Cottonwood Cross is a ravishing scenic drive in Colorado

Cottonwood Pass

Cottonwood Cross is a excessive mountain cross at an elevation of three.696m (12,126ft) above the ocean stage, positioned on the boundary between Chaffee and Gunnison counties, within the U.S. state of Colorado. The street to the summit gives a ravishing scenic drive. It is one of many highest roads of Colorado.

Is Cottonwood Cross paved all the way in which?

After long-term closures (3 years) and heavy building, the street to the summit was absolutely paved your complete approach from Buena Vista to Taylor Park Reservoir (and to Crested Butte and/or Gunnison) on 2019. The newly paved west facet is extensive and clean, no drawback for any sort of car. Extra enhancements to return embrace two 11-foot journey lanes with shoulders, guardrails, safety from rockfall, and extra parking areas on the summit and Denny Creek.

How lengthy is the street to Cottonwood Cross?

The cross street is 51.01 km (31.7 miles) lengthy, working east-west from the City of Buena Vista to County Highway 742, close to Taylor Park Reservoir. It’s an amazing shortcut between Buena Vista and Crested Butte and is a superb various to Monarch Cross just a few miles to the south. The street to the summit, working from Buena Vista to the east, is known as Chaffee County Highway 306, however close to the summit it modifications to Gunnison County Highway 209 because it continues to the west. The concept for the street started in 1955 when the Forest Service wanted a technique to get timber out. By 1958 there was a street – however it was filth.

How tough is Cottonwood Cross?

The street has switchbacks, surroundings, and little or no visitors. Close to the highest there are a number of switchbacks which can be so tight that the velocity restrict is 15 mph (25kph). The street is steep in components, hitting a ten% of most gradient by among the ramps, so it’s a reasonably difficult drive for drivers towing trailers (RVs) and driving massive motorhomes.

Is Cottonwood Cross Colorado Open?

Set excessive within the Rocky Mountains of south-central Colorado, the cross tops out over 12,100 toes (the third highest paved street within the state). Notice that there are seasonal gates at each ends and the street is closed seasonally attributable to heavy snowfall, usually from round October till someday in Could. When open, the cross is among the few routes by the Sawatch Vary accessible in a typical two-wheel drive passenger automobile. Thunderstorms usually develop within the afternoon within the Colorado excessive nation. Visiting early and being again by your automobile early within the day is advisable. Pay attention to excessive altitude illness, which may be life threatening. Hypothermia is usually a hazard all year long. Provided that the cross is over 12,000, it’s doubtless you will see that snow on the summit 12 months spherical. However greater than that, it is a cross the place the climate will change quickly and any try and experience the cross must be performed with due care. The experience is slightly distant and also you gained’t see too many different folks should you need assistance. In July 2002, heavy rains from a thunderstorm east of Cottonwood Cross triggered a major mudslide that blocked parts of the street for a lot of days.

How lengthy does it take to drive the Cottonwood Cross street?

The drive is legendary for lovely scenic views alongside the way in which, and it’s a superb drive for 2WD vehicles. Plan 1 hour to finish the drive with none cease. The drive is a superb one to soak up the autumn to benefit from the altering colours earlier than the snow comes. There’s a good parking space on the high with expansive views to each the east and west sides of the Continental Divide. It’s nicely well worth the journey. There are just a few overlooks on the way in which down from the cross which can be positively well worth the cease.



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