Thursday, September 29, 2022

Fall Colors on Cottonwood Pass and Cottonwood Lake Roads

 A great day of riding today, in spite of the overcast skies and the slight bit of hail at the summit of Cottonwood Pass.

But first, here's my view of part of the Collegiate Peaks (Mount Yale is the highest bit) from my VRRV's window as I ate breakfast:

I made a slight detour as I headed out to get a picture of the rock formation that is framed by the last tunnel (I think there's 5) that used to be a railway route near Buena Vista:

Just past the above rock formation is the Elephant Rock Campground:

Do you see the Elephant?

I then headed into Buena Vista, turning west on Main Street aka CR 306 which takes you eventually to the summit of Cottonwood Pass:

The requisite pic of the sign at the summit

The view from the summit, looking west

Ice Mountain

As one approaches the summit of the pass, there's some thoroughly enjoyable tight switchbacks:

Coming down off the pass heading back towards Buena Vista, I stopped where appropriate for some fall colors:

Taking every entry I could spot on the right side of the highway, I found some dispersed camping sites!  Lovely spots, though a bit tight for RVs, but there was cell signal!  They're right off the highway but the noise level is minimal as it's not a very busy highway.  I stopped below for lunch:

Here's a shot of the creek that runs to Cottonwood Lake I think:

Near Rainbow Lake Resort, there was a nice display on the hillside:

I turned into the road leading to Cottonwood Campground and found some nice Fall Colors.  

After I shot the above reflection shot, two ladies from Oklahoma stopped by Scarlett and informed me there was a moose up ahead!  I thanked them and headed to the spot.  I only saw one moose, but it was a big one.  Check out its rack.

The road continues for quite a ways after one leaves Cottonwood Lake and Cottonwood Lake campground behind.  I went as far as the road was graded and turned around at the sign that said: Limited Dispersed Campsites ahead.  You see, there's spots here and there along this road for boondocking!

No cell signal of course but still, some of the sites were definitely usable by the VRRV.  Perhaps the next time I'm in the area.

As I headed back towards CR 306 and Buena Vista, the clouds had really moved in and there was sporadic rain drops sprinkling down:

Made it back to town with no issues, got gas for Scarlett and filled up the 5 gallon spare gas can as well.  Paid $4.19 for the 97 octane, fuel is more expensive in town!

I might, if a sunny day comes along while I'm here, go back to Cottonwood Lake Road, the fall colors showed great potential but I fear the wind may cause a lot of the leaves to fall soon.


Spat said...

Nice pictures and good colors. I've been going over Cottonwood Pass for years never took that road to Cottonwood Lake may have to take the time the road looks cool. Restaurant suggestion if your so inclined in BV is Jan's south end of town west side of the main drag.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Spat for the restaurant recommend, if Martha meets me here we will try it. The Cottonwood Lake road is nice, there's moose as you saw, and camping sites...what more is needed eh?

Oz said...

Yes, I see the elephant and the moose! The colors are great. Cottonwood Pass is so awesome. Great photos again.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Oz!

SonjaM said...

Oh my, Dom! I just had a wish-I-was-there moment. What a cornucopia of beauty. I really dig the tunnel-view. And yes, I saw the elephant, too.

redlegsrides said...

Glad you liked the post SonjaM! Thanks for the comments.