Outdoor Bob Touts Deckers’ Hide-away Route
~ by Bob Volpe ~
If you’re looking for a hike that isn’t packed with people, the Wigwam Creek trail near Deckers may be just what you’re looking for, especially if you fish.
Wigwam Creek is a small stream with a good supply of Brook Trout. The Wigwam Trail testifies to what survived, following the massive Hayman Fire of 2002. Lush, green, heavy vegetation and tall evergreen trees are a welcome sight. Off of the beaten path, the trail is lightly used compared to other trails in the Lost Creek Wilderness area.
Wigwam Trail provides access to Lost Creek Wilderness and to Wigwam Park where the trail continues beyond the South Park Ranger District boundary. This moderate trail is a total of 11 miles and intersects with Brookside-McCurdy, Rolling Creek, and Goose Creek Trails enabling hikers to form their own loops.
All along the trail, the creek provides great fishing for small brook trout that are plentiful there.
Thanks to the hard work of beavers, nature’s engineers, there are also many beaver ponds along the way. These ponds hold plenty of brookies in the 8-10” range.
If fishing is your prime directive, the Gil Trail, which is also located at the same trailhead as the Wigwam Trail, is where you want to go. This 3.5 mile trail follows along the west shoreline of the South Fork of the South Platte River from just above Wigwam Club (private), upstream to the gaging station just below the Cheesman Lake Dam. As such, the trail serves as the primary access for those wishing to fish this three mile stretch of the river. This stretch of the river is considered good for brown and rainbow trout, and special “Catch and Release” rules are in effect. If you choose to hike to the gaging station, allow 2 to 2 ¼ hours one way.
The first half of the trail is easier walking and the trail is fairly well defined. The second half up to the gaging station is moderately difficult to negotiate. Watch out for the scattered patches of poison ivy along the trail. Also be aware that this section of the South Platte River is very popular with fishermen and tends to be very crowded, even on week days.
The trailhead elevation is 6,548′ and the gaging station elevation is 6,610′ – only a slight elevation gain. But don’t let this fool you, there are numerous places where huge rocks jut out into the river and to get past these obstructions, the trail is routed up over the outcrops. The trail has many “ups and downs,” some are quite steep. The first mile and a half is easier walking on a well-defined trails. Then as you pass Mile 2, the trail narrows and becomes difficult in places.
Directions: Take highway 67 north to Deckers. Take the left turn over the bridge and continue on to the parking lot for the Gil Trail.