Rock slide detour: Cottonwood Pass not an option |

Rock slide detour: Cottonwood Pass not an option

EAGLE COUNTY – The rock slide that has closed Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon has generated several requests that Eagle County open Cottonwood Pass to through traffic.

While Cottonwood Pass appears as a route on local maps, the gravel road is not maintained for winter travel.

According to Brad Higgins, Eagle County Road and Bridge director, Cottonwood Pass, which connects Gypsum to Cattle Creek south of Glenwood Springs, is closed each winter from the end of November until mid-April.

“Cottonwood Pass has never been maintained in the winter, nor is it designed to handle a high volume of vehicles, so to simply open it to traffic is not an option,” Higgins said. “Ice and snow accumulate on the sides of the road and create large ruts, making it impassable for regular passenger vehicles or tractor-trailers, as well as making it too narrow for two-way traffic.”

According to CDOT’s traveler website, the recommended detour from the east is from Wolcott to Steamboat Springs via U.S. Hwy. 131, then to Craig via U.S. Hwy 40, then on state Highway 13 through Meeker and Rifle, back to I-70. Motorists should anticipate 4.5 hours from Wolcott to Rifle in good weather.

For more information the status of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon, as well as statewide road conditions, visit CDOT at

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