Bottle Pass is the saddle between Bottle Peak and Ptarmigan Peak in the Arapaho National Forest's Vasquez Mountains. This trail is lightly used and can be challenging for humans and dogs who are out of shape.
The trailhead lies off of NSFR 136 on the Lake Evelyn Trail, about a mile in. The first mile is an old logging road, but at the junction with the Bottle Pass Trail, hikers begin a moderate climb up to Keyser Creek, where there is a Bottle Pass sign. The last half mile to the top of Bottle Peak is steep and requires some scrambling on rocks above the tree line, but when you get to the top, you and your pup will be rewarded with 360-degree views of the surrounding peaks and the Rocky Mountain National Park. A mild descent on the other side of Bottle Peak lands you on the Bottle Pass.
This trail features not only panoramic vistas, but sightings of wildlife are common, including bighorn sheep, mountain goats, bobcats and bears. Wildflowers abound here as well, including columbines and several sub-alpine mountain varieties. The trail meanders from old growth forest to tundra at Bottle Peak, with grassy meadows in the Pass.
If wilderness camping is on your agenda, there are several places where you can pitch a tent for you and your furry bestie. Be sure to familiarize yourself with forest rules pertaining to site placement, campfires and other regulations. Please remember to carry waste bags for Fido, pick up his waste and carry it out with you. Parts of the trail, especially at the peak, are very windy, so be sure to be prepared with layered clothing, gloves, and hats and perhaps a coat for the doggo. Always bring water to share too!
While this may not be the most challenging or lengthy trail you'll find in this area of Colorado, you and your fur-pup will likely find it a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. It's a pawrfect place for an adventure in the Vasquez Mountains!