In Brief: Cottonwood Pass opens; Harvey Gap Road closed below dam for a day; River Float and Festival returns |

In Brief: Cottonwood Pass opens; Harvey Gap Road closed below dam for a day; River Float and Festival returns

Cottonwood Pass opens Monday

Cottonwood Pass — which runs from Gypsum to the Roaring Fork Valley — opened Monday and will remain open through the fall, conditions permitting. 

Transportation officials urged Cottonwood Pass drivers to use caution when driving this road, saying traffic and weather can have a significant impact on road conditions, and portions of the road are not paved, along with many sharp turns and steep drop-offs. 

Regulations prohibit travel on portions of Cottonwood Pass for oversized vehicles without a permit. Any vehicle that exceeds 8 feet 6 inches in width, 14 feet 6 inches in height and 35 feet in length will require a permit to travel over Cottonwood Pass. 

An announcement will be made when Cottonwood Pass closes in the fall. For more information, call the Eagle County Road & Bridge Department, 970-328-3540 or email

Community River Float and Festival returns after hiatus

Roaring Fork Conservancy has longed believed that the best way to learn about the river, is on the river. That’s why conservancy officials said they are excited to resurrect the 16th annual Community River Float and Festival on Saturday, June 10, after a several year hiatus.

Participants will spend the morning with conservancy staff and river ambassadors as they float the lower Roaring Fork River. After the float, the conservancy will bring everyone back to Coryell Ranch for lunch catered by Slow Groovin BBQ, music, and the opportunity to try stand-up paddle boarding and fly casting, conservancy officials said.

This event is being sponsored by the city of Aspen.

Costs: Float and BBQ lunch $80; BBQ lunch only (12 and older) $30; BBQ lunch only (11 year old and under) free. RFC members get a 10% discount. Registration closes Thursday, June 1, at

For more information call Roaring Fork Conservancy at 927-1290 or visit 

Roadwork closes Harvey Gap Road below dam on Tuesday

County Road 237 — also called Harvey Gap Road — will be closed Tuesday in both directions at about one mile below the dam due to roadwork, a Garfield County alert states.

The dam is on the south side of Grass Valley Reservoir at Harvey Gap State Park. The closure is slated for 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

State 237 Harvey Gap Road is closed one mile below the dam in both directions due to roadwork. The closure will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 16th 2023

Springfest returns to Strang Ranch on Saturday

Aspen Valley Land Trust is hosting its annual Springfest celebration at Strang Ranch on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year’s community picnic will feature familiar ranching demonstrations, children’s activities, and live music, as well as new vendors and partners at this fully bilingual event. It is also an opportunity for a sneak peek of the National Sheepdog Finals returning to Strang Ranch this fall.

“This event is a community favorite and we are excited to highlight how extraordinary Strang Ranch and this region’s Western heritage are as well as introduce new elements to make this a more welcoming and inclusive event,” said Carly Bolliger, communication and engagement director for the land trust.

Also returning to Strang Ranch are the U.S. National Border Collie Handlers’ Association National Sheepdog Finals on Sept. 27 to Oct. 1. Previously hosting in 2016 and 2019, Strang Ranch is well-suited to host handlers and dogs from all over North America for the multi-day competition. Guests of Springfest will get a sneak peek of this action as Bridget Strang showcases the Strang Ranch sheep herding and handling skills at the event.

In addition to the sheepdog demos, this year’s event will feature live music by Bubbly Water Band, local eats from Taqueria el Yaqui, Pony Club horseback riding demos, Canine Country School agility demos, sensory work with Smiling Goat Ranch, and activities through Farm Collaborative and Carbondale Arts.

Spanish interpretation will be provided as well as complimentary shuttles available from the town of Carbondale community lot across from the police station from 10:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Coolers, chairs, and blankets are welcome, but dogs will not be permitted.

The Strang family has owned and operated the Missouri Heights ranch since 1965, and conserved their land through the land trust in 2003. The family has been deeply involved in the ranching, equestrian, and conservation community for decades.

“Thirty years ago, our family decided that we wanted this ranch to always be a working ranch. We wanted to make sure that ranching had a future in this valley,” Scott Strang said. “We are so grateful for Aspen Valley Land Trust for partnering with us to allow us to pursue this vision for the future.”

Springfest tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for kids 12 and under, and free for kids 2 and under. Tickets can be purchased at For special accommodations or questions, contact Carly Bolliger at or (970) 963-8440.


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