"We like camping better!" --Raymond Alexander Kukkee



view of the north shore Critter Pond, KOA Canandaigua NY [c] 2009 jcb

Devil's Stairsteps and more: Great places to visit near Cuchara, Colorado

by J. Gustav guest author

[Editor's note -- J. Gustav is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog .]

Devils Stairstep near Cuchara Colorado
Devil's Stairstep image courtesy of The Yellow Pine Ranch website
Cuchara may be the epitome of Colorado. A small town tucked away in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, it features spectacular mountain views, the San Isabel National Forest, and the Cuchara River, which cuts right through town. For those who want to experience nature at its finest, there is plenty to do. Here are some of the top sights in and around Cuchara, as well as places to camp and stay.

Devil's Stairsteps: The Devil's Stairsteps are an amazing rock formation, a series of over 400 dikes that radiate out from the Western Spanish Peak and continue either above or below ground for as much as 25 miles.

Monument Lake: Nestled high amongst the pines, Monument Lake is a gorgeous high altitude lake. The "monument" is a rock formation in the center of the lake that rises 15 feet above water and is said to represent two Indian chiefs. Year-round fishing is offered, as are numerous camping and RV sites around the lake.

The Dakota Wall: The Dakota Wall is a giant formation of Dakota sandstone that runs all across the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Wall first broke and pushed upwards 65 million years ago, and though much of it has eroded or fallen overtime, a significant chunk of the Dakota Wall remains today.

Profile Rock: Part of The Long Wall, visitors can let their imaginations run wild at Profile Rock. Some see the outlines of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, others say they see Washington's wife Martha. Still others have claimed to see a train on a trestle, a rearing horse (or deer), or a Native American.

Lodge image courtesy of
 The Yellow Pine Ranch website
Yellow Pine Ranch & Livery: Since 1927, guests have enjoyed stays at Yellow Pine Ranch's log cabins. Summer travelers can enjoy horseback rides at the ranch, while year-round Yellow Pine offers breath-taking views of rivers and streams. No televisions or telephones are in the cabins for a true nature experience.

Circle the Wagons RV Park: For those who need more amenities, Circle the Wagons has space for RVs of all sizes, including big rigs. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, the park also has a putting green, free Wi-Fi, a club house, game room, and free movie and book libraries. But with all there is to do around Cuchara, you should never be bored.

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My wife and I flew to Denver in the fall of '04, for our delayed honeymoon. We stayed in the hotel adjacent to the Denver Broncos' stadium. Since we only had a long weekend, we didn't get to see much beyond the casinos in the mountains. We spent most of our time downtown, enjoying spectacular weather, great food, and a slew of delightful stores.

When we do finally return to Colorado, we're hoping to venture far from the city to see ghost-towns, ranches, mountain parks, and more. It's all much too far from here for us to drag our Shasta camper, so we'll look for a place like the Yellow Pine Ranch.

If you've found a great destination for camping or hiking and would like to share, you can reach me via Comments or by using the link at the top of this page.

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