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You know the seasons are turning when the closure of Cottonwood Pass is announced. Today, November 1, 2022, is the day this spectacular road closes for the winter season. The road is the highest paved public road in the country, and in winter it is buried under several feet of snow.

The seasonal road closures of the 12,126 foot Cottonwood Pass severs this back-door connection between Chaffee and Gunnison counties. CR 306 leading to Cottonwood Pass is not maintained beyond the Denny Creek Trailhead from November through May each year. Motor vehicles (except snowmobiles, and snowcats) are not permitted beyond the winter closure gate. Recreators are advised to travel up CR 306 at their own risk.

Chaffee County’s Road and Bridge Department aims to reopen Cottonwood Pass open before Memorial Day 2023, conditions and snowpack permitting.

Should readers have questions, contact the Chaffee County Road and Bridge Department at 719-539-4591.

Featured image: View from Cottonwood Pass looking east into Chaffee County. Photo by Jan Wondra.