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Colorado Springs area canyoners?

Discussion in 'Meet Up' started by yetigonecrazy1, May 9, 2018.

  1. gajslk

    gajslk

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    The most interesting and intense stuff that I'm aware of around here are the boulder caves in the Lost Creek area. Way too interesting and intense for me. Imagine piles of huge buried boulders hundreds of yards long with an ice-cold stream running through and under. At least one caver has died in there. There are also some short sections of sculpted granite narrows up in the mountains near Deckers and Aspen that come to mind. I'm pretty sure I ran across one of those up in Lost Creek, too, but that was 35 years ago and I might be putting it in the wrong place. They aren't very long or deep, but they're darned dangerous.
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  2. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    Lost creek does have a lot unique area, but its a haul to get in. We backpacked in a decent ways in one day to make it to what I think is one of the more well known canyon sections along the creek. There not much above or around this section, so nothing more than a stunt rappel, but I do imagine there are some more interesting sections somewhere up the boulders and formations, away from the creek. For those curious, this is area is closest to the Goose creek trailhead at Lost creek, but is by no means close to the trail head (maybe 10 miles or so in)

    P1011280-Pano. P1011271. P1011287. P1011252. P1011275.
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  3. yetigonecrazy1

    yetigonecrazy1 yeti in the jungle

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    Wow!! That is a gorgeous narrows. I have spent a long time looking at the Lost Creek/Goose Creek area. I think down the road a few years I'd like to backpack in and spend a week or two descending from the headwaters of Lost Creek all the way down to Goose Creek and down to the South Platte. There is a LOT of granite up there and in addition to the jams Gordon mentioned (which I agree, were the first things I thought of after talking about Hurricane Canyon/French Creek ok Pikes) I imagine there are quite a few cool things to see, like you mentioned, off the main creeks themselves.

    Gordon, you mentioned some granite chasms around Deckers. I'm aware of a lot of granite/bedrock gorges around Aspen, but having trouble thinking of some near Deckers, except the obvious ones on the SF South Platte. Understand if you don't want to share beta, but maybe some general hints to guess where those are? :)
  4. gajslk

    gajslk

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    Those are the ones I was thinking of. Haven't done much hiking near Deckers.
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  5. MikeDallin

    MikeDallin

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    There are interesting canyons on the flanks of Pikes Peak, unfortunately many are blocked by private land or have long, complicated approaches over some rough terrain.

    For an hour or two of fun try Little High Creek. There's a dirt road that leads to a little BLM trailhead off of High Park Road near Booger Red Hill. With a topo map it is easy enough to find the narrow section. It has a few deep wades and downclimbs, maybe 10-12 feet at the highest? No rappels unless something really changed or you really don't like somewhat exposed downclimbing. I'd at least bring a handline. It's easiest to just reverse and go up the canyon if you don't mind boosting and handlining folks up. In a pinch you can reach the rim after the narrows but it is pretty physical. Please try to avoid the private ranchland north of the canyon. I know the owners and they are good people.

    I haven't been there in a decade or more so maybe things have changed. Back then this time of year (May-ish) was the best season.

    There are others around there of varying quality but you have to arrange crossing private land to see them. I haven't talked to the various landowners in a good 15 years so unfortunately I don't have contacts there anymore, and I think my notes have been lost to the mists of time (and a move or two).
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  6. yetigonecrazy1

    yetigonecrazy1 yeti in the jungle

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    Now I am really kicking myself. A few years back the wife and I were tooling around the area, and I spied that very narrows on the map. We drove around on some dirt roads and ended up not far at all from the canyon....started hiking down but the weather moved in and it got shitty and cold really quick so we had to bail. Just means I have to go back now!!

    Thanks for the info Mike!
  7. MikeDallin

    MikeDallin

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    No problem. I just looked at a map, the turnoff for the trailhead to Little High Creek is at N 38.72261 W 105.28219. Follow that road until it goes into the trees and there is a rough parking area. I remember a kiosk there. Park and hike down the road to the east, go through a gate and into a meadow. Then just beeline towards where the narrows are. The canyon isn’t very long but the approach is short and the obstacles are pretty fun so I’d say it is worthwhile.

    A few other notes from memory and looking at the map:

    Wilson Creek, southwest of Red Canyon Park (near the Shelf Rd climbing area) looks good on the map, and had one or two interesting downclimbs and I vaguely remember a pretty little pool in there that is skirted, but was otherwise not very narrow or really worth the effort.

    The drainages east of four mile (like the other Wilson creek, hungry, etc) look good on the maps but I don’t think they are great in person... the tops are owned by mining companies and the roads are closed/gated off, at least they were a decade ago. I also had permission way back when to go into Barnard Creek (since it has a “box canyon” on the map) but again, skip that one.

    Some of the various forks of Turkey Creek and Beaver Creek (west of the road between Co Springs and Canyon City) look very cool (esp. West Beaver) but a lot of those roads on the map at the mouth of the canyon are gated off. I tried to get into the bottom of West Turkey but never did find a way that didn’t look long and brutal. I vaguely remember a way that skirts private land from the top but I never tried it. Beaver has a trailhead at the bottom. You could conceivably set up a car shuttle at that reservoir at the top of West Beaver and head down. My old BLM map shows that from Skagway Res down to that trailhead is public land (state or county) but I’d doublecheck with a better map before you go. I never tried it though I always wanted to check it out - I got busy with Ouray instead.

    The very top of the Tights on Grape Creek (more by Canon City) is a nice, short swim between boulders, so long as the water level isn’t raging. That’s all more of a kayak run though. Nothing technical or narrow, and not really a canyoneering route.

    I feel like there was one or two others that I explored around there but I can’t remember anything about them. Anyway I hope you get at least a decent adventure out of this, or skip not-so-decent adventures.
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  8. yetigonecrazy1

    yetigonecrazy1 yeti in the jungle

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    Yeah, that sounds exactly where the wife and I were. Bummer. Gotta go back now!

    Thanks for the gold mine of info on the area. This is invaluable to anyone looking to explore this area!!!
  9. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    Any luck on your early July trip?
  10. yetigonecrazy1

    yetigonecrazy1 yeti in the jungle

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    My Primary Objective is on hold until the end of July due to work scheduling on my buddy's part. Not a big deal, just waiting a few more weeks.

    I did take an afternoon and prowled around some corners of the Red Rock Open Space between Co Spgs and Manitou. Nothing all star of course, but the farthest southwest corner of the park has a nice little sandstone playground in it. There is are a couple of nice corridors and mini-canyons/ravines to crawl up and down. A couple of side canyons have some bigger drops that could be easily rappelled, good places to practice 1st time rappelling or even working on advanced [ghosting] techniques without having to go all the way to Utah. The best of it all is a nice mini elevator slot that is a boatload of fun to wiggle down. I didn't get any pics inside of it because I left my pack at the bottom, walked up and then came down and was kind of racing both light and a storm. But the crack is lots of fun and could be a fantastic place to practice some stemming without having to drive all the way to UT. The area could be thought of as a "testing grounds" where those based in Co Spgs can come and have some fun and practice some stuff (or introduce friends to it).

    Sorry for the quality of pics, only had my mobile phone with me.

    fun
    20180708_163309.

    fun
    20180708_163043.

    drop
    20180708_160502.

    crack from bottom
    20180708_161619.

    crack inside
    20180708_161006.
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