Mt. Princeton

Taylor River Road - Gunnison County, CO

Scenic Drive: Taylor Park Reservoir, Bowman Ghost Town, Taylor Pass Road, Mountain Views - September 26, 2009

Colorado Rocky Mountains

My Saturday morning adventure began at Taylor Park Reservoir in Gunnison County. Although I am a common visitor and prolific photographer of Cottonwood Pass on the Continental Divide (Don't think so? Visit!), I must confess I have only visited Taylor Park Reservoir and the surrounding region a handful of times.

This particular region near Taylor Pass in northern Gunnison County was well overdue to be explored. Granted, it was by car, but it is a start. My newly acquired and trusted topographical map (titled "Crested Butte and Pearl Pass" by National Geographic) has me salivating to climb some peaks and explore this mountainous region further.

How to get there: From Cottonwood Pass, I traveled west on Gunnison County Road 209 to Taylor Park Reservoir. Then I turned right (north) which immediately became a dirt road - that road is known as "Taylor River Road" and signage officially marks it as N.F. 742 ("National Forest Road 742"). This road travels approximately 20 miles before dead ending in a remote canyon surrounded by large mountains. Lastly, despite a few bumpy spots in the road, I drove this entire route in my low-clearance passenger vehicle.

All the best,

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Taylor Park Reservoir

Taylor Park Reservoir

Taylor Park Reservoir - Altitude 9,330 Feet

Taylor Park Reservoir in Gunnison County. If you are an avid fly fisher, boater or camper in Colorado, there is a good chance you are at least aware of this particular spot!

Taylor Park Reservoir, CO

Taylor Park Reservoir, CO

Two decent photos of Taylor Park Reservoir from an overlook on the north end.

The pointed peak is simply named Park Cone, alt. 12,100 feet at the summit.

Now I'm not much of a photographer of bodies of water, but a few related pages:

  • Lost Lake (Near Cottonwood Pass)
  • New York City Bridges (Brother's Photos)
  • Blue Mesa Reservoir
  • Cottonwood Lake
  • Eleven Mile Reservoir
  • Taylor River Road
    Taylor River Road - National Forest Rd # 742

    My drive began by traveling north on Taylor River Road which becomes a dirt road at the turn off for Cottonwood Pass.

    Taylor River Road, CO A few homes dot the foreground. Throughout much of the drive, a towering line of mountains can be seen toward the north and east.
    Illinois Creek, CO I pulled over where the road intersects Illinois Creek.
    Taylor River Valley, CO

    Colorado Rocky Mountains

    What beautiful snowy peaks! I am not aware of the names of those peaks, although I'm fairly certain those are 12ers and 13ers ...
    Jenkins Mountain, CO ... but I do know the names of these two peaks: LEFT: Jenkins Mountain (alt. 13,432 feet)
    RIGHT: Grizzly Peak (alt. 13,281 feet)
    Dorchester Guard Station

    Dorchester Cabin

    I passed the Dinner Station campground (what a fun name!) and two Pothole Reservoirs for fishing. On the left was an interesting site, the Dorchester Cabin that is still run and used by the forest service.
    American Flag Mountain Upward I traveled up the Taylor River watershed. Looking west was this beautiful view of American Flag Mountain (alt. 12,713 feet), the peak with the jagged ridge on the left side of the photo.
    Taylor River Road, CO A pretty mountain view. Notice the muted colors and patches of gray in the aspen grove. The colors would likely be very bright right now if it wasn't for the 4-5 previous days of rain, sleet and snow in high country. The relentless wind and precipitation knocked down a lot of colorful autumn leaves, sparing only some dimmer-shaded birch leaves and hardier green leaves on trees. It will be interesting to see how the remaining fall foliage season unfolds before it ends in 2-3 weeks.
    Bowman Ghost Town

    The ghost town of Bowman, Colorado. According to the sign, 100 people once lived here.

    Other Colorado ghost towns:

  • St. Elmo
  • Vicksburg & Winfield
  • Independence
  • Bonanza
  • Hancock

    Not quite a ghost town but small and historic enough to feel like one:

  • Tincup
  • Victor
  • Granite
  • Taylor Pass Road, CO Taylor Pass Road Various roads break off of Taylor River Road, including Taylor Pass Road. It is a five mile distance to Taylor Pass on a road requiring a 4-wheel-drive high clearance vehicle.

    Taylor River Road A pretty autumn scene from the road.

    My autumn pages for 2009 so far:

  • Early Season
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Lost Canyon, CO
  • Colorado Fall Foliage Perhaps my best autumn photo of the day. :)
    Colorado Rocky Mountains

    Colorado Rocky Mountains

    Colorado Rocky Mountains

    The road bends to the west and travels for a few more miles before coming to a dead end. This is a particularly remote and mountainous area, but the irony was many radio stations from Aspen, CO were coming in sharply. The fact is, I was only approximately 20 miles away from Aspen with large mountains between my location and the popular ski town.

    Adjacent are three photos of towering mountains from the canyon. I don't know which are which, but according to my map they might be Crystal Peak (alt. 12,776'), Star Peak (13,521') and Taylor Peak (13,435').

    Taylor River Road, CO Another pretty mountain view near the end of the road.
    Steve A token photo of myself. I was so happy to be wearing shorts on a sunny September day in the 60's! :)

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