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N. Cottonwood Creek Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Sawatch Range
14ers Served:  Mt. Harvard, Mt. Columbia
Road Type:  Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Rough 2WD dirt to the TH. It may require 4WD in early summer.
Directions:  Turn west on County Road (CR) 350 (Crossman Ave.) near the center of Buena Vista. This road is less than 1/2 mile north of the stoplight in the center of town. Continue on CR 350 for 2 miles and turn right onto CR 361. After almost 1 mile, turn left onto CR 365 (dirt). Continue on this road for over 5 miles to the trailhead at the end of the road. Turn right into the wooded parking area which loops around counter-clockwise. The trail starts on the west side of the parking area.
Winter Access:  Closed near 9,200 feet - over 3 miles below the TH.
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-06-30 The road to the trailhead is a very nice 2wd dirt Forest Service road. I drove up in a Scion XB and had no problems. addrock528         
2014-05-25 No snow to trailhead. Snow patches starting about 0.25miles into trail. See photo. Snowshoes put on about 1 mile into trail. MissH  3       
2014-05-18 A tiny bit of snow, but no problems even for a crappy 1998 Chevy Cavalier. speach    1      
2014-05-10 There are a couple minor snowdrifts within 1/4 mile of the trailhead but they can be easily navigated even with low clearance. Otherwise the road is clear and dry as of 6PM. tdallred         
2014-03-10 CO 365 is relatively clear up until 2.75 miles from the N. Cottonwood Creek TH (1.25 miles from the junction with the Colorado Trail). Up to this point, the snow was sporadic and deep in some spots, but nothing that a 4WD Subie couldn‘t handle. There is a small lot just past Creek Run Road junction where we parked. Beyond this spot, the snow becomes much more sustained and impassable. We spent a good half hour digging out a Grand Cherokee. The new snows will obviously make the lower road tougher, but give it a few days of sun and I would think these spots would be clear again for any competent 4WD. Zambo         
2014-01-26 You can get to with 3-3.5 miles of the summer trailhead on CO 365 Somewhat of a Prick         
2013-10-27 Road is in great shape. I drove my Imprezza with very low clearance to the TH, no problems and no snow on the road at the moment. Could change this week? swalshdog         
2013-10-07 Road was dry - no snow at all. 2 left ft         
2013-09-15 Road is fine. Saw a Civic at the "4wd TH" on Sat the 14th. If you‘re in a 2wd enter the parking lot from the left. The right entrance is actually the worst part of the road. Drove out on the 15th. Even after rain most of the day, the road was great. alpinenut         
2013-07-02 There has been some work done on the last few miles to the trailhead recently. The potholes have all been filled in with fresh gravel and some of the bigger rocks have been cleared off the road as well. Hiker Mike         
2013-06-01 Clear, dry, dusty, and suitable for probably any vehicle including a 2wd, barring you don‘t drive a low rider. My-Therapy    2      
2013-05-22 Clear and dry all the way to TH. benglish         
2012-11-20 Almost no snow at all on road. Washboard isn‘t too bad either. Jump Roper  1  1      
2012-10-14 Having driven this road in May and again in July, I can say that the road conditions have deteriorated over the past few months with more washboarding and potholes (vast majority on right side while going up the road) present. I‘d say the roughest patch is around the 2.0-2.3 mile area. Still, this road would be easily traversed in a 2wd and in no way should this update detur anyone from driving it. No trace of snow on the road or at the TH even after this weekend‘s round of snow showers. zdero1         
2012-10-07 The road and parking lot are still in great condition and don‘t have any snow on them. Our sedan made it up the road just fine. 14er Fan         
2012-07-21 I took my 2WD matrix up the road and had no problem whatsoever. There were maybe two places where you could damage your low clearance car if you aren‘t looking out, but otherwise the road was great. Much better than the road to the Elbert and Massive trailheads. jsdratm         
2012-05-22 Clear to North CT/Harvard Lakes trailhead (and likely beyond). Road has been regraded to at least there, and is totally fine in a 2wd car. Sugar Madison         
2012-05-19 The road to the TH remains snow free and in exceptional condition. I don‘t know how this road and Cinnamon pass to American Basin TH can both be rated 3/6. This road is more like the road to Missouri Gulch TH (2/6). Even the Flintstone Mobile could get to this TH (and you‘d only end up with a few blisters). zdero1         
2012-05-05 The road is completely clear of snow to the trailhead. Any vehicle can make it up there including a smart car. This is a class 1 road. zxbraves         
2012-04-21 Summer TH accessible by 4WD. There are just a few drifts left in the road that would be kind of sketch for 2WD vehicles (although there was a Toyota Scion at the TH). If the next week brings warm temperatures, it‘ll probably be mostly melted out by the weekend. tmathews         
2012-04-19 The road is drivable to within 1/10 of a mile from the TH. There is snow on the road from that point on. It looks like someone had driven the rest of the way to the TH. The snow gets deep in some places, a modified 4x4 with chains would probably make it. I hiked the trail towards harvard to around 10,000 ft. The trail was clear until the bridge, after that there is a lot of snow. Attached pictures: 1) Snow covering the road 2) Hork Fork Basin 3) Bear Lake 4) Columbia to Harvard Ridge dehrlich101  4  1 1    
2012-02-26 The road is passable with 4wd for about 3 miles (to the first trail head). A couple of deeper sections but no need for chains on my jeep. The trail up to the main Harvard/Columbia/Yale TH is packed snow. Possible on foot but better w/ snow shoes or skis. Beyond the trail head sign is fairly deep snow (I didn‘t go much further). 2" crust on top of sugar. Broke through even with snow shoes in some places wincoder         
2011-11-25 The road to North Cottonwood trailhead is passable. There are sections of ice and packed snow, as well as bare road. I would recommend a 4 wheel drive just due to the ice. About a half mile before the trailhead is packed snow the rest of the way. The deepest snow on the road is only about 6-8 inches. mountaintan         
2011-07-17 Got to the trailhead fine in a stock Corolla. May have bottomed out once. :-) Doctor No         
2011-07-04 No problems at all in a passenger car. FredBud         

A portion of the parking area (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-05-30)The start of the trail (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-05-30)

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