Denny Creek Trailhead


Sawatch Range
38.815° N, -106.33444° W
14ers: Mt. Yale
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Road Difficulty

Paved Road 0   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD paved to the TH.

Driving Directions

From U.S. 24 in the center of Buena Vista, take the County 306 road towards Cottonwood Pass. Drive 12 miles on this road to reach the Denny Creek Trailhead and paved parking area on the right.

Winter Access

Usually closed at the Avalanche Gulch TH - 3 miles below the Denny Creek TH.
Status Updates 
Posted By: hogantheepic
Info: Road is completely clear all the way to Denny Creek, summer trailhead is open for business.
Posted By: 123tqb
Info: Plowed up to Denny Creek, but not much past.
Posted By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: Road is maintained to trailhead. Packed snow/ice in parts, but 2WD accessible. Restrooms are open.
Posted By: Jay521
Info: The Chaffee county website shows that CO306 is closed a few miles beyond Denny Creek. This is NOT true - it is closed at the normal winter closure at Denny Creek.
Posted By: Corey17
Info: Plowed and accessible to any vehicle. There was some fresh snow on it in the morning, but it was melted and dry by the time we drove down in the afternoon. Several impressive avalanche chutes off Sheep mountain slid this year, one substantially hitting the road. The debris pile was certainly impressive!
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: Denny Creek TH is accessible from CR306, where the road is closed for the winter. Hiked to Hartenstein Lake today from Denny Creek Trailhead. Good boot pack until Mt Yale Trail cuts off. Better have snowshoes after that! Lots of snow above 11000 feet. Picture below is just before the Mt Yale Trail cuts off to the right.
Posted By: dennywitte
Info: Access to the standard route for Mt Yale from the Denny Creek TH is now available again. According to

Where does the closure start and end?
The Cottonwood Pass road is closed from the Denny Creek Trailhead parking lot (Chaffee County side) to the intersection of CR 209 and CR 742 (Gunnison County side).

Access from Buena Vista will be open to the Cottonwood Lake area, Avalanche Trailhead Parking Lot, Denny Creek Trailhead parking lot, and businesses along Chaffee County Road 306. When work is occurring, traffic may experience delays up to 20 minutes.
Posted By: CheapCigarMan
Info: From the Federal Highway’s website:

"Cottonwood Pass will remain closed the rest of 2018. The road will be open to traffic next year, on or around Memorial Day Weekend."
Posted By: Cygnus X1
Info: Denny Creek trailhead is still closed. Road is closed for construction right after Avalanche trailhead.
Posted By: cshaw9193
Info: Road to Denny still closed at the Avalanche trailhead - ended up taking that route instead. Longer and harder but beautiful!
Posted By: sawyervillers
Info: Road to Denny Creek is closed. However...I saw several hikers going up from Avalanche to camp and climb Yale the normal route. About a 60 minute walk from Avalanche, but no shade. YMMV
Posted By: scottda
Info: Cottonwood Pass/CR306 will be CLOSED at the Avalanche Gulch TH beginning Monday June 18, 2018.
Posted By: scottda
Info: Latest Press Release. Denny Creek TH is still OPEN until further notice.
Posted By: Tlorbets
Info: Open until 6-11-18
Posted By: scottda
Posted By: Rwright1953
Posted By: scottda
Info: The latest information, hot off the press. See image for press release details.
Posted By: pbarn
Info: Phoned Salida Ranger today and was informed that Denny Creek is now closed. Mt Yale is still accessible by Avalanche.
Posted By: scottda
Info: CR 306 is currently open to Denny Creek TH at this time. See notice in attached photo for most recent update from the contractors on the project.
Posted By: dahatchh
Info: Was still open with no construction at this point! Fully accessable
Posted By: brai2587
Posted By: sdicenso

Attention visitors- due to a Federal Highways Administration DOT closure, the Denny Creek trailhead on Cottonwood Pass in the #SalidaRD will be closed this 2018 season. Visitors hoping to climb to the peak of #MtYale may want to consider postponing their ascent until 2019. The Avalanche Creek Trailhead access is not a recommended trail due to the length of exposure along the ridgeline, technical sections, and absence of a constructed trail. Use of this route will cause resource damage in the fragile alpine environment.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Cottonwood Pass project and closure may visit the Cottonwood Pass Overview page at
Posted By: little_castaldo
Info: I emailed someone in the Chaffee County office, and he said the Denny Creek Trailhead should be open this weekend (3/31) and next weekend (4/7). The contract has not be awarded yet, and no construction schedule has been released.
Posted By: gmb12
Info: The Federal Highway Administration will be closing Cottonwood Pass in 2018 from the winter gates just west of the Avalanche Trailhead Parking Area to the summit for construction. Access to the Denny Creek Trailhead will not be possible in 2018.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Open, dry.

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