Trek into the 119,790-acre Lost Creek Wilderness and you’ll find one of the most stunning rock formations in Colorado.
The 5.4-mile Harmonica Arch Trail is a beautiful out-and-back trek up to a natural granite arch that bends like a rainbow in Colorado’s Lost Creek Wilderness. This relatively steep and challenging hike starts off at 8,220 feet at Goose Creek trailhead, traversing through the Hayman Fire burn area.
Hike to the first bridge crossing and continue on Goose Creek trail following alongside the river. Shortly after, the trail splits at the river crossing. Avoid crossing the second bridge and continue straight on the left side along the river. The trail then steepens, before reaching a campsite offering beautiful views of the Harmonica Arch next to the Organ Pipe Rock– a pinnacle rock formation shaped like a finger roughly 200 yards southeast of the Harmonica Arch. From here, continue climbing up the trail and carefully follow the cairns once you leave the creek side trail to reach the arch.
The Harmonica Arch is one of Colorado’s longest arches. It has a span of 85 feet, a height of 30 feet, a width of 18 feet, and a thickness of 15 feet. It was named for its bronze colored streaks that embellish its distinctive curve.
The scenery is incredible, too, including flower-filled summer meadows, unique rock formations, and spectacular views of Lost Creek in the surrounding valley below and Pikes Peak.
Exercise caution when walking on the area that surrounds the rock, it is extremely steep and drops off into the canyon below. It’s also worth mentioning, the last half mile of the hike involves bushwhacking. This is a form of off-trail navigation, which requires a tricky crossing of Goose Creek and an ascent up the west bank to reach the arch.
Climbing to the Harmonica Arch is no easy task, so start early and be prepared for a tough grueling hike with steep switchbacks and an elevation gain of nearly 1,200 feet. Due to its high-altitude, the trail is best used from May until November. Dogs are also allowed on the trail but must be kept on a leash.
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