Trailhead:  Cottonwood Creek
Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  Blue Knight
 Date of Info:  11/14/2011
 Date Posted:  11/14/2011
The Cottonwood Creek Trailhead south of Crestone on the west side of the Sangres is OPEN for 2011 and 2012. This trail may be used to access the Crestones, Broken Hand, Pico Aislado, 13270, 13020, 12847, and other peaks in the area from the west side of the range. Some of these peaks do not have alternate shorter approaches. This historical trailhead had been closed for several years and was only opened in 2011 with little public announcement. The Forest Service is conducting a study of the trail and its future access is uncertain. In other words, use it before we lose it. To find the trailhead, leave Colorado state highway 17, 0.5 miles south of Moffat and head straight east (Road T) toward the town of Crestone. Just prior to the road turning north (left) into Crestone, turn south (right) into the Baca Grande Chalets Grants subdivision (there is a large sign) and follow the Camino Baca Grande road as it initially curves left (paved then dirt) through the subdivision for about 5.4 miles. When the road ends at a T intersection, turn left, pass a large water tank (in 0.1 miles) on the right, before the road passes through an indistinct meadow (0.2 miles) with the unsigned trailhead on the left. Park in the few spaces on the right side of the road in this meadow and find the trailhead going into the trees and uphill initially on the north side of the meadow (left side of the road) prior to the trail heading up the valley along the north side of Cottonwood Creek. This trail is not in the best of shape and downed trees should be expected. The road crosses Cottonwood Creek shortly after passing through the meadow. If you cross the Creek, you have passed the trailhead. There is a Forest Service sign that addresses trail monitoring equipment just before the road crosses the Creek. The trail is not located anywhere near that sign. Do not pass over Cottonwood Creek and only park in the meadow since all the land along the road is private property. The landowner allows PARKING IN THE MEADOW ONLY. There is NO CAMPING at the trailhead parking area but North Crestone Campgrounds is located on the north side of Crestone. Follow the paved winding road through the town and beyond as it turns to dirt to the Campgrounds which has several sites mostly along the right side of the road. The cost was $7.00 per site in 2011. If you are interested in the peaks mentioned (other than the Crestones which can be accessed from other directions), you should take advantage of this trail before it may be closed permanently after 2012.

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