We rolled into camp after a lovely evening drive along Terryall Road. Auntie Jaz entertained the boys while Andy and I set up camp and started dinner. We originally planned to cook over charcoal all weekend, but had to adjust our plans at the last minute due to the local fire ban. Slightly bummed, we moved to the galley stove and quickly threw dinner together:
campfire stovetop Dutch oven nachos. We devoured our meal, “roasted” marshmallows over the stove for s’mores, and talked and laughed around the empty fire pit. Before long, it was time for bed and we managed to cram the five of us into the trailer for the night.
Andy and I woke with the sun the next morning. We left the boys and Jaz in their heap in the trailer and made a strong pot of camp coffee. We sipped and lounged around until we heard a stir from the bed inside. Once Jaz, Luke, and Jack were up and at it, we started on breakfast. We leisurely cooked potatoes, chicken sausage, and eggs at the stove, hungrily sneaking marshmallows and a graham cracker or two as we waited. After a little while, breakfast was ready and we loaded our plates full of delicious eggs and hash. We plowed through our food in a fraction of the time it took to actually cook it, then quickly washed our plates and ovens and tidied our site so we could head out for a hike.
I’d been eyeing Lizard Rock Trail for weeks after stumbling upon a post about it on Go Hike Colorado. We planned on hiking the two and a half miles to our turnaround point at Lizard Rock and then hiking back, our longest hike with kids to date. Backpacks full of snacks, water, and hammocks, we set out from our campground and into Lost Creek Wilderness.
We made our way single file through beautiful groves of aspen trees. Luke scampered back and forth between Andy and Jaz, picking up pine cones and loose tree branches scattered along our trail. We passed quite a few different rock formations but never saw one we really thought looked like a lizard, so we continued deeper into Lost Creek Wilderness in hopes that we’d find our rock. When two and a half miles turned into three, we decided to call a random boulder on the side of our path our turnaround point and unloaded our packs to rest and eat our lunch.
We munched on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and jerky and fig bars while Luke scrambled up and down the boulders around us. After some time we loaded everything back up and made our way back out the way we came in.
The sun started arching toward the mountains and the temperature dropped enough to be comfortable again once dinnertime rolled around. I tossed together ingredients to make black bean-green chile chili in the Dutch oven over the stove and let it simmer gently for about an hour. Andy, Jaz, and I sipped on ice cold beer while we laughed over date fail stories. Luke ran around with his squirt gun, occasionally shooting us as he darted around our chairs. Dinner finally finished cooking and we thoroughly enjoyed our spicy meal.
We didn’t stay up long after the sun set. Tired after our six mile hike, we quickly cleaned up and crawled into our trailer and fell asleep in record time.
Andy had already started breaking camp by the time I woke up the next morning. He had a mug of steaming hot coffee ready for me when I stumbled out of the trailer and once I had woken up a bit more, I joined him in getting things ready to head back home. After Jaz and the kids woke up, we ate a few easy snacks and finished loading up the truck. In no time flat, we were packed and set for the drive back home. We waved goodbye to the ranger as we left our campground and bumped back down Terryall Road, kicking up dust behind us.
Where to Stay
We camped in our teardrop trailer at Spruce Grove Campground, near Lake George, Colorado. I highly recommend this place if established campgrounds are your style. It’s nestled in between beautiful mountains and beside Terryall Creek and has easy access to Lost Creek Wilderness. Aim for a site on the outer edge of the loop for some good tree coverage. If you’re in a tent, Site 11 looks particularly nice!
Where to Play
Lost Creek Wilderness lies just to the north of Spruce Grove Campground. Lizard Rock Trail takes you into the area and connects with a few other trails. The heart of Lost Creek requires backpacking to really explore, but a few moderate day hikes are possible from the Spruce Grove and Goose Creek trailheads at the southern end.