52. Drive to Cameron Pass for Moose and Aspen Viewing

Fall is a great time of year to drive up  Cameron Pass to see the aspens changing and perhaps a few moose as well. Get your dose of Aspen Gold while you can; Mike Nelson (7 News Denver) is forecasting Sept 20-30 will be the peak of aspen color in the Northern Colorado mountains.

And if you’ve never seen a moose before you’re in luck! The areas around Cameron Pass (about 1 hr & 15 min from FTC) and North Park/Walden (about 2hr) provide some world class moose viewing opportunities. In 1978 the CO Division of Wildlife introduced moose to the North Park area and they’re thriving today. Walden is dubbed the Moose Viewing Capital of Colorado but there’s plenty of them on the east side of the Pass as well. Take a drive up the Laramie River Rd, Long Draw Rd, or keep your eyes on the south (left if you’re westbound) side of Hwy 14 as you reach the very top of Cameron Pass and you’ll have a good shot at spotting a moose. Continue driving west on Hwy 14 after you’ve gone over Cameron Pass and you’ll see the Colorado State Forest Moose Visitor Center on your left just before the town of Gould. The center is near a good moose viewing spot along the Michigan River.  Remember to keep your distance from these animals especially during the fall mating season when males can become agressive. Give them lots of space and they’ll typically stand in one place and munch willow branches long enough for you to get all the pictures you want. 

A few things to remember: Bug spray! The mosquitos are thinning out this time of year but moose prefer marshy areas so it’s good to have some on hand. In the warmer summer months it’s an absolute necessity when venturing into moose habitat.  Also, bring a lunch as there are only a few eating establishments between Fort Collins and Cameron Pass. Unless of course you’re craving a Mish burger, in that case don’t bring a lunch, stop at Mishawaka, order a burger, sit on the deck overlooking the Poudre and walla, you’re in heaven.

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