LENGTH: 2-4 hours
GEAR: Standard Technical Gear
RAPPELS: 3+ to 10 m ( 33 ft. )
WATER: Generally avoidable.
SEASON: Spring, Fall, Winter if no snow
In 2003, Mike Kelsey, Scott Patterson, and I visited the Lost Spring forks. We went down the South Fork past its confluence with Middle and North Forks to its final drop into the South Fork of Robbers Roost. On the way back, we rim walked the North Fork. At the time none of us seemed very motivated to descend the canyon, so we looked at it from the rim and called it a day.
Since then I've had a few people tell me North Fork of Lost Spring was pretty good, so in 2017 I finally got back to revisit the Lost Spring Forks. It turns out South Fork, our entry choice in 2003, is the least interesting of the three. Middle Fork is not technical but does have some downclimbing. Probably not one I would recommend. North Fork is good, with several short drops to downclimb or rappel, in a surprisingly deep slot.
This is one to do after doing something else in the area like No Mans Canyon or Larry Canyon. It is not one to come all the way out into the Roost to do on its own. It also makes a great way to round out a Bull Pasture Canyon day.
Note: I would also rate this an intermediate canyon. Beginners will struggle with some of the exposed (but secure) downclimbs. The second drop, in particular, is difficult to build a natural anchor for if rappelling is needed.
Note: A 4x4 will save about 3 miles of Jeep road walking and is recommended. The Jeep road is generally quite good, with only 1 or 2 rough spots. An aggressively driven high clearance vehicle will also likely make it.
Camping Note: Near the North Fork are several decent primitive camping spots. There are a little more off the beaten path than many Robbers Roost campsites.