edit Trail form.

References

  • Trail Location
  • Trail Measurement
    32.6 Miles
  • Compass Latitude
    39°24'20.0"N
  • Compass Longitude
    105°30'24.8"W
  • Numeric Latitude
    39.405546
  • Numeric Longitude
    -105.506888
  • Elevation in Feet
    7,560 to 11,880
  • Elevation in Meters
    2304 to 3621
  • Trail Images
  • Trail Maps
  • Trail GPS Files
    • Trail Weather

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