Checkpoint 0: High Altitude Adventures rendezvous
Checkpoint 1: Lake San Cristobal Dam Parking Area
Checkpoint 2: CR 30 OHV Staging Area
Checkpoint 3: CR 35 Trailhead (Checkpoint to ensure the group stays to the left.)
Checkpoint 4: Cuba Gulch Trailhead
Points of Interest: Sherman Townsite

Cottonwood Creek in Hinsdale County, Colorado, is a popular destination for off-roading enthusiasts who enjoy exploring the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains. Cottonwood Creek provides an exhilarating and scenic experience, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests.

As you begin your journey, you will navigate through narrow trails, rocky terrain, and steep inclines. The trail is relatively challenging, but it is also manageable for experienced drivers who are familiar with off-road driving techniques. Along the way, you will encounter various obstacles such as rocks, tree roots, and stream crossings, which will require careful navigation and skillful driving.

The trail is approximately 14 miles long and typically takes several hours to complete, depending on your driving speed and the number of stops you make along the way. As you drive through Cottonwood Creek, you will pass through several beautiful meadows, pine forests, and scenic overlooks, providing ample opportunities to stop and take in the stunning views.

Interactive Map

cottonwood creek tourcottonwood-creek-tour.pdf

Checkpoint 0: High Altitude Adventures rendezvous

high altitude adventures fleet

High Altitude Adventures has been in operation since the summer of 2016, it is veteran-owned and veteran operated with deep family roots in Hinsdale County. We have built a customer base that is interested in using our always newest model Polaris RZRs to reach a trailhead to summit one of our 5 fourteeners in the area, explore the rich mining history dating back to as early as 1871, or reach breathtaking views only accessible by a high-clearance reliable 4x4 vehicle. With over 116 5-star google reviews we show that we care about customer satisfaction, safety, and our machines.

Checkpoint 1: Lake San Cristobal Dam Parking Area

lake san cristobal

Lake San Cristobal is a natural lake located near the town of Lake City in Hinsdale County, Colorado. It is situated at an elevation of 9,003 feet (2,744 meters) and has a surface area of approximately 350 acres (141 hectares).

The lake is fed by the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River, and its outflow also feeds into the river. The lake is surrounded by the San Juan Mountains and offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks and forests. The water is clear and cold, and the lake is popular for fishing, boating, and camping.

The lake is home to several species of fish, including rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout, and lake trout. Fishing is allowed year-round, and there are boat ramps and fishing piers available for anglers.

There are several camping options near Lake San Cristobal, including developed campgrounds and primitive campsites. The lake is also surrounded by hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests.

Overall, Lake San Cristobal is a beautiful natural attraction in Colorado that offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy.

Checkpoint 2: CR 30 OHV Staging Area

cr 30 ohv staging area

CR 30 OHV staging area offers riders the opportunity to switch drivers, hydrate and take a short break.

Checkpoint 3: CR 35 Trailhead

cottonwood creek

Water can cut through a rock through a process known as erosion. Erosion is the process by which natural forces such as wind, water, and ice gradually wear away the surface of the Earth.

When water flows over rocks, it can dissolve minerals and other materials, making the rock more susceptible to erosion. The force of the water can also physically wear away at the rock, gradually carving channels or canyons. Over time, water can create deep gorges, canyons, and even waterfalls as it continuously erodes the rock.

One way that water can erode rock is through hydraulic action. Hydraulic action occurs when the force of the water against the rock causes small cracks or crevices to form. Over time, the water can widen these cracks and break off small pieces of rock, eventually carving channels or canyons.

Another way that water can erode rock is through abrasion. Abrasion occurs when small rocks, sand, and other debris carried by the water rub against the surface of the rock, gradually wearing it away over time. This process can create smooth, polished surfaces on rocks, such as those found in riverbeds or along coastlines.

Checkpoint 4: Cuba Gulch Trailhead

cottonwood creek turn around point

Cuba Gulch Trailhead is a popular hiking and backpacking starting point located in Hinsdale County, Colorado, USA. The trailhead is situated in the San Juan Mountains, approximately 6 miles southwest of Lake City, Colorado.

The Cuba Gulch Trailhead is known for its scenic beauty and diverse landscape, which includes aspen groves, meadows, and rocky terrain. The trail is primarily used for hiking, backpacking, and nature trips and is best used from May until October.

The trailhead provides access to several trails, including the Cuba Gulch Trail, which is a 5.2-mile out-and-back trail that features beautiful wildflowers, and scenic views, and is rated as moderate in difficulty. Other nearby trails include the Alpine Gulch Trail, the Stewart Creek Trail, and the Cataract Creek Trail, all of which are popular among hikers and backpackers.

Ready for your adventure?

If you have any questions, call Robin or Kayla @ (970) 964-7213 anytime!

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