Colorado Trail #1776 (North Cottonwood)


The Colorado Trail (#1776) travels south from the North Cottonwood drainage, west of Buena Vista,  intersecting Silver Creek and ending up at Avalanche trailhead. The trail is approximately 6 miles in length and skirts the eastern edge of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. The trail can also be hiked north from Avalanche trailhead.

The northern segment of the trail from North Cottonwood to Pine Creek is especially lush and green.

At a Glance

Usage: Light
Best Season: Summer and Fall
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: Wilderness regulations apply within Collegiate Peaks Wilderness.
Closest Towns: Buena Vista, CO
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Salida Ranger District

General Information


From Buena Vista, travel west on County Road 306 for 2.5 miles to County Road 361. Turn right on this road and travel north for 2.5 miles. You need to watch for the road sign for County Road 365 (North Cottonwood) on the left. The road makes a hard left and travels west from the intersection towards the mountains. Stay on CR 365 for 3.5 miles. The Colorado Trail crosses the road at this point. The road will continue west and end at the North Cottonwood trailhead.


Parking is available for 4-5 cars.


Camping & Cabins

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Dispersed Camping

Dispersed or primitive camping is permitted along the North Cottonwood road. Campers should pack out their trash and be aware of current fire restrictions. Camp at least 100 feet from the stream.


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Horse Riding & Camping

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Winter Sports

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Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
6 miles

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