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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    
2015-07-15 I was happy to have a high-clearance vehicle on this road. I would have been nervous in our Prius, but even an inch more clearance would be fine. gibell         
2015-06-24 A passenger car can make it in case you are wondering. No issues. Road is dry. Daniel Joder         
2015-05-26 Road is dry and open to summer TH. Snow on the trail starts about 0.5 mi from TH. SnowAlien         
2015-04-25 Still impassable about a 1/2 mile down from the trailhead. Some long drifts (100+ yards) that are several feet deep. Might be a couple of weeks until it‘s totally melted out. There also one pine tree blocking the road in this stretch. Bring a hand saw to take care of it. Dr. Worm    2      
2015-04-12 The road is open. It‘s dry to Harvard Lakes and Silver Lake. Continuing on toward Cottonwood, there are periodic snow drifts that are passable with high clearance and a good driver. However, at 9700 feet (roughly half a mile short of Cottonwood), the road is blocked by a serious (and very long) drift that you do NOT want to get into unless you have an ATV. Don‘t ask me how I know this (it‘s a secret between me and Dan the Tow Truck Guy). robinbk         
2015-04-07 The barrier is still up (see photo) at the same area as described in previous reports. I walked up the road until I got to the Silver Creek TH and there is only 2 snow banks left that are somewhat blocking the road. A 4WD could make it easily through them, so I anticipate it opening soon to Silver Creek. I continued to walk further to try and get to the N. Cottonwood TH, but the final photo shows the road .5 miles short of the TH. I hope our governmental partners get the road to the Silver Creek TH open soon. zombiewolf  4       
2015-03-15 The barrier is still there. See last update (1/18/2015) for picture. There is a small parking area at the closure, it can probably hold 4 or 5 cars max. Eagle Eye         
2015-01-18 1/18/2015: There is a barrier 2.2 miles up CR 365 from the CR 365/CR 361 junction. A sign on the barrier reads: Seasonal Road Closure Notice Forest Development Road is closed and continues to be evaluated for: Prevention of road damage Ensure public safety As conditions allow roads will be opened Eagle Eye  2       
2014-12-06 Road is open to the trailhead. Packed snow/ice for the last 2 mi. and gets a bit gnar in the last 0.5. Didn‘t use the chains but wouldn‘t go up there without them. 4x4 and clearance. Boggy B         
2014-11-08 Road still clear all the way full the trailhead. Not even any mud. marshaar         
2014-11-01 Easily driveable, dry/in great shape on this day. Eagle Eye         
2014-09-12 Drivable in any vehicle. A few potholes and washboard sections, especially around the firewood cutting area in the middle, but nothing unavoidable. Jim Davies         
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      

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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