Avalanche Trailhead
Info

Location

Sawatch Range
38.81389° N, -106.28064° 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 Road 306 towards Cottonwood Pass. Drive about 9 miles on 306 to reach the trailhead on the right.

Winter Access

Open year-round.
Status Updates 
  
Posted By: hogantheepic
Info: Road is completely clear all the way to Denny Creek, summer trailhead for Avalanche Gulch Trailhead is open for business.
 
Posted By: spartan0512
Info: Trailhead was easy to find and to get to in my 2WD low clearance. You could see a giant avalanche slide had covered the road but had since been cleared.
 
Posted By: wintersage
Info: A week ago, Sheep Mountain (right before you take a left to enter the parking lot) slid and dumped a ton of snow onto the road CR 306. Luckily, both the road and the trailhead have since been plowed and there was no trouble accessing the lot or the trailhead. There was far less snow than the other two times I came up here; I was actually surprised that I could see the pavement!
 
Posted By: wintersage
Info: Road was snowy and icy on the county road that leads to the trailhead. Easy to get into the parking lot as it’s paved, and ample parking at the lot itself, but somewhat deep snow covers the parking spots. If you have enough clearance and momentum you won’t get stuck easily.
 
Posted By: wintersage
Info: Slight construction on 306 in the morning leading up to the trailhead, they only closed off one lane. The actual trailhead and parking lot were very accessible, some snow and ice on the ground and kind of unclear where you should park your car, but the road and lot are paved and flat. No trouble getting there.
 
Posted By: rosebudcassidy
Info: Drove in from Chicago --> Boulder (Sat/Sun/Mon) --> Buena Vista and decided to get a little more altitude in and do a dry run of a couple miles for timing purposes before attempting Mt Yale on 8/21 with my 18 year old son. After getting 2 miles up the Colorado Trail from the Avalanche Gulch TH we turned around and on the way down met up with a group of 6 coming up and they said they saw a bear just above the creeks. We weren’t too convinced, but my son had his GoPro-running and just before the last switchback on the way down we heard something. We thought hmmmm maybe airbrakes on a truck running down from cottonwood pass? It was around 6:30 PM - He had his GoPro running so I said guess we’ll review that sound when we get home and we became a lot more chatty i.e. noisy. We reviewed the video and it sure sounded like a bear. We still weren’t convinced - On 8/22 on the way down from a failed attempt just past the creeks and on the last straight section running due west to the parking lot there it was - bear tracks on the trail. So guess there was a bear wondering around them parts.

I haven’t been to Buena Vista since the early 90s and in all my years there I’d only ever seen bears around some of the camps in the area eating bike seats and garbage (and I was a guide in the area). Maybe this is normal for Avalanche gulch these days, but I was a tad surprised to see and hear the evidence (but never saw a bear). If this is useful you’re welcome - if this is a "well hello flatlander there are bears in them woods" the sorry

In other news the road is closed JUST before the entrance to the Avalanche Gulch parking lot (so you can get in) and the traffic in the PM is a tad annoying when you’re tired and just wanting to get to the hot springs, but before the sun is up there is NO traffic delay. This week it was only one lane when they were actually working on it during business hours.
 
Posted By: Kcmartinez22
Info: Clear and dry all the way to TH. Lot is completely clear. Trail is clear and dry, barring a few minor patches of ice/slushy snow, to 12,000.
 
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Dry and clear, LOTS of clear spaces to park.
 
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: Dry and clear to the trailhead and beyond up to Denny Creek Trailhead. Cottonwood Pass is still closed.
 
Posted By: ChuckH
Info: Dry and clear to the trailhead and beyond.
 
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Road is clear all the way, same with the TH parking lot.
 
Posted By: asarsam
Info: Dry! Cottonwood Pass Road and the parking lot for the trailhead.
 
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Clear and dry
 
Posted By: wincoder
Info: As usual the TH parking area was almost empty. Not a flake of snow in sight anywhere due to the 65F temp no doubt. TH is accessible by old ladies on bicycles.
 
Posted By: Jay521
Info: A plow came through the parking area and cleared a nice path. No problems at all getting to or parking at the Avalanche TH
 
Posted By: michaelgrundy
Info: No snow in the parking lot and the road is still open.
 
Posted By: markforseth26
Info: Drove in with no issues; parking lot covered in light snow. 2wd would get there fine.
 
Posted By: travis19877
Info: Very drivable. Completely paved.
 
Posted By: RoanMtnMan
Info: Still dry and paved.
 
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: This trailhead is open year round.
 



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