COBDR: Section 3 Cottonwood Pass Opening Delayed Due to Snow

May 30th, 2019


  • Due to heavy May snowfall (over 30” in May), the contractor was not able to move in and start the snow plowing. They are presently working their way to the top of the pass, but have been running into 11 foot walls of snow.
  • Due to the adverse weather conditions and safety concerns, Cottonwood Pass is not scheduled to open until August 12th, 2019. At that point there still might be delays due to construction and one way traffic. It’s best you still use the detour we laid out for the past two years going to Salida and the east side of Hwy 285 along Aspen Ridge.

(from May 11th, 2018 COBDR Route Update)

A portion of Section 3 of the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route will be closed : Cottonwood Pass which travels over the Continental Divide from Taylor Park on the west to Buena Vista on the east.  The pass is dirt on the west side and paved on the east.  The state is re-routing and paving the west side of the pass and they have decided to close the pass all together to traffic while the construction takes place.

The COBDR route will be temporarily changed to go over Old Monarch Pass and down the paved section of Monarch Pass into Salida.  From Salida the route will go slightly east and north along Aspen Ridge where the route will get on Hwy 24 into Buena Vista so you may rejoin the existing route.

This change does however miss the town of Pitkin, which is a great little town to visit for gas and food.  If you don’t mind traveling a little bit out of your way to visit them, we know they will appreciate it because of the closure.


COBDR cottonwood overview

(Section 3 Salida to Buena Vista)

Salida to Buena Vista

(Section 3 Waunita Hot Springs to Salida)

COBDR 2017 Section 3 website update Waunita HS to Salida