Distance: 3.7 miles
Elevation: 6800' to 7100'
Estimate hiking time: 1.5 - 2 hours
Dogs: Allowed, should be leashed
Route: The Lost Prospector Loop trail--ironically not a loop, though you can easily make it one--is an easy/intermediate trail located on Park City's east side. Users can access Lost Prospector either from the trailhead on Aerie Dr or from the historic Rail Trail via connectors Skid Row or Freemason. Parking is available on either end.
A great introduction to single-track, Lost Prospector is most popular with mountain bikers, though it is also appropriate for most hikers. The trail is well maintained, with few rocks and roots along the way, offering mostly smooth surfaces and a gentle grade. Traversing the hill, you'll dip in and out of forests and take in expansive views of Old Town, Park City Mountain, and Deer Valley. While we can't complain about the verdant vistas of summer, during the autumn months the scenery becomes particularly splendid with the greens give way to the fiery reds, oranges, and yellows exploding from the groves of quaking aspen, Gambel oak, and Rocky Mountain maple.
Rather than hike or ride Lost Prospector as an out-and-back trail, most people refer to create a variety of loops with connecting trails, including Freemason, Gambel Oak, and Masonic. After all, next to the easy access to après and town, the customizability of Lost Prospector is one of its greatest perks. Want to get your workout in even with a short excursion? Opt for the Rail Trail entrance where you'll have to make a significantly longer climb and challenge yourself with a more technical descent through looser dirt and rockier sections of the trail. Just looking for a quick jaunt? Take the trail from one end to the other and catch the bus back. The possibilities are endless.
Week nights and weekends are peak hours for this trail and thanks to its relatively low elevation, Lost Prospector is one of the first areas to be clear of snow and is typically accessible May through October. You can check out all the trail options in this area via the Mountain Trails Foundation interactive map. Happy trails!