June 18th
Cottonwood Pass Trailhead(980.3)-Near Inter of Clear Creek Rd &Lulu Gulch(998.1)
Campsite Elevation: 10,396ft
**This is Part 2 from yesterday because this day was so great!

As we were going down the backside, we even saw part of the cornice that was on top break and fall down on the trail. Wow! The hiking was challenging in the best way and we both thought it was just EPIC! Here is Rockin’ coming down the steep cornice.

The rest of the day was both a forested and meadow downhill that we both just loved! Here is Rockin’ heading down.

The forest was unique from what we’ve seen with varied trees, big roots in the trail, and granite boulders of all sizes with streams running through it.

Rain came down from time to time as we heard thunder in the distance and the dark clouds moved in thicker. The forest was great to walk through for shelter while still giving views of the massive mountains and streams all around us.
We were both in awe of the Collegiate Wilderness and were surprised to see families and Cub Scouts out there as there are apparently easy access roads. Just amazing! We just took in the massiveness all around us and the storm clouds all around just made it even more epic. We took our time and just walked and tried to take it all in. Unbelievable! I felt so free, happy, and relaxed. I was so glad that we were taking a slow day today. It felt like I was on a weekend trip and that I didn’t have to worry about mileage or pushing. Definitely the best day on the trip so far. Just a great day! I took a ton of pictures and can’t post them all. The one of the multiple mountains is apparently called the Three Apostles.

We passed the most perfect campsites and saw aspens in the distance. I commented that the perfect way to end this day would be to camp among the aspen as we saw some far off in the distance. I said it as a joke because of how perfect and majestic the day had already been. At the end of the day, we rounded a corner to the area we thought we’d camp and what did we see…a beautiful campsite with aspen! Seriously!? I think I died today and went to heaven! We ended up walking back off the road through the aspen to an even better campsite, but I could still see the aspen from my tent. What a great day!

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