June 28, 2017 Slideshows » Columns

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Road Trip: Lost Lake in Cottonwood Pass 

Sitting a little over 11,800 feet elevation, and surrounded by jagged peaks that are at or over 12,000, Lost Lake is a beautiful alpine lake near the summit of Cottonwood Pass near Buena Vista, CO.



Bob Falcone
Approx 17.7 miles from the traffic light at Cottonwood Pass Road and US 24, look for this pullout. Park on the right, cross the street, climb the hill, turn right and follow the berm to the old two-track Jeep road. Then turn left.
Bob Falcone
Just under a half-mile, after an uphill climp, an un-named lake comes into view along with great scenery to the southeast. Some mistake this body of water for Lost Lake, however, it's another 1.5 miles down the trail. In late June there was still a lot of snow on the trail, so pay close attention.
Bob Falcone
The view from the trail on a late June day.
Bob Falcone
There are a few places where you'll have to cross wet/swampy areas, encountering the first after about 1.5-miles (pictured). Just past this crossing there's a flowing creek you'll have to cross without any logs, rocks etc., but you should be able to find a narrow place to hop across if you don't want your feet wet. From here you're an easy half-mile away from the Lost Lake.
Bob Falcone
After making your way through the swampy section, you'll do a short uphill stretch before the final leg to the lake. If still snow-covered, look for the trail on the other side of the snow field. The lake is only a few hundred feet away.
Bob Falcone
The beautiful Lost Lake and the view to the east.
Bob Falcone
You can scramble up a small hill next to the lake to get this overhead view, including the small island in the middle. In late June there was still quite a bit of ice in the lake. You'll return via the same trail you took to get there.
Bob Falcone
The route (in blue) to Lost Lake.
1/8
Bob Falcone
Approx 17.7 miles from the traffic light at Cottonwood Pass Road and US 24, look for this pullout. Park on the right, cross the street, climb the hill, turn right and follow the berm to the old two-track Jeep road. Then turn left.
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