Cottonwood Lake

(nr Buena Vista CO)
Up toward the Collegiate Peaks I found Cottonwood Lake campground. At over 9,600ft it provided cool temperatures and scenic views. Mountains all around, but no mountain goats again. Plenty of pine and aspen trees to keep me happy though.

Cottonwood Lake

Cottonwood Lake

Cottonwood Creek flowed from the lake, and got larger the further it went. Apparently, it had several feeder streams, with slightly different names, which came together at different points.

Cottonwood Creek

Cottonwood Creek & Aspens

Cottonwood Creek

Cottonwood Creek Drop

Next to the town of Buena Vista flows the Arkansas River, which is popular with rafters. I hiked a portion of the Whipple Trail that followed the river. A rather easy path with views of the water, and some large boulders along the way made for a pleasant hike.

Arkansas River

Arkansas River

Arkansas River

From Whipple Trail above the River

Afterward, I had lunch at an organic food shop; choosing their recommended elk burger sandwich and kholrabi slaw. Not sure when that would be available again anytime soon. For dessert, I went down the street to a stand run by kids for a root beer float. Yummy!

Camp: San Isabel NF-Cottonwood Lake CG drycamp
Scene: Lake, creek, mountains, river

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6 Responses to Cottonwood Lake

  1. Raquel Fruchter July 21, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

    Thanks for the photos and blog. I would appreciate if you could also take some photos of the towns you go through, the places you eat at, etc. to get a feel for what it looks like where you go.

    Love your Tampa friends

    • Pleinguy July 21, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

      I always forget to take pix of towns and dinner. Thanks for reminding me; I’ll try to do better.

  2. Bradford Harris July 21, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

    Cool scenery! I like the clear stream. It’s 97 today (heat index 117) in Iowa. That cold mountain air would be most welcome right now. I can only imagine how good that root beer float tasted. That or a nice raspberry shake would hit the spot.

    • Pleinguy July 21, 2016 at 6:58 pm #

      Highs were in the low 70s, lows were in the upper 40s; near perfect for me. The float was mega-delicious!

  3. Dorothy July 22, 2016 at 7:04 am #

    Again, you’ve made me “cool off” with these beautiful photos. Thanks! Have never been able to eat the elk products that are popular in that region. Did you try any elk jerky?

    • Pleinguy July 22, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

      Wishing I too could find some cool camps about now. I prefer the elk to the bison; both are good. No, I’ve never tried elk jerky.

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