Rocky Mountains: Cottonwood Pass


Colorado is known for it’s winding ways of dangerous roads and high passes. I’ve driven on a couple of them: Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park and the Million Dollar Highway going between Silverton and Ouray. But on this last road trip I had the opportunity to visit a couple more.

After a day exploring ghost towns, our road trip took us over the first of the two major passes of this road trip: Cottonwood Pass. There is plenty of parking at the top of the pass if you do want to stop and see the view. It was fairly busy but most people didn’t stay too long and parking spaces were available fairly quickly. There isn’t too much around but when pass over on to the Gunnison National Forest about a mile or so down the road there is a parking lot with picnic tables and restrooms.

This pass is above tree line and the view from the top is totally worth the .2 mile hike. Even in the summer it is rather chilly at the top so I suggest bringing a sweatshirt. This is a delicate tundra bio, please stay on the path to help protect this ecosystem.

My panoramic skills need some work but in my defense it was windy up there.

These passes are beautiful and a great way to see the natural beauty of the state. Do you like driving mountain passes? Let me know in the comments! Leave no trace and safe travels!

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