The original weekend was supposed to be a climb up Mt. Huron. Unfortunately (and fortunately), we have seen a huge amount of snow this last year and conditions are still not quite favorable for climbing. We had already marked off the time to do something and we finalized on a little back packing trip.
I have been doing some research on the Pike National Forest and stumbled upon the Goose Creek Trail. There really isn’t anything other than rave reviews so I thought it would be a great weekend for me, my girlfriend, and two cattle dogs. I was thoroughly impressed to say the least.
After a couple wrong turns we made it to the trail head about 5 miles northeast of Cheeseman Lake around 5:00 PM. The trail head itself was packed with very little parking. My initial thought was “this could be a disaster”. We loaded up the packs and headed down the trail.
The start of the trail is at the very, very edge of the Hayman Burn area. It drops down about 100 feet in to the start of the value and with in .25 miles you are immediately swallowed up by gorgeous and thick forest. The wildflowers were in bloom and the creek was running thick. The trail on the onset is single track that is well maintained. Once you get into the forest, the trail widens substantially and is groomed exceptionally well. The climb from the bottom to the point where most stay is about 600-700 feet in elevation gain over 3.5- 4.0 miles. The trek itself was easy and we made to our campsite at about 7:00 PM. While you could see that other people were there, the campsites that are around are incredible and spread enough that there isn’t any issues of crowds.
One quick side note about the Goose Creek Trail is on water. Once you have are about 1 mile in there isn’t any places to get water till you get to the camping area. You know you are at final destination when you see a sign that notes you can continue on the Goose Creek Trail or go left to visit the Historic Buildings. The historic buildings are the remains of an attempt to build an underground dam. You can visit the “Shafthouse” site by way of an easy .5 mile offshoot by the historic buildings. It is an absolute must if you love great views. The trail by the historic buildings is also the route to get back to the Goose Creek itself.
The actual Goose Creek is the home of plenty of areas to splash in some water, drop a fishing line for some quick Brook Trout, or a place to cool down a warm beer. This is where any other backpackers in the area will congregate as well, so a beer and conversation exchange may be had.
Overall the trail is extremely well maintained, the scenery awesome, the campsites perfect, and overall is not that difficult. If you need a quick go-to trip I would suggest the Lost Creek Wilderness Goose Creek Trail. It is a great bit of Colorado, and I will definitely be back again!