- Southwest of Lake City in the San Juans
- 9.6 miles round trip
- Aerobic Difficulty:
- Time To Allow:
- 2 to 2.5 hours
- Elevation Change:
- 3100 feet
- July through October
DescriptionWager Gulch is a rough four-wheel drive route leading to Carson, the best preserved ghost town in the San Juans. The trail continues up to the Continental Divide where hiking or mountain biking is possible in almost every direction. You can also connect with the Colorado Trail and Continental Divide Trail from here.
Time To Allow:
The first l.5 miles of the trail is a steady, sometimes steep climb. Leveling out a bit, the terrain leads through open meadows and aspen stands, finally reaching Carson, 3.4 miles from the trailhead at 11,600 ft. Carson was established in 1881 with the discovery of silver and gold and abandoned in 1902. The ghost town is now privately owned. Currently, the owners allow visitors to stroll through Carson, but this privilege is dependent on how well the land and building remains are respected. From Carson, the trail climbs another 1.4 miles to the Continental Divide at 12,400 feet.
Three additional routes may be taken once on the Continental Divide. Heart Lake can be reached on a 3.7 mile trail heading southeast. You can continue on the Colorado Trail for 5.8 miles west to the Cataract Lakes. Finally, an 8.4 mile trail down Lost Trail Creek ends at the Forest Service's Lost Trail Campground.