Cottonwood Pass     Twin Lakes, Colorado

Cottonwood Pass Still Closed - May 30, 2008

(It Will Probably Be At Least One Week, Probably Two Weeks Before Opening)

Cottonwood Pass Sign
Above: The Cottonwood Pass sign at the traffic light in Buena Vista, CO.

Shannon Tucker and I drove up as far as we could on "Cottonwood Pass Road" (Chaffee County Road 306). The road is still closed and will be due to the large amounts of snow that are still up there. The pass usually opens near Memorial Day weekend most years, but it is looking like it will be at least a week or two before it opens. -Steve

P.S. I will do my best to update this site as soon as possible when it is open.

Cottonwood Pass Closed
An Adventure On Chaffee County Road 306

My story and picture collection begins with me bicycling around Buena Vista and quite lazily mind you. Yes, I really did bicycle across America along the southern tier of the country in February-March 2008, but since then, it has been all downhill. I guess I have been rationalizing that I have "done enough" for the year and I might as well take it easy. I was, in fact, planning to eat at the lunch buffet at the Pizza Hut, when I was saddened to learn the restaurant recently went out of business. There I was, in the Pizza Hut parking lot, when Shannon called and asked if I wanted to accompany him in a drive as far as we could toward Cottonwood Pass. I agreed!

My first picture was taken near the Buena Vista traffic light - the Cottonwood Pass sign.

Mt. Princeton Through the windshield, the view of Mt. Princeton a few miles west of Buena Vista.
Sheep Mountain Entering the San Isabel National Forest. Sheep Mountain is the large peak in the foreground.
Mt. Yale Past the turnoff for Cottonwood Lake, the view of Mt. Yale.
Closing Gate Upward we continued on Chaffee County Road 306. There is the closing gate for the road - we continued ahead!
Jones Mountain South Up a steep incline we went and we reached this beautiful view of Jones Mountain South. At one time, I actually had a habit of photographing this very spot through the seasons. You can see those photos on my now dormant web site:
Avalanche Area
Avalanche Area
Tilted Trees
At the upper parking lot, we noticed signs of an avalanche that happened this past winter. One local man was buried three feet in snow and was fortunately rescued by other snowmobilers.

Notice the many tilted and broken trees in the middle photo, and of course, all the broken branches and debris are still evident from the avalanche. Whenever the county gets around to plowing the road and making it passable for traffic, I'm sure they'll clean up this mess.

BOTTOM PHOTO: A close-up of some tilted trees from the event.

Chaffee County Road 306 Onward we continued on Chaffee County Road 306. We were about 6-7 miles away from Cottonwood Pass at this point.

Cottonwood Pass Road
Where We Stopped

We stopped at this point in the road. The snow was much taller than it appeared in the photo.

2008 Honda Ridgeline
2008 Honda Ridgeline 2008 Honda Ridgeline
Burt Kuni Honda
By the way, Shannon recently bought a brand new 2008 Honda Ridgeline and we had a little photo shoot for his new vehicle. That's a very sharp-looking truck!

Oh ... notice my bicycle in the back. I was so lazy about riding and was quite thankful that Shannon gave me an excuse to stop riding. ;)

Lastly, here is a little plug for Burt Kuni Honda in south Denver. In my personal car buying experience, this is the best Honda dealership in Colorado, and they are way better and much more professional and honest than the Honda dealership on Academy Boulevard. You can read my car buying experience here: New Honda Civic.

And since I have some extra space, a few car and truck pages:

  • Phanton Canyon Road (Lisa's White Honda Ridgeline)
  • Honda Accord at Cottonwood Pass
  • 1978 Datsun Flatbed Truck
  • Truck Photo Collection
  • Chaffee County Road 306 One more shot of the road. :)
    Snow Snow And the snow! Friends, there is still a lot of snow up there.

    I walked on a large mound of roadside snow and my feet fell through ... I was knee deep in snow! :p)

    These pictures were submitted by Steve Garufi in Buena Vista, Colorado. His web site is

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