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

Accessibility:

No handicapped facilities available.


Directions:

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.


Parking:

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


Activities

Day Hiking

This is a great access trail to the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and the North Cottonwood trailhead. From the parking area, the trail travels north for 6 miles, crossing the North Cottonwood road (FR 365) to the trailhead for North Cottonwood and the Horn Fork Basin.

Southern route: The Colorado Trail leaves the trailhead and crosses CR 306 and parallels the creek. The trail crosses a bridge and traverses the slopes of Sheep Mtn.

Status: Open
Permit: Special use permits are required for all types of commercial activity including outfitting and guiding. For more information, please contact the Salida Ranger District at 719-539-3591.
Best Season: Summer
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Backpacking

The Colorado Trail (#1776) travels north from the Avalanche trailhead into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness area. The trail crosses the North Cottonwood road (FR 365).

Best Season: Winter or Summer
Difficulty Level: Easy to Intermediate

Horse Riding

The Avalanche Trailhead is a popular off-loading site for horseback riders. The parking area provides ample room for large horse trailers. The Colorado Trail (#1776) travels north from the trailhead parking area and continues to the North Cottonwood road (FR 365).

Status: Open
Permit: Special use permits are required for all commercial activities including outfitting and guiding. For more information, please contact the Salida Ranger District at 719-539-3591.
Best Season: Summer
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
8 miles (North Cottonwood)

  Latitude : 
38.81394634

  Longitude : 
-106.28377

  Elevation : 
8,900 feet - 11,900 feet