Photos of Cottonwood Wash

6.4 miles
1,207 feet
Out & Back



nature trips

rock climbing






no dogs

9 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.