Cottonwood Pass reopens after long-term construction

Summer view of scenic Cottonwood Pass near its summit – Continental Divide (12,126 feet). The pass is usually closed from early November to late May each year due to heavy snowfall. Summer view of scenic Cottonwood Pass near its summit – Continental Divide (12,126 feet). The pass is usually closed from early November to late May each year due to heavy snowfall. Photo Credit: SeanXu (iStock).

After long-term closures and heavy construction, Cottonwood Pass is now back open to the summit on the east side from Chaffee County.

According to the Forest Service, the west side of Cottonwood Pass is scheduled to open on Monday, August 12, 2019. Once it opens, visitors should still expect up to 30-minute delays due to ongoing summer construction.

Cottonwood Pass is a route that can be used to travel from Buena Vista to Crested Butte. The pass offers access to a number of outdoor recreational activities including hiking, camping, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. Avid hikers can also reach the Collegiate Peak Wilderness Area off of Cottonwood Pass.

Overall, 90.5% of the construction has been completed. Additional improvements to come include two 11-foot travel lanes with shoulders, guardrails, protection from rockfall, and additional parking areas at the summit and Denny Creek.

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