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Cottonwood Pass

between Crested Butte and Buena Vista, CO
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Ranked #146 of 1,591 Attractions in Colorado
Type: Scenic Drives
44 visitor photos
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29 reviews from our community

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English first
Texas
Top Contributor
170 reviews 170 reviews
50 attraction reviews
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2014 NEW via mobile

We drove up to Cottonwood Pass from Buena Vista. It is an easy and beautiful drive up. The road is paved with some twists and turns but nothing too edgy. During our drive in September, the aspen trees were at their prime color-wise. There are two nice hikes to do from the pass. One hike is across the road from... More

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Saint Pete Beach, Florida
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

The old stagecoach route between Fraser and Hot Sulphur Springs, CO is a dirt/gravel overland scenic drive that's well worth the trouble. Exit west off Highway 40 takes you through upland grazing land where hawks and panthers can still be seen from this remote road that passes through private land spotted with drying cattle bones from winter's kill. It ends... More

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Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
20 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014

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! I must admit to living on Colorado for 40 years, I never have been over Cottonwood Pass and shame on me. It's a summertime and fall (aspen season) must. for us... More

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Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

If you are traveling through the Rockies in the summer, be sure to take this excursion. It is a beautiful drive alone the Taylor River up to Taylor Reservoir. From there you will climb to the pass at just over 12,000 ft. Then road is unimproved (dirt and no gravel) on the Western slope but passable in a passenger car.... More

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South Hamilton, Massachusetts, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

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. We followed the road on the Taylor River all the was down to Gunnison, then took Hwy 50 back through Monarch Pass. Very picturesque!

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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Top Contributor
221 reviews 221 reviews
48 attraction reviews
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

A scenic, less crowded alternative to get from Crested Butte to/from Buena Vista. On the west side, Taylor Park Reservoir is a break on the eyes if one tires of soaring mountain peaks. The Buena Vista side is paved to the top. The west side is dirt. The switchbacks and steepness are easy with plenty of space for vehicles to... More

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Stillwater, Minnesota
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

We drove over this pass on our way from Buena Vista to Crested Butte. The views remind me of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. I am not fond of steep drop-offs but never felt unsafe here. There were other people but it didn't feel crowded the way RMNP did. We did a short hike and it was... More

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Denver
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
9 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014

A friend told us to drive Cottonwood Pass instead of Highway 50. I'm so glad we did. It was much more scenic, although Monarch pass was lovely too. We stopped at the top of the pass for pictures and a little hike.

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Colorado
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014

If you come in the summer definitely drive to the top of the pass because you get above timberline and can see so many high peaks ! It is over 12,000 ft., but even lowlanders can tolerate that altitude for a little while. Throw snowballs and take pictures in front of the continental divide sign. If you want a short... More

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Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
11 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

This is a nice ride up. A must for a motorcycle to do list in Colorado. Only paved on the Buena Vista side so plan accordingly. Take your time and keep at least some of you attention on the road and it's a quick side trip you will remember.

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