• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Swimming

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    0.1 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1 Feet

Bathrooms
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Handicap Accessible
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Cottonwood Lake is a beautiful and fun place to photograph and explore in the heart of the Colorado Rockies.

Wherever you are in Colorado, turn your route towards Buena Vista in South West Colorado - you will not be disappointed. 

To start, Buena Vista is a really cool town with great places to eat and visit. So make sure you check out the city before heading up Cottonwood Pass. 

When you are ready to head into the mountains, hop on Buena Vista's Main Street or Hw 306 up Cottonwood Pass. Continue for about 7 miles - the road will follow a river that is great to pull off and capture. Once you hit Hw 343, take a left. The road starts paved, however in about a quarter mile turns to dirt. It is taken well care of so you won't need a 4WD to make it to the lake. Continue on 343 for 3 miles until you run into Cottonwood Lake.

The lake sits at the base of Mt. Princeton, so the views are incredible. There is great fishing there as well, and easy access boat drops for canoes and kayaks. 

This is definitely a great place to explore for the day and makes a great place for photography and relaxing.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Warm Clothing (weather can change fast in CO)
  • Fishing pole (if you are into that)
  • Kayak or Canoe
  • Swimming suit
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Hunter Berge Storyteller

The Rockies are my playground! I adventure every week, take a lot of photos, and love to write about it. Follow my IG for all my adventures @BergeBoy

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