Elevation: 1,936 ft
GPS: 39.92, -79.581 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 89,936 total · 614/month
Shared By: Jeremy Steck on Jun 7, 2009 · Updates
Admins: SCPC, SWPACC, EPAC, Justin Johnsen


The Lost Crag was developed in the early 1990's by Tim Anderson, Bob Coblentz, Greg Zamule and others, but during the ensuing 25 years, there were several factors that led to the area seeing less and less use.  The original zinc-plated hardware started rusting which curbed people's enthusiasm to hike in a mile and a half to climb such short routes. In turn, the steady decrease in activity led to nature’s gradual reclamation of the area.
     In 2017, a recently formed SWPACC stepped in to obtain permission from the State Game Land to replace all of the old bolts and revive the area.  Mike Varlotta and his son Michael spearheaded a massive volunteer effort and the resulting transformation has been dramatic.  For those who have not been to The Lost Crag since its early days, you will be amazed at what you will find here now.  By the end of 2019, over 100 routes have been thoroughly cleaned and equipped with “drop-in” top anchors, and the majority of 65+ sport routes have been re-equipped with 4 x ½” stainless steel wave bolts.  
     Although none of these routes is taller than 40’ high, because you can walk from one end of the area to the other in less than 5 minutes, it’s quite possible to have a high volume day at The Lost Crag.  If gear is your game, a light rack with a handful of cams and a set of stoppers is all that is necessary to lead the trad and mixed routes that are here.
     If you are a local who plans on being a repeat visitor, as well as climbing at neighboring Breakneck and most of the other crags in SWPA, you might want to consider cutting a 60 or 70 meter lead rope in half and having two short lead ropes instead of one. You will find the half length lead ropes much more appropriate for the majority of routes in the region that seldom exceed 50' in height.  Of course that would require that you keep an additional full length rope available for Seneca, the New and other destinations beyond our local reach.
     Also of note is that because the drop-in Mussy Hooks are such beefy top anchors (and connected to the top anchor wave bolts with quick links) we are encouraging people to lower and top rope directly from them when setting top-ropes and/or cleaning routes.   Given that no route has more than 4 bolts on it, you can lead all of the sport routes at The Lost Crag with only 4 quickdraws.
     For those not wanting to lead these routes, most all of the blocks can be accessed via easy scrambles and most of the top anchors can be easily reached from the tops of the blocks.  Be prepared though, for a handful of routes, you may have to lower yourself into the top anchors to avoid sketchy reach-overs on insecure terrain.

Getting There

You can approach The Lost Crag from either a top or bottom parking lot. Both are roughly 1 ½ miles long and will take around 35 minutes to walk. The bottom approach is more steep and strenuous on the way up and in, but then, easier and quicker on the way down and out. It has the advantage of being mostly shaded the entire way. The approach from the top is exposed to sun for the first ¾ mile, but it is a more gently rolling approach. The top lot can only accommodate a dozen cars, whereas the bottom lot is enormous.

FROM THE TOP: Park at [39.903923, -79.567555] in the obvious parking area before the gate on the dirt road. Please park smart. On nice weekend days, this lot will fill up. If multiple cars are in your party, please park two deep. If the lot is full DO NOT BLOCK THE GATE and do not park on the side of the road where any portion of your tires are on the road. There is an upper overflow lot at the dogleg in the road that is 1/4 mile before arriving at this lot. There is room there to accommodate another 10 cars. Another option on days when the upper lot is full, is to park at the bottom and approach from there.

  1. From the gate, walk on the dirt road for about 10 minutes (.5 m) until you arrive at a fork.   [39.908531, -79.573256].
  2. Take the left hand fork and continue for another 4 minutes (.2 m). You will crest a small hill and start to walk down again when you will notice  tall pine trees on both sides of the road. Look for the overgrown grass covered road on your right. [39.909878, -79.576722].
  3. Turn right onto the grass covered road and walk for approximately 5 minutes (0.3m). Follow this road until it starts gently downhill. Pay attention here as this is the easiest turn to miss! Look for a small clearing with a grove of trees on your right. At the end of this clearing look for a path             that leads into the woods. Presently there is a cairn there, but we can’t know for sure if that will remain there. GPS for this point is [39.912420, -79.579284].
  4. Once you enter the woods, you will head to your right for 50 yards and then connect with an old ATV trail that descends gently through the woods. Continue descending for about 10 minutes until you pass a dry stream bed immediately after which we have placed debris on the path and cairns to direct you to turn right into the woods onto a worn footpath.
  5. The footpath meanders a bit and will require that you are paying attention. Be on the lookout for cairns. You will wind around some boulders and meander more before crossing another small stream bed.
  6. Shortly after the second stream (very little water -small enough to step across) you will come to several fallen trees along the path at which point you will see another cairn that marks a short uphill section of path that leads to the crag. [39.918973, -79.581600]

FROM THE BOTTOM: Park in the large gravel parking lot. 39.93180, -79.58778

  1. Walk around the gate at the far upper right end of the lot (Southeast corner). 
  2. Walk .9 mile uphill on the fire road (Limestone Run Rd) to reach a small wooden bridge. 
  3. At 100 yards beyond the bridge, go right at the “Y” on an old logging road. 
  4. **This is the point where people get lost. Be careful here that you continue on this road for 300 yards until you reach a small field 39.92074, -79.57729. There is another small(er) field on the right that is 150 yards after you take the right fork described above in #3. Do not turn into this first field, but instead continue walking another 150 yards in order to reach the second field (total of 300 yards from the “Y”). 
  5. In the upper left corner of this field you will see an opening into the woods that marks the beginning of an old fire trail that leads steeply uphill to your destination. 
  6. Continue uphill, following cairns, for about 10 minutes. You will cross over other trails on the way up. Eventually you will see The Lost Crag 100 yards up the hill on the right side of the trail. There will be cairns marking short trails from the fire trail to the various blocks where we climb. The first trail will take you directly to Short Stack. The second trail to Entrance Block

Rock Type


Bat Conservation - How You Can Help

See a Bat on a Route, Give Us a Shout! 

SWPACC is working with Rob Schorr at Colorado State University to help him spread the word about his bat research. Here’s a message from him about this important work and how, we as climbers, can help.

"Climbers for Bat Conservation is working with climbers to understand bat ecology and why bats choose certain cracks and flakes. We’re a collaboration between climbers, bat biologists, and land managers to understand where bats roost and where large populations may reside. We are interested in finding bats because of a new disease called white-nose syndrome (whitenosesyndrome.org) which has killed millions of bats in North America. This collaboration has identified bat roosts throughout the U.S., and as far away as Norway and Bulgaria. CBC was developed by biologists who climb and they are advocates for climbing access and bat conservation.

So, if you see bats while climbing, please let us know by emailing us at climbersforbats@colostate.edu, or visiting our website to learn more at climbersforbats.colostate.edu."

Thank You!
Rob Schorr

Zoologist, Colorado Natural Heritage Program (warnercnr.colostate.edu/rschorr/)
Director, Climbers for Bat Conservation

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