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From the town of Buena Vista, turn west from US285 onto CR306, also known as the Cottonwood Pass Road. Drive 7.7 miles on pavement to an intersection and turn left (south) onto CR344 for Cottonwood Lake. Drive 3.6 miles on graded, gravel road to the east end of the lake where there's a picnic ground. West of the lake, thee's a forest service campground. See details below. From the east end of the lake and the turn off for the picnic area, drive west another 3.35 miles on graded gravel to the Hope Gulch TH. The turnoff can be easy to miss. Continue another .95 mile for the Green Timer Gulch TH, (#1436) again on the south side of the road. The road drops steeply down and leads to an attractive, at-large camp area. Higher clearance vehicle may be desirable to access this area. A foot-bridge across South Cottonwood Creek begins the trail. The Green Timber Gulch trail eventually crosses a ridge west of UN 13,078 and drops into Poplar Gulch which comes out just outside of St. Elmo. The entire trail is sometimes referred to as the Poplar Gulch Trail and is designated as #1436.
The Cottonwood Lake CG sits a little beyond the west end of Cottonwood Lake and is forest service maintained. There are 28 sites. Water and vault toilets are available. As with most such campgrounds, they tend to fill completely on summer weekends. This is a first come, first serve campground.
Beyond the campground, (west) there are several at-large, primitive sites including at the trailheads for Hope Gulch and Green Timber as well. Additional sites may be found farther west up the road. Be aware there are private property parcels along this road.