This trail is marked as fat bike only, since during the summer Cottonwood Pass is a paved road (at least, on the eastern side), and we don't list paved roads that are open to vehicles on Singletracks. But if you're into road riding, this would be a great summer skinny tire ride!
When the snow starts flying, though, it's a totally different story. The road is only partially plowed during the winter, and about 7 miles shy of the top of the pass there's a gate, and winter maintenance ends. At least, maintenance for cars ends: this place is a snowmobiling hot spot, and the Buena Vista snowmobile club grooms and maintains the upper snowy section of the road during the winter months. This makes Cottonwood Pass a perfect spot to fat bike!
As mentioned above, the fat bikeable snow section climbs for about 7 miles to the top of Cottonwood Pass (making for an approx. 14-mile out-and-back), topping out at an elevation of almost 12,200 feet!
If want to pedal high into the mountains during the middle of winter, grab your fat bike and head to Cottonwood Pass!