Cottonwood Pass, BLM routes closing for the winter |

Cottonwood Pass, BLM routes closing for the winter

Staff report

Cottonwood Pass is closed for the winter, Eagle County Road and Bridge Department said in a notice Wednesday.

Eagle County closed the road from mile marker 2.5 in Gypsum to mile marker 12.5.

“The road will reopen in April 2020 or when conditions allow,” the notice said.

The dirt and gravel route provides access between Missouri Heights and Gypsum when passable. Whenever Interstate 70 is closed in Glenwood Canyon, some navigation systems erroneously send motorists over Cottonwood Pass and then forces them to backtrack.

Elsewhere in the Roaring Fork Valley, the Bureau of Land Management announced numerous routes and properties will close for the winter starting Sunday to protect critical big-game winter range and prevent road damage.

Most roads in the seasonally closed areas are gated. The BLM has been installing more gates in the high-use Crown area as it implements a 2015 Travel Management Plan. The Prince Creek campgrounds in Pitkin County will also close.

For the first time this year, the closures include the 557-acre Sutey Ranch parcel in Garfield County. The recently acquired property is closed to all human entry and uses between Dec. 1 and April 15.

The following areas are closed to motorized and mechanized vehicles from Dec. 1 to April 15:

• Basalt Mountain (south portion)

• The Crown, except the mountain bike trails paralleling Prince Creek Road (southeast of Carbondale)

• Thompson Creek/Holgate Mesa (southwest of Carbondale)

• Fisher Creek-Cattle Creek (north of Carbondale)

• Light Hill (south of Basalt)

• Williams Hill (southeast of Basalt)

• North side of the Red Hill SRMA (north of Carbondale)

• Gate at Sutey Ranch parking area

• Boiler-East Elk Creek (north of New Castle )

• Dry Rifle Creek (east of Rifle Gap Reservoir)

• East Eagle-Bellyache Ridge except Red Neck Ridge and Boneyard mountain bike trails paralleling County Road 21 (east of Eagle)

• Flatiron Mesa (south of Rifle)

• Red Canyon-Hells Pocket-Bocco Mountain (north of I-70 and south of Castle Peak)

• West Rifle Creek (west of Rifle Gap Reservoir)