August 12, 2016 Twin Lakes, Colorado

Along the Road to Cottonwood Pass
Along the Road to Cottonwood Pass

A Day Trip Over Cottonwood Pass

On the Road to Cottonwood Pass
On the Road to Cottonwood Pass

Yet another wonderful blue sky Colorado day so I was up early and headed south to travel the road over Cottonwood Pass.

Along the Road to Cottonwood Pass
Along the Road to Cottonwood Pass
Early Morning Fishermen
Early Morning Fishermen

In my Colorado Benchmark Atlas, I noticed a note on the map showing a Mountain Goat Viewing Area down a side road off the road to the pass, so I ventured down that-away. The viewing area was on the opposite side of the road from this small lake, dotted with early morning fisherman.

A Pair of Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels
A Pair of Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels

Now there certainly was some very mountain “goaty” looking terrain down the road, but the only wildlife I encountered were these two ground squirrels. I spent quite a bit of time scanning the vertical cliffs above the road with my binos, but did not find any goats.

Along the Road to Cottonwood Pass
Along the Road to Cottonwood Pass
Along the Road to Cottonwood Pass
Along the Road to Cottonwood Pass

As was the case with my trip over Independence Pass a couple of days ago, the scenery along the road was nothing short of breathtaking.

Along the Road to Cottonwood Pass
Along the Road to Cottonwood Pass

The road is paved all the way to the pass  ( elevation 12,126′ ) from the east side and turns into a fairly wide, pretty much great gravel road down the west side. There are some switchbacks on the west side and short sections of washboarded surface, but all in all, a good gravel road, as witnessed by the number of large 5th wheels and motorhomes traversing the route to Taylor Park Reservoir.

On the Road to Cottonwood Pass
On the Road to Cottonwood Pass
On the Road to Cottonwood Pass
On the Road to Cottonwood Pass
On the Road to Cottonwood Pass
On the Road to Cottonwood Pass

I wonder if this scenery eventually gets taken for granted by folks that live here?

On the Road to Cottonwood Pass
On the Road to Cottonwood Pass
Taylor Reservoir From Cottonwood Pass
Taylor Reservoir From Cottonwood Pass

This is a distant shot of Taylor Park Reservoir where there are two campgrounds, a primitive one at the north end with 6 or 7 nice flat level pull throughs for large rigs, and a nice more developed large campground at the south end that had many sites with utilities and several were large enough for big rigs.

At the reservoir, I turned around and retraced my steps back home, a yet another gorgeous trip through the mountains of Colorado.

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5 thoughts on “August 12, 2016 Twin Lakes, Colorado”

  1. I love that drive! continuing on and following the river is also a lovely way to go to Gunnison/Crested Butte. I have lived in CO for 11 yrs. I am still awed by the beauty, especially the high country. Very much looking forward to next summer when I will then have lots of free time to explore. I am still amazed at your photos. It can be difficult to get such deep color up there. And the sharpness is exceptional.

    1. A few months back I replaced my old Nikon 18-200mm lens with a new Tokina 24-70mm and a Nikon 70-200mm and although they took quite a bite out of my wallet, I am really impressed with the results. The Tokina I would recommend to all, incredibly sharp lens.

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