Yes, you can drive US50 (over Monarch Pass) to get from BV to Gunnison and Crested Butte - OR you can take the "road less traveled" - Cottonwood Pass! Our Resorts Our Resorts Rockies Vail , opens in a new window. Ten Burpees (October 2014 Photos) Unmelted Snow in August. read more, We’ve done most of the highest passes now and Cottonwood doesn’t disappoint! A friend told us to drive Cottonwood Pass instead of Highway 50. Since 1995, we've built travel guides that promote great outdoor destinations. A regular 2WD passenger vehicle will do just fine as long as the day had not experienced hard rain on the west side; however, keep in mind that the dirt road has plenty of ruts and you may not want to take a BMW Z3 or similar. The road to the summit is suitable for a passenger car if traveling from the east; however, after this it is rated 4-wheel drive only as it switchbacks down the west side through the Devil's Punchbowl Canyon and becomes a narrow, rocky shelf road. About This Website. We did a short hike and it was a bit hard to breathe at that elevation. But on foot, the two mountain towns are just 11 miles from one another. The road (redone and... Driving Cottonwood Pass from Crested Butte to Buena Vista is 75 miles and takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. Kebler and Cottonwood Passes (maintained by Gunnison County Public Works) are typically closed from November to May. We followed the road on the Taylor River all the was down to Gunnison, then took Hwy 50 back through Monarch Pass. It’s especially spectacular each autumn for the fall foilage. more. Enjoy & research Crested Butte, Colorado with trail guides, topo maps, photos, reviews & GPS routes on Trails.com. The pass is the high point on Gothic Road, which connects the towns of Marble and Crested Butte. Take 50 west through Poncha Springs, over Monarch Pass and down into Gunnison. Taking the less traveled route is well-worth it in the case of Cottonwood Pass, which climbs up through the Collegiate Peaks and National Forest land and past Taylor Park Reservoir between Almont and Buena Vista. The east side of Cottonwood Pass is paved and the west side is a winding dirt road that follows the Taylor River through a scenic little canyon. Continue down CO-306 until you reach Buena Vista. Looking for additional Season Pass options for Crested Butte? It was much more scenic, although Monarch pass was lovely too. A sweet scenic drive option to Crested Butte. While most of the road is paved, the top 12 miles is well-maintained dirt. 9:25. Crested Butte. Cottonwood Pass is a high mountain route over the Continental Divide. Cottonwood Pass: A great shortcut from Crested Butte to Buena Vista - See 108 traveller reviews, 119 candid photos, and great deals for Colorado, at Tripadvisor. Private Tour to Pikes Peak Garden of Gods. I know that it is a paved road and not a 4x4 trail, but check it out this time lapse video! New road is amazing. Join us to ride over Cottonwood Pass and on to Crested Butte. Then it descended nearly 14 miles into Taylor Park, dropping 2,618 feet. Confession: I do not visit Crested Butte … Once down in Taylor Park/Taylor Reservoir, then the pavement begins again all the way to Almont on CO 135, between Crested Butte and Gunnison. A perfect day trip from Buena Vista is to go up Cottonwood pass, stop and hike around for a bit, then go down the other side to Taylor Park reservoir. - See 108 traveler reviews, 119 candid photos, and great deals for Colorado, at Tripadvisor. Avid hikers can also reach the Collegiate Peak Wilderness Area off of Cottonwood Pass. New road is amazing. Contractors are still working to lay gravel and pavement in some sections, resulting in one-lane traffic in parts of the road near the top. There were other people but it didn't feel crowded the way RMNP did. It’s an easy drive beginning in either Buena Vista or Almont. The county eventually said “no” to the feds when it came to paving the road in the late 90’s. Welcome to Cottonwood Pass! I am not fond of steep drop-offs but never felt unsafe here. We drove over this pass on our way from Buena Vista to Crested Butte. From Almont, take CO-742 east toward Taylor Park Reservoir. As drivers wind up the mountainside, they pass pristine forest along the way. From Buena Vista the road quickly climbs to its summit of 12,126 feet. Most start this route from the Buena Vista side, 18 miles from a breathtaking summit view. This sparked a need for the chapter to ride over it and what better way than an overnight ride that ends in Crested Butte. From Buena Vista, travel west on County Road 306 for 18 miles to the summit of Cottonwood Pass, the road is paved the entire way to the pass. Buena Vista Colorado Four Mile OHV and Cottonwood Pass Camping - Duration: 14:53. Note... We’ve done most of the highest passes now and Cottonwood doesn’t disappoint! The road is paved and in great condition from BV to the top and the Continental Divide (12,000'+), then about 10 miles of well maintained dirt road that any vehicle can do. for us from now on. It ascended 4,218 feet from Buena Vista to 12,126 feet on top of the pass. From the top of the Pass, you’ll find great views of the surrounding Collegiates and open alpine meadows stretching out below. Nice hike to get a panarama view at the top. If you are traveling through the Rockies in the summer, be sure to take this excursion. Videos. If you are considering driving to Crested Butte via Kebler or Cottonwood Pass, be sure to check the open and close dates, as both of these passes close during the winter. This ride was led by Jerry Cherini and the sweep was Donnie Hitt. Miles and takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes been over Cottonwood Pass reviews 5/5. 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