Yesterday we loaded up the kids and traveled to unseen territory in the La Garita Mountains, Northwest of Monte Vista, Colorado.
From Alamosa, we headed North on the Cosmic Highway (Hwy 17) to the town of Hooper, then about 20 miles West to lovely La Garita. Just Northwest of La Garita are two very scenic routes that wind through the La Garita Mountains and the Rio Grande National Forest ~ Moon Pass (CR 675, elevation 10,580′) and Carnero Pass (CR 690, elevation 10,166′).
This country is beautiful, with unusual rock formations around every corner, as well as ancient, twisted pines, and gorgeous spreads of Aspen trees.
It saddened us to see the beetle kill devastation to all of the Fir trees in the area. Despite that devastation, new growth and life can be seen and admired everywhere.
I highly recommend this trip to anyone looking for a relaxing, enjoyable drive. Visit the area in a couple of weeks from now, and the Aspen trees will be at their peak color change. The entire road is passenger-car-friendly. If you take Carnero Pass all the way to the North, you will connect with Cochetopa Pass (Hwy 114), which takes you either North to Gunnison, or South to Saguache.