The whole central portion of 231 is routt national forest, so land access shouldn't be an issue. If your hunting late in the season, i'd stay lower in elevation, 10k ft at ripple creek is most likely too high for the elk later in the season, especially if it has snowed.
good luck, routt and white river are nice areas, some areas (like trappers lake) south out of 231 have been hit hard by fires in recents years.
I hunt 231 every year actually. Mostly for elk. Last year I got a big 6x6 bull. Just got back from up there yesterday. Got another good size bull but it is just a 5x5. Not bad though because I'm in it for the meat mostly. As far as deer go, I have seen some monster bucks up there. Just not a real fan of the taste of deer from the hills compared to deer from the plains out in the eastern Co plains.
I have always looked for ways to save money and gain skills. I have the firearms basics covered so I rarely buy firearms these days. But I do watch for bargains. Sometimes a little TLC with simple tools will let you bring an old gun back to life without investing a lot of money. One such find was a side by side 12 gauge marked “W. Richards” It is not from the fine English gun maker Wesley Richards, it is a cheap knock off copy probably made in Belgium about a hundred years ago...