Grand Mesa: Hiking Down Colorado’s Crag Crest to Cottonwood Lake #1
Cottonwood Lake is an incredible place to fish, camp, and enjoy kayaks and small watercraft. Colorado's Grand Mesa is home to several amazing mountain lakes including this one. The Lake of the Woods trail will also get you to Cottonwood Lake after a 5+ mile walk.
One thing we all love about the Grand Mesa is that there are tons of places to fish and play in the water. You can really enjoy an escape from the heat of summer at 10,000 feet.
Where is the Lake of the Woods on the Grand Mesa?
The Lake of the Woods trail on the Grand Mesa eventually leads to Cottonwood Lake. It's sometimes listed as Cottonwood Reservoir/Cottonwood Lake. This beautiful lake is at about 10,100 feet and is close to 100 acres in size. Forest roads can get you to the lake by vehicle.
Why is Cottonwood Lake Worth a Visit?
Since many of the lakes along the byway are loaded with visitors, head back to Cottonwood Lake for a great camping experience. There is a good chance you might have this place all to yourself. Cottonwood Lake is this huge 97-acre lake full of brook trout, cutthroat, and rainbow trout.
Hiking to Cottonwood Lake from the Crag Crest
Each lake on the Grand Mesa has a timeless feeling to it. It's a really special thing to approach Cottonwood Lake from the top of the Crag Crest. You can see it from several overlooks high above, and there is an option to hike down to it from the Crag via Cottonwood Trail 712. Scroll through the photos below for a look at the trail and the beautiful mountain lake hidden on the far side of the Crag.