Rock Creek Route from South Ben Tyler Trailhead

Page Type
Route
Location:
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hiking
Season:
Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Most of a day
Difficulty:
Mostly on-trail walk-up with short off-trail route finding segment

Route Quality: 0 Votes

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Rock Creek Route from South Ben Tyler Trailhead
Created On: Nov 18, 2007
Last Edited On: Nov 18, 2007

Overview

The majority of this route up the Rock Creek drainage follows the Ben Tyler Trail through the Lost Creek Wilderness. The Ben Tyler Trail, though not particularly heavily-trodden, is reasonably well-marked and easy to follow through the heavy woods. The hiker will leave the Ben Tyler Trail for a short (less than 1 mile) off-trail segment across mostly open land dotted by isolated trees and willow groves to reach the summit of "Kenosha Peak".

Getting There

Kenosha Peak Summit looking north-northwestLooking north-northwest from the summit of "Kenosha Peak" with Foster (11,871) in the foreground.
From Hwy 285
  • Just over a mile north of the town of Jefferson, turn east on Rt 56 / Lost Park Road.
  • At the cattle guard / forest service sign, the road turns into FS 56. Stay on this road.
  • Turn north / left at FR 133 / Rock Creek Road. (You may note signs for the Rock Creek Trailhead and the South Ben Tyler Trailhead.)
    • Those without 4x4 will want to find a parking pull-out at or near this intersection as FR 133 becomes increasingly rough.
    • The Rock Creek Trailhead is a good place to park for some drivers, depending on vehicle type and driving ability, as the road becomes steeper and more deeply rutted after this point. Drivers can expect some minor high-siding and obstacle avoidance.
  • At the bottom of the hill, the 4X4 hearty can continue straight ahead to a small (one-vehicle) pull-out at the South Ben Tyler Trailhead. Here there is limited parking, and most importantly, tight turnaround space. However, there is parking for several vehicles at the bottom of the hill along Rock Creek, near a large campsite.
From Park County Rd 77
  • Roughly seven miles northwest of the Tarryall reservoir, the driver will encounter Corrigan’s Stage Stop pub and Stagestop Road (which serves a cabin community full of very good people).
  • Travel about one mile northwest to County Rd 39. (You may notice a sign to Lost Park Road.) Turn north/right.
  • Continue to follow County 39 as it turns into FS 39.
  • FS 39 dead-ends into FS 56/Lost Park Road. Turn right/east onto FS 56.
  • Turn north / left at FR 133 / Rock Creek Road. (You may note signs for the Rock Creek Trailhead and the South Ben Tyler Trailhead.)
    • Those without 4x4 will want to find a parking pull-out at or near this intersection as FR 133 becomes increasingly rough.
    • The Rock Creek Trailhead is a good place to park for some drivers, depending on vehicle type and driving ability, as the road becomes steeper and more deeply rutted after this point. Drivers can expect some minor high-siding and obstacle avoidance.
  • At the bottom of the hill, the 4X4 hearty can continue straight ahead to a small (one-vehicle) pull-out at the South Ben Tyler Trailhead. Here there is limited parking, and most importantly, tight turnaround space. However, there is parking for several vehicles at the bottom of the hill along Rock Creek, near a large campsite.

Route Description

Low elevation: 9,760 ft (South Ben Tyler Trailhead)
High elevation: 12,100
Total roundtrip mileage: 8

  • From the large 4x4 campsite described above, head north-northeast to the Wilderness Boundary and South Ben Tyler Trail post.
  • After registering your party in the Forest Service sign-in, take a few minutes to enjoy the sprawling complex of beaver ponds on Rock Creek.
  • Continue climbing gradually through the forest on an obvious trail for approximately 2.5 miles.
  • Begin a series of switchbacks.
  • At the top of these switchbacks you will leave behind Rock Creek and head almost due north.
  • At approximately mile 3.2, just over 11,500 ft. elevation, you will reach treeline. Depart the trail and head east toward the summit of "Kenosha Peak".
    • You may wish to swing a bit north toward point 11,882 to avoid the willows.
  • Upon gaining the saddle between point 11,882 and "Kenosha Peak", orient your hiking to the south-east to gain the summit of "Kenosha Peak".
  • The high point of this broad summit is large, inclined rock. This rock lends itself equally to celebratory Captain Morgan poses and to sunny summit naps.
  • To return, retrace your steps down to the saddle and through or around (your choice) the willows below to the Ben Tyler Trail. Follow the trail south toward your vehicle.

Map

Kenosha Peak Rock Creek Route MapLeaving the Ben Tyler Trail at treeline, the red line indicates the route to reach the summit of "Kenosha Peak" (12,100 ft.) The hiker can opt to bash directly through the willows if so inclined. 11 Nov 20007

Essential Gear

For safety and comfort, the following are recommended:

  • Trails Illustrated map #105

  • Compass

  • GPS

  • Colorado Atlas and Gazetteer (for backroad navigation)

  • Trekking pole(s)

  • Sturdy hiking boots with stiff ankle support

  • More water than you think you will need (one above the Rock Creek, these are dry mountains)

  • First aid kit

  • Other standard backcountry essentials

External Links

Pike & San Isabel National Forests
Pike National Forest Recreation Map

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Rock Creek Route from South Ben Tyler Trailhead

Route
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Geography

MyTopo Map Nearby Routes Interactive Map Routes in Colorado

Parents

UN 12100 "Kenosha Peak"Routes