County Road 40 seems like such an unfairly pedestrian name for the gravel passage between Highway 34 and Highway 125. It’s a short but resplendent drive through lush valleys and the Rocky Mountain foothills. About halfway along the length of County Road 40 is Willow Creek Reservoir, an aspen-lined lake that was shrouded in low-lying mist the first time we saw it. It’s also home to the most dramatic warning sign I’ve ever seen, which warns that entry into the reservoir’s trickling spillway means “certain death.” Maybe the spillway’s flow was just unusually slow on the few days we visited, making the warning that much more amusing. Nonetheless, we did not test its credibility.
The best part is that County Road 40 is nearly deserted. We never saw another car on the road, meaning it offered some welcome privacy in an otherwise touristy area. Some other photographs taken along this road are here and here.