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Cottonwood Narrows

Cottonwood NarrowsDescription: An easy hike in a narrow Navajo Sandstone canyon.

Type of Trip: Suitable for day hiking. Not recommended for horses.

Mileage: One-way mileage through the canyon from the upper trail head to the lower trail head is 1.5 miles. Those wishing to do a loop can return along the road for a total of 2.5 miles round trip.

Trailhead Location: The upper trail head (unmarked) is along Road 400 (Cottonwood), 3.7 miles south of the turn-off to Grosvenor Arch. As you near the trail head, the road enters the narrower confines of Cottonwood Canyon. The trailhead is located at the bottom of a steep grade in a small valley of dramatic red and white rocky outcrops. There is a small pullout on the east (left) side of the road. Immediately across the road you will see a network of footpaths leading into the narrows. 

The lower trail head (unmarked) is 1.0 miles south of the upper trail head along Road 400 (Cottonwood). Parking for this trail head is on the west (right) side of the road, just before Cottonwood Creek emerges from the narrows and begins to run alongside the road. A register box is located approximately 50 yards west of the parking area.

Water Availability/Hiking in Water: This is a dry hike. Hikers must carry adequate water.

Obstacles/Technical Features: From the upper trail head there is a scramble and drop of 5-10 feet to access the narrows. This scramble/drop can be avoided by taking one of two easier descents just upstream. At the lower end of the narrows, you must make a relatively easy climb over a rock fall.

Safety Concerns: Hikers must be cautious if hiking here during flash flood season.

Maps: USGS 7.5 minute quad: Butler Valley

Cottonwood Narrows


Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument


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