Cottonwood Pass     Buena Vista, Colorado

Hike To Unnamed Point 12,792 Feet - Second Peak South Of Cottonwood Pass (July 4, 2007)

Cottonwood Pass
Cottonwood Pass Area
Cottonwood Pass Area
This morning I decided to reach the second major peak south of Cottonwood Pass. I was just in the mood to get out and capture some nice photos of Colorado's high country.

Adjacent are three photos early on, including the unnamed peak (middle) situated a short walk south of the Cottonwood Pass parking lot (top). You can see my hike of this particular peak in 2006 here: Continental Divide Trail.

The parking lot is rarely that busy, and I learned from a local friend it was attributed to a mass hike of over 100 people to the nearby unnamed peak to the south. The Continental Divide Trail, which is a work in progress, is a well-maintained trail that leads to this peak. As I hiked away, I looked back to capture a nice photo that includes the trail, Cottonwood Pass and Mt. Yale way out there left of center. I hiked Mt. Yale three days ago and it was great to see that mountain in all its greatness again. :)

Contiental Divide Past that first unnamed peak, I continued for about another mile south along the divide ridge. I was particularly curious to scope out some of the peaks to the south including Mt. Kruetzer and Emma Burr Mountain.
Turner Peak Facing east, I captured this fantastic shot of Mt. Yale (left), Turner Peak (large mountain in the middle) and Mt. Princeton to the right. This photo is a strong candidate to be today's entry for my Mt. Princeton web site. ;)
Continental Divide
Unnamed Point 12,792 Feet
There it is! The unnamed peak measured at 12,792 feet above sea level. I continued along the divide to reach its summit.

TOP: It's the far peak on the right.
BOTTOM: Approaching the peak.

TopoZone's topographical map of the area was greatly helpful which can be seen here.

Cow Lake West of the divide, I had a nice view of Cow Lake with the sun to my back. A friend enjoys hiking down to that lake from Cottonwood Pass to fish.
Continental Divide As I climbed up the unnamed peak, I captured this nice one of wildflowers and mountains as I looked to the east.
Continental Divide As I rested along a steep stretch of the peak, I looked back to capture the view of the divide I had walked along, including the first unnamed peak to the left.
Rock Pile At the summit! It's a shame this peak does not have a name, but it was real name to have the entire area to myself. The rock pile appeared to be home to numerous bees, so I steered clear of it. :-O
Lost Lake
Lost Lake
Now this peak is also part of the Continental Divide, and looking towards the east (Chaffee County), I was practically looking straight down on Lost Lake.
Taylor Park Looking west, towards Gunnison County, I captured a shot of Taylor Park and its reservoir way out there.
Continental Divide
Cottonwood Pass Region
Continental Divide
A few more photos the mountain scenery. Unfortunately, clouds began to roll in which made some of the photos dark.

BOTTOM PHOTO: Part of my hike was motivated by seeing what Mt. Kruetzer and Emma Burr Mountain looked like from this peak. After 4-wheeling way into South Cottonwood Canyon two days ago and having grand views of those mountains, I was curious to scope out the terrain. It appears hiking along the divide to both of those peaks is approximately six miles (one way) and probably not the best way to reach them for a day hike.

Steve One token photo. It was so beautiful up there!

Colorado Wildflowers

Colorado Wildflowers     Colorado Wildflowers     Colorado Wildflowers
And the wildflowers! Check out these wildflowers!
Colorado Wildflowers     Colorado Wildflowers
The Colorado wildflowers are definitely at their peak!

These pictures were submitted by Steve Garufi in Buena Vista, Colorado. His web site is


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