Cottonwood Wash is a 6.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Hanksville, Utah that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

6.4 miles
1,207 feet
Out & Back



nature trips

rock climbing






no dogs

Accessed from the Notom-Bullfrog Road, which is paved south of HWY 24 until just past Cottonwood Wash. The unpaved portion is usually passable to passenger cars. Route begins where the road crosses the wash, and is marked with signs. At Cottonwood Wash, there is a parking/dispersed camping area adjacent to the road, and a designated motorized route extends a short distance up the wash (high-clearance vehicles only). The first few miles of each route cross Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands along sandy wash bottoms surrounded by low hills. Livestock may be present in open range outside the park boundary. Contact the visitor center for current road conditions.

7 months ago

Cottonwood Wash - maybe Cottonwood Slot Canyon would be a better name. A Ranger at Capitol Reef told us about this amazing hike.
I am a little unsure of where the start of this trail is. At the Visitor Center, we were told to park right off Notom Road where there is a small sign for Cottonwood Wash and an unpaved parking lot & that it would be about a mile in before you hit the slot canyon. We started off walking from there down the Designated Route (for off road vehicles). When we were about 1/3 of a mile down the road, the pick-up truck who came in right after us came driving down the road. I decided to go back & drive my (4 wheel drive) truck. As I am not an experienced off-road driver, I went as far as I felt comfortable, which was about a mile & I parked on the side of the dirt road. It was still at least 1/3 of a mile down the road before the road ends & just the regular wash begins, and then maybe another mile after that before you actually get into the slot part of the hike. Then- it is sooo good. You will need to be a bit agile to climb your way through. It was the first hike ever that my 9 & 11 year old kids were having an easier (and more fun) of a time then I was. We went in as far as we could until you hit a wall that requires technical climbing & ropes. Even with cutting off about a mile of the dirt road, All Trails tracked us around 6 miles (and my Garmin at 6.2), but being in a Canyon, the tracking is off. We spent almost 4 1/2 hours hiking/climbing/scampering about.

9 months ago

Amazing rock formations, highly recommended

1 month ago

4 months ago

6 months ago

Saturday, August 26, 2017