Take in the Views on Cottonwood Pass

Cottonwood Pass

Less that a 40 minute drive from Buena Vista, the summit of Cottonwood Pass offers stunning 360 degree views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. Extending in all directions is a panorama of unbroken beauty. Perhaps the most appealing aspect is that it is accessible by any vehicle and requires no hiking.

Starting in the town of Buena Vista, head west on E Main Street until it turns into State Highway 306. After about 40 minutes of driving and some winding roads the Continental Divide sign welcomes you to a gravel parking lot. You can get out and hike as you please, but the view from the parking lot alone is more than worth the drive.

Note: The pass in only open from late spring until early fall so that is something to keep in mind.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Snack
  • Hiking boots (optional)
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Activities Chillin, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Handicap Accessible
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great Views & Lots Of Side Trails

This drive offers stunning views from the seat of your car, but I highly recommend pulling over at the overlooks because many have short trails (less than 1 mi) that offer even better views away from the crowds alongside the road.

Gorgeous Views!

Very scenic! Saw a moose and her calf at the end near Taylor Park reservoir


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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