Colorado Trail #1776 (Avalanche Trailhead)


The Avalanche trailhead is a major access point for the Colorado Trail (#1776) near Buena Vista, Colorado. A paved parking area and toilet facility are available. This is a popular trailhead for winter recreationists and provides ample parking for the many snowmobilers who converge on the area. Weekend snowmobilers love to ride to the top of Cottonwood Pass and over the Continental Divide to Taylor Park.

Hikers generally use the area during the summer months as an access point for day hiking and backpacking trips into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness to the north via the Colorado Trail (#1776).

At a Glance

Operational Hours: This area is open year round.
Fees No fee
Permit Info: Wilderness permits are required to enter Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. Self-issuing permits are available at trailheads free of charge.
Usage: Light-Medium
Best Season: Winter - Dec-Mar Summer May-Oct
Busiest Season: July-Sept
Restrictions: No overnight camping permitted at the trailhead. Wilderness regulations apply within Collegiate Peaks Wilderness.
Closest Towns: Buena Vista, Colorado
Water: No
Restroom: Yes
Passes: None required
Operated By: US Forest Service
Information Center: Salida Ranger District

General Information


No handicapped facilities available.


From Buena Vista, travel west from Buena Vista, CO on County Road 306 for approximately 9 miles. The trailhead is located on the right side of the road. Watch for a sign on the right and turn into the paved parking area.

General Notes:

This a popular access point for winter recreation activities that include snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Summer activities include access to the Colorado Trail and the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness.


The parking area is large and can accomodate 30-40 vehicles.



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  Area/Length : 
8 miles (North Cottonwood)

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
8,900 feet - 11,900 feet