Jeb and I have always talked about how much we love the Buena Vista area because it is so beautiful and has so many opportunities for outdoor activities. However, most of the time we are just driving through Buena Vista on our way to somewhere else. So instead today we decided to make a Buena Vista day, and explore a few places.
The first place we went to was the Cottonwood Lake. It is definitely a very pretty mountain lake. It was a little cloudy when we got there but it was still pretty to see. Since it was super windy the water was very wavy.
The advantage of coming here in November was that we had the whole place to ourselves! It seemed like a place that would probably be pretty crowded during the summer.
We also liked that the signs said that no motorized boats are allowed on this lake. Maybe sometime we will come practice techniques out here with our future whitewater kayaks! We can dream can’t we? 😉
It looked like there were even more mountains and neat areas if we had continued on past the lake. Unfortunately the cottonwood pass is closed this time of the year. But I can imagine that it would be very pretty!
This picture is a little grainy because I actually took it with my cellphone as we were driving about 45 mph lol. But I just love how HUGE and menacing all of the mountains look around Buena Vista. The collegiate peaks are really beautiful and it is just crazy to see so many big mountains one after another.
Our next destination was to the Chalk Cliffs.
The chalk cliffs are these bright white rocky cliffs that are on the side of Mt. Princeton (the main 14er in the pictures of Buena Vista).
There are also several hot spring from right around here where we took this picture.I told Jeb that someday when we hike Mt. Princeton I am for sure 100% going to the Mt. Princeton hot spring afterwards to recover! If would love to rent one of the cabins there and spend the night.
It is neat to see pictures of this area from when there is snow on the top because then it is white on the lower layer from the chalk cliffs and then a layer of green trees, with white snow capped peaks uptop. Talk about a spectacular view!
Our next stop was to go to Browns Canyon National Monument. This is Colorado’s newest national monument and was signed into effect by President Obama in February of 2015.
It was almost impossible to find this place. Google maps knows that it exists but doesn’t have the right place marked, and there are zero signs from any major roads telling you where to go. I took a picture of the sign just because I was so excited we finally found it.
Unfortunately because it is so new it is completely undeveloped at all. There is only one access point on this side of the park and there were only 3 developed trails.
We started out hiking on one and went for a little ways but we kind of lost motivation because we had no clue what it was headed to or if it was worth the effort haha.
I think this canyon/park has a ton of potential but until it is developed more, the hundreds of miles of public land is a little bit useless to us. I definitely hope in the future there are more maps and more information on what this places has to offer, because we would love to explore it more.
We saw some pictures online of this place that looked really cool but without much information we didn’t have a clue where the people were when they took them!
Oh well it was still neat and we had good views of the mountains from here.
I don’t know if I’m just strange or something lol but I was really fascinated by all of the tree sap. I liked the way it formed and almost looked like icicles coming off of the trees.
Talking about tree sap and how sweet it is with Jeb made me really want to go to somewhere where we could try fresh maple syrup right from the trees, and maybe even make it ourselves!
This area also had more of the chalk cliff type of rocks. It is very crumbly and does write a little bit like chalk when I tried to draw on Jeb’s black jacket haha,
After the canyon we headed into town to check out Eddyline brewery. We have had their beers before, but we have never been to the brewery so it was fun to check it out! We definitely had a great day exploring the sights of the Buena Vista area!