Lizard Rock Trail, Lost Creek Wilderness
Getting There/Parking: from Colorado Springs, Take 24 West to 77/Tarryall Road. Turn right on Tarryall and go 13.5 miles to the Spruce Grove campground. Trailhead parking just outside the campground. The trailhead is in the campground, behind the pit toilet and across the bridge.
Distance: 4.6 miles, there and back
Difficulty: moderate on the hike in, easy on the hike out
Features: forest, views, rock formations
Day hiked: June 14, 2014
Dog friendly? Yes, on leashes.
We were camping at Spruce Grove campground, so this trail was a no-brainer, since the trailhead is right in the campground. Just cross the bridge near the walk-in campsites and turn left. Unfortunately, the beginning of the trail was underwater, so we had to hike around a large rock formation to meet up with the trail. That was probably the steepest and most difficult part of the trail. The trail is a steady uphill climb, but the beautiful views make up for it. We hiked for about 45 minutes before we encountered other people, so it made for a quiet hike. My only complaint is that the trail is not well marked. The map at the trailhead was faded by the sun and not very detailed. We passed several side trails and there were no signs indicating which trail we were on. The only sign we did pass showed we were on the Lizard Rock trail, but it wasn’t near any intersecting trails, so it wasn’t very helpful. We stayed on the widest trail (staying left) when we passed other trails. We eventually reached another intersection at the two mile point. We originally headed right, then changed our minds and back-tracked to the trail to the left. After seeing how narrow that trail was, we changed our minds again and headed back to the right trail. We hiked another 0.3 miles in and when we reached some cool rock formations, we decided to make that our turn-around point. (Turns out, the smaller trail heading left is the one that would have gotten us to Lizard Rock. I don’t feel like we missed out on anything.) The hike back down was easy and quick. Rather than hiking back up and around the boulders at the trailhead, we took our camp host’s advice to check out the rock tunnel at the bottom of the trail. From there we were able to inch our way to the trailhead without getting wet. (Cosmo, on the other hand, didn’t mind the water and ran right through it.) For more information: Lizard Rock Trail