As you approach Cuchara Pass, several switchbacks snake through rolling grasslands and dance in and out of spruce stands whose clearings afford views of Monument Lake. You can camp, fish, and hike throughout this tranquil part of the San Isabel National Forest, which in spring and summer is emblazoned with a color wheel of wildflowers. Four corkscrewing miles later you'll reach a dirt road that leads to Bear Lake and Blue Lake. The resort town of Cuchara is about 4 mi from the Highway 12 turnoff to the lakes. Nestled in a spoon valley (cuchara means "spoon"), the area became popular as a turn-of-the-20th-century camping getaway for Texans and Oklahomans because of its cool temperatures and stunning scenery.
Colorado, United States