Friday, June 17, 2016

Owl Creek Pass & Cimarron, CO (6/15/2016)

Once past the summit of Owl Creek Pass, the road heads north down the mountain to an area I refer to as "The Cimarron".  There are three forks of the Cimarron River (cleverly named West fork, Middle Fork and East Fork) flowing down the mountains and into Silver Jack Reservoir.  The Forest Service has provided numerous campsites in this area, many of them along a stream.  The outflow of the reservoir is known as Big Cimarron River, which flows into the Gunnison within 12-13 miles. 

This area is beautiful in summer because of the many wildflowers, but is truly spectacular in the fall when the aspens turn gold, orange and yellow.  The rugged mountains present dramatic backdrops in any season.

Any fork of the Cimarron River offers good fishing (I'm told) and pretty scenery.  But the mountains are by far my favorite subjects there.

With all the snowmelt being carried by the river right now, it is full of sediment that colors Silver Jack Reservoir a dull gray, rather than the sparkling blue we'll see later in the summer.

Wild lupines are blooming nicely along the road.

Look closely to see a fisherman along the bank of the Big Cimarron.

As I pass through ranch land, I stop to admire the gate to the Big Cimarron Ranch.

Rather than stay with Cimarron Road, which was only a short distance from the highway, I decided to explore a smaller road that also leads to the highway, but takes the scenic route.  This pleasant road led through smaller mountains and rolling hillsides, providing some nice views and large expanses of wild flowers.  In addition to the lupine, there were wild irises and arrow leaf balsam root.  This was a nice ending to a very enjoyable 40 mile drive through the mountains.


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