This 28-mile route detours bikers around the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area. The route begins on Clear Creek Road and ends west of Buena Vista on Cottonwood Pass Road. This detour follows Highway 24 for a short distance along the Arkansas River. This stretch of road may be busy with vehicles traveling at high speeds.
The detour diverges from the Colorado Trail at the beginning of Segment 12 on Clear Creek Road south of Granite, Colorado. Instead of heading south on the Colorado Trail, bikers should pedal east on Clear Creek Road, County Road 390, 3 miles to Highway 24. Turn right (south) on Highway 24, traveling toward Buena Vista.
Proceed 6 miles south on Highway 24 to County Road 371 on the eastern side of the highway. Cross 24 and follow 371 across the Arkansas River. This route is the old railroad grade of the Colorado Midland that traveled from Buena Vista to Leadville. Follow 371 south approximately 11 miles to Buena Vista.
The main street in Buena Vista is County Road 306 or Cottonwood Pass. Turn right on 306 and travel west through town and the traffic light into the mountains. From the intersection of 306 and Highway 24 ride approximately 9.25 miles to the Avalanche Creek Trailhead. Across Cottonwood Pass from this trailhead is where mountain bikers can pick up the trail again.
Directions from Buena Vista: Clear Creek Access: Travel north on Highway 24 to Clear Creek Road, County Road 390. Turn left on to Clear Creek Road and drive 3 miles to a parking area on the north side of the road. The trail begins on the south side of the road and the bike detour follows Clear Creek Road to Highway 24.
Directions from Buena Vista: Avalanch Trailhead Access: Travel west on County Road 306 (Cottonwood Pass) from Buena Vista. Drive approximately 9.25 miles to Avalanche Trailhead. The trail resumes on the southern side of the road.
April through October .