Article and photos by Kenneth Jessen
Located west of Granite, Colorado, is the Lost Canyon Placer, with its two remaining cabins on the north side of County Road 398 and a creek on the south side. To get to Lost Canyon requires heading west past the Granite Cemetery and the site of Cache Creek. The road begins to climb through an aspen forest in a little less than three miles from Granite. A series of switchbacks brings the road into the canyon proper. Almost all of the way to the first cabin the road is relatively smooth. Beyond this point, it may require a high-ground clearance vehicle.
Obvious signs of placer mining are in the creek bed, such as the remains of a small dam used to provide enough water for sluice boxes. The area is strewn with debris including pieces of pipe. Several modern trucks sit along the creek bed, and the entire drainage below the road is posted.
The first cabin is at an elevation of over 11,500 feet. The second cabin is a little less than a half-mile farther at over 11,700 feet. Both are quite photogenic and there is a pull off at each cabin. From the second cabin, Twin Lakes can be seen far below.
Farther up the canyon the county road ends at a modern mine with a steel building. Below this mine are large piles of waste rock that have been processed. A secondary road at the upper cabin continues across the side of the mountain to the ridge line. There is the ruin of a large cabin at 12,475 feet.
Loveland resident Ken Jessen is always looking for new Colorado ghost towns to add to his list of 1,600 and counting!