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N. Cottonwood Creek Trailhead

Posted By: brchristensen
Info: Dirt road is in fair condition overall. Occasional potholes but a 2WD could handle easily. No snow or ice.
Posted By: enoki
Info: Road not bad at all. Worst part was the right hand turn into the parking area (which is avoidable by just going left instead)

Still 2 port-a-potties, but both were close to their usable limit. Not sure how often they get serviced or what periods of the year they’re up there.
Posted By: hatterasdunton
Info: Definitely drivable in a low clearance 2WD as long as you are comfortable navigating slowly
Posted By: Logan5280
Info: Snow free to trailhead. My very low-clearance 2wd prius made it up there with minimal trouble. It’s slightly muddy from recent rain, but not bad at all.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: Road is drivable by any 2wd vehicle. A few bumps and a few snow piles near the trailhead. Portapotties are at the TH.
Posted By: nsaladin
Info: ATV trench from winter Columbia route to N Cottonwood Creek TH. ~8-10 of snow in the road, a truck/full frame SUV with A/T tires would make it to N. Cottonwood Creek TH as of today. Storm coming in Tuesday May negate all of the above.
Posted By: shapovalovm
Info: Doable by any car. The parking lot was mostly full when I arrived at ~7:00am, but I managed to find the spot. I think you can park a bit lower, if you are not that lucky, though.
Posted By: madmattd
Info: Been up here twice in the last couple weeks, as past reports state, most any vehicle should be fine with a little care in a couple spots. Honestly the right-hand turn into the upper parking lot area is far and away the worst spot of the road.

I got one of the last semi-creative parking spots in the lot area this morning around 5:30AM (glad I opted to finish the drive up 30min earlier than planned!), road in was lined with at least 50 additional vehicles in the early afternoon. The road is relatively narrow just below the lot, doesn’t leave a ton of room to get by those cars but not sure what else can be done. Shoutout to the "genuis" that parked on the opposite side of the road from everyone else in the middle of this, causing some tight maneuvering to get around.
Posted By: CommanderDawn
Info: Easiest unpaved trailhead road I’ve experienced so far. Wide and clean. A few potholes to avoid or steer directly over, one or two ruts to slow down for, all of these things visible at a distance, even in the dark.
Posted By: FlipFlap55
Info: Made it to the trailhead in my low clearance 2WD hatchback with no problems, some segments had mild washboarding but nothing that couldn’t be negotiated by taking it slow. There’s ample room to pass on 99% of the road and I’m fairly confident nearly any passenger vehicle could make it to the trailhead.
Posted By: Charles6000
Info: High clearance wasn’t needed. There are a few minor washboard spots on the road, but decent condition for a dirt road.

There are 2 portapotties at the trailhead.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Easy 2wd. Comfortably made it in a Camry
Posted By: amnesia
Info: The road appears to have been worked on recently and the ruts described in the previous reports are no longer present. I suspect the ruts will reform over the course of the summer as the road sees more traffic/rain but for now it is not an issue.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: Two port-a-potties at the N Cottonwood TH!
Posted By: rudi32
Info: Rough 2WD to TH
Posted By: MBosch27
Info: Easily passable in a Rav4. An F-150 however was having problems in the snow just (about .1 miles) before the trailhead. I also noticed a Subaru had to ditch, and park off the road before the slight bumpy incline about 3 miles before the trailhead. Not sure why these 2 had problems as there was a 2wd Ford that (like a mini version of an Escape? I had never seen its kind before and I cannot recall the name... it doesn’t exist on Ford’s website so IDK!! ) was at the trailhead... I think ANY CUV, SUV, or truck could easily make it.
Posted By: 14ercooper
Info: Road was pretty much bone dry up to just before Harvard Lakes TH; and was passable up to Silver Creek TH. Would not attempt to drive past that point, and the tire tracks stopped pretty soon after - still a fair bit of snow. Restroom at Silver Creek was unlocked, but was not restocked with toilet paper. The ruts that formed just after getting into the national forest are still there (better than in the fall, I should note), but with a little bit of care basically any vehicle could make it past them and up to Silver Creek TH.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: I just hiked and snowshoed the FS365 road from the NF boundary 3 miles back to the N Cottonwood TH. 4WD is helpful to drive CR365 to the NF boundary. Past the NF boundary the road gets difficult in a hurry. Around .7 miles into the NF stock 4WD trucks were getting stuck in multiple locations. The only way to get a vehicle to the Harvard Lakes or Silver Creek TH is to have very high clearance and very aggressive tires. The only vehicle I saw at Harvard Lakes and SIlver Creek was a Polaris side-by-side with 18 inches of ground clearance and very aggressive tires. From the NF boundary to Silver Creek I used microspikes. Past the Silver Creek TH there is a single snowmobile track that works well for snowshoeing. Recommendation: park at the NF boundary!
Posted By: joshgrundy
Info: Drove the road with an Outback today. Based on the previous reports, I think the obstacle .2 miles into the national forest has been repaired at least somewhat. It’s still noteworthy, but was easily doable in an Outback. The Grays/Torreys road definitely has worse obstacles than this currently is. Snow covered for the last mile and a half as of 12/17, but I was able to make it to the trailhead as a fairly conservative driver.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: The FS365 road to the N Cottonwood trailhead is open and snow covered. The main obstacle continues to be the deep holes at .2 miles into the national forest. High clearance and 4wd is advised. There is 4-5" of snow at the trailhead.
Posted By: Wentzl
Info: The holes in the road about 2.5 miles before the trailhead are getting worse. Would like to hear from someone with a subaru who has been up there lately to know if still passable by a sedan.
Posted By: bangerth
Info: Easily drivable all the way to the top with the exception of the big holes about 2.5 miles from the top that were mentioned in previous reports. But no problem at all with a Subi Outback if you took it slow -- just take your time finding a way through and around.
Posted By: RWSchaffer
Info: The road was dry to trailhead. 4WD and at least eight inches clearance would be desirable for the still unrepaired obstacle (pictured) about 2.5 miles below trailhead.
Posted By: scottda
Info: The rough patch in the road, 3 miles before the North Cottonwood TH, is surprisingly bad. The attached photo (shot from above on the way out) does not do it justice. We made it through with our 4Runner, but the depressions are really deep.
Posted By: TZDWyo
Info: Can confirm that 4-5’ stretch is worse now. Couldn’t figure out a good way to get my Liberty past it. Watched several SUVs and a pickup think better of it.

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