Mt. Princeton

Lost Canyon Road - Granite, Colorado

A Scenic Drive In Chaffee County With Mountain Views & Fall Foliage - September 19, 2009

Lost Canyon Road, CO Ahhhhh it was a lovely morning in the mountains! Lost Canyon is a very scenic area in the Sawatch Range west of Granite, Colorado.

Some literature on the Internet report this road is a 4-wheel drive road. Although some bumpy parts existed, my humble passenger vehicle was quite able to make it to the top of the road and above timberline this morning. If I had the means, I probably would drive a truck or some kind of 4-wheel drive vehicle for sure, but it is not an absolute requirement as of today.

Secondly, there is some confusion about what exactly is "Lost Canyon Road." Lost Canyon Road (Chaffee County Road 398) goes west from Granite and travels up a forested hillside that climbs its way into Lost Canyon. Mining activity transpired a long time ago in the canyon with the Columbine Mine being the most notable. A short distance from Granite, a back road travels from Granite to Twin Lakes (Chaffee County Road 398B), and for whatever strange reason, some locals erroneously call it "Lost Canyon Road." It is not. Continue west on Chaffee County Road 398 to reach Lost Canyon. (Actual directions are adjacent to the top photo in the gallery; It is very simple.)

Lastly, the autumn foliage along the road was wonderful. Colorado doesn't compare to other regions of the country, but when those large aspen groves turn golden ... It is magical! :)

All the best,

Twitter: @stevegarufi
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Granite, CO Directions: From Granite on Highway 24, turn west on the dirt road with signage that travels behind the Granite General Store.
Lost Canyon Road, CO

Lost Canyon Road, CO

TOP: A short distance away from town, the road travels in a wide open area that heads toward the mountains. The road will bend to the left and travel up the forested hillside.

SECOND PHOTO: A nice view of Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive from the road.

Colorado Rocky Mountains The view to the south before entering the forested area. I don't know the name of that mountain, but it is probably a 12er or perhaps a 13er. You gotta love the snow, autumn colors and bright blue skies! :)
Lost Canyon Road, CO Look at the bright yellow foliage surrounding the road!
An opening in the trees provides a view looking back at the valley.
Lost Canyon Road, CO Colorado Autumn Foliage

Colorado Fall Foliage

This particular spot of bright shimmering aspens was so beautiful!
Lost Canyon Road

Lost Canyon Road

Lost Canyon Road, CO

Lost Canyon Road

Lost Canyon Road, CO

Up Lost Canyon Road I traveled. The colors in foliage changed with every twist and turn in the road.

My other pages of this region:

  • Village of Granite, CO
  • Bike: Buena Vista To Granite
  • Lake County Roads 10 & 24
  • Mountain Biking in Twin Lakes
  • Road Biking in Twin Lakes
  • Twin Lakes Fishing Points
  • Independence Pass
  • Bike To Independence Pass
  • Interlaken Resort (Twin Lakes)
  • Mt. Belford
  • La Plata Peak
  • Vicksburg & Winfield Ghost Towns
  • Quail Mountain
  • Overlook Overlook About halfway up the road at a switchback, an overlook exists with drop dead gorgeous views. This could be a perfect spot for a wedding or something like that!

    TOP: The village of Granite and the Arkansas River are situated inside that canyon-like crevice out there.

    SECOND: A perfect view of looking down on aspen groves.

    Colorado Rocky Mountains Continuing up the road, structures like this dot the landscape.
    Lost Canyon Road, CO Entering Lost Canyon. Near this point and above timberline, the road became more bumpy, but again, my Honda Civic made it just fine. :)
    Lost Canyon Road I stopped here. According to my map, the road travels up a little farther and reaches the Columbine Mine site. Various dirt roads travel off from this main road. I did not have a detailed topographical map, but I am fairly sure the farthest and tallest peak on the left is Quail Mountain (alt. 13,461 feet). This might be a good place to begin an ascent of that mountain! :)
    Old Cabin Plenty of old remnants and mining structures exist up there.
    Twin Lakes, CO

    Mt. Elbert

    Mt. Elbert Forebay

    Twin Lakes, Colorado

    I walked a short distance to a ridge that had a grand view to the north.

    TOP: Twin Lakes, CO in the foreground.

    SECOND: A pretty view of South Elbert, Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive (left to right).

    THIRD: I zoomed-in to better capture Mt. Elbert Forebay and Galena Mountain which I climbed earlier this month.

    Lost Canyon Road, CO

    Granite, CO

    On the way back, I captured a token photo of myself back in the valley.

    SECOND PHOTO: Returning to Granite (no more than a half mile from town) on Lost Canyon Road.

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