Mt. Princeton

Colorado Trail - South Cottonwood Canyon To Mt. Princeton Hot Springs

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Colorado Trail
July 4, 2006 - On the morning of July 4, I started my hike of the Colorado Trail where it intersects with Chaffee County Road 344. I hiked approximately eight or nine miles in a southerly direction to the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs.
Mt. Yale
Spring Canyon
Early on, the trail climbs uphill with some great views of Mt. Yale (above) and South Cottonwood Canyon (bottom).
Colorado Wildflower A purple flower.

Amazingly, I had the entire trail to myself as I did not encounter even one person during the entire hike.

Colorado Trail The trail eventually turns south and runs along the eastern edge of Mt. Princeton. This clearing was particularly scenic with numerous colorful wildflowers growing. The Mt. Princeton summit is not visible from this photo, but it is somewhere behind the peaks on the right.
Arkansas River Valley For much of the trail, there are really scenic views of the Arkansas River Valley to the east. In this shot, the Buena Vista prison is on the far left and Johnson Village is located on the middle-left.
Colorado Aspens Many aspens on the trail.
Mt. Princeton Because the trail goes through tall forested areas, there were only two spots where the Mt. Princeton Summit could be seen well from the trail. Here is one!
Mt. Princeton Road After seven miles heading south, I reached this switchback of Mt. Princeton Road. At this point, the Colorado Trail goes along this road all the way to the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs.
I walked downhill past the parking lot adjacent to the Frontier Ranch and Mt. Princeton Trail entrances. Unfortunately, the trail continues down a long road with a major switchback, and here is the view of Mt. Princeton looking back from this spot. Instead of walking down the long and boring road, I made a short cut and scurried down a sandy hill with pinions and rocks ...
A couple of old tobacco containers on the ground.
Mt. Antero A nice photo of Mt. Antero.
Mt. Princeton Hot Springs I arrived at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs and had a friend pick me up and drive me back to my car. The Colorado Trail continues west of the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs upward in Chalk Creek Canyon, before it continues south along the eastern side of Mt. Antero and Mt. Shavano.

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