Cottonwood Wash is one of several slot canyons running through the huge white Navajo sandstone peaks that make up the highest parts of Capitol Reef, and like the others, it is relatively short but in places very deep. The narrowest passages are interrupted at intervals by dryfalls and pools, and such obstacles eventually block access from the lower end on BLM land, though Cottonwood can also be entered from the top on NPS lands, albeit after a longish drive on a 4WD track along the inside of the reef, though again only a short distance is easily followed before the stream encounters a 40 foot drop. Most people just explore the lower end, which is easily accessible from the paved Notom-Bullfrog Road. There is a good camping/parking area under a cottonwood tree on the west side of the road
The wash is the second of three narrow canyons to have a marked trailhead along the paved section of the Notom-Bullfrog Road, and is reached after an 8 mile drive south from its junction with UT 24.
For more information, please contact:
Henry Mountains Field Station
380 South 100 West
Hanksville, Utah 84734