Cottonwood Pass Scenic Drive: Buena Vista to Altmont

EASY 6 reviews
#28 of 90 trails in

Cottonwood Pass Scenic Drive: Buena Vista to Altmont is a 57.9 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Buena Vista, Colorado that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for scenic driving and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

57.9 miles
5,265 feet
Point to Point

dogs on leash

kid friendly

scenic driving


The Buena Vista half of the pass is paved, while the Almont side is a dirt road, both fine for 2WD cars. Drive closed in winter for snow.

road biking
Monday, September 11, 2017

Great bike ride but no guard rails!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

We drove up to Cottonwood Pass and found stunning views! We were disappointment to not be able to continue down the western side but the road improvements will be nice. Not marked is the trail to Lost Lake. Just below the Pass on the east side there is a small parking area. On the opposite side of the road is the trail head. The trek is about 1 miles with a few elevations changes but worth it! Crossing the streams may require some wet feet but the lake and views are still worth it! Take some water, lunch and maybe a fly fishing rod because you will want to soak up your time at Lost Lake.

scenic driving
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Took this drive recently as far as the pass from BV. The west side was closed due to upcoming road work. Great views at the top, and there was still lots of snow on the pass. Nice drive up the canyon too. I'll return some day to go all the way over to the other side.

scenic driving
Sunday, October 06, 2013

Have done this drive twice, once as a kid with my family. Most recently in 2011 when in Gunnison area when area with boy scouts. beautiful country. Area is definately a destination.

scenic driving
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

This drive has it all: beautiful forrest, river, canyon, wildlife and the mountains. I loved it.

Saturday, October 21, 2017