: Cottonwood Road (#400) is a scenic 40-mile dirt road in Kane County, Utah.
The north-south direction road connects U.S. Route 89 to South Kodachrome Road
(near the town of Cannonville on hwy 12) at Grand Staircase-Escalante National
This well maintained all-vehicle dirt road (when it is not wet) that cut
through Grand Staircase-Escalante and pass along the major Cockscomb mountain
fold in this harsh remote desert land.
are few attractions to visit along the road and it is interesting way to cross
from hwy 89 to hwy 12 north or south. You can drive it in 3 hr without a stop
but plan for a day trip stopping at some of the nice canyon and arches
attractions along the way.
All year, when it dry it is good condition to all-vehicles, not recommended when
it is wet or after heavy rain.
note 1: The road is well maintained and without many bumps but after rain it become
muddy and not doable in some places, so it is not recommended to do this drive when
it is not dry (consult at BLM Kanab offices).
note 2: Bring enough fuel and water for the ride.
thoughts: Instead of taking the long main road loop from Kanab to Bryce this is
another option to combine day drive + some nice hikes at canyons. If you are
going north bound it is highly recommend spending the night at Kodachrome State
Park just at the end of the road trail.
describe the road as I did it south to north (hwy 89 to hwy 12).
are “just” driving and enjoying the amazing desert landscape the road will take
you 2-3 hr’s depending on your speed (how comfortable is your vehicles at dirt
roads) and stops. This is relatively popular cross-country route through Grand
Staircase-Escalante so you will not be the only one traveling there but overall
it is not so crowded.
are using google map is good enough for this road navigation and directions (mainly
one road with no option to make navigation mistakes).
32 miles east on US-89 from Kanab, then turn left (north) onto Cottonwood Road
at a signpost between mile markers 17 and 18 (coming from Page you need to turn
6.4 miles will take you through the high ridge base and then you will get into
the Paria River valley.
River is unique by it has running water year round and it create a nice green stretch
of cottonwood in the desert landscape. The road is on the east side of the
river and after 11.85 miles (from hwy 89) you will reach the Paria Box Trail
Head on your left.
a nice 3 miles in and out hike (1.5 miles in each direction) along the Paria
river to the place it crosses the rocky ridge. Because the river has water (all
year) you will need to cross the running cold water many times in your hike. The
first mile is in the open riverbed and then it gets into the mountain section
where it is narrower but not real canyon. I walk for almost 2 miles and turn around
back to the car.
be aware of rain condition upstream and flashfloods, although here the river is
wide still need to be careful.
this is nice hike, but I must admit it is not highly recommended must do hike.
back to the car keep driving north and after 2.3 miles (14.5 miles from hwy 89)
you will reach Lower Hackberry Canyon parking lot on your left.
nice and recommended hike to do. In many places I saw it has some running water
at winter or spring, when I visited (end of Oct. 2020, end of a long summer) all
a great 3-4 miles hike (2 miles in and out) that get into Lower and most scenic
of Hackberry Canyon. From the Trail Head go west down a small sandy trail to
the streambed, follow the streambed north (right) and it will begin to curve
around to the west after about a quarter of a mile and will get you into the
Most of the trail is in deep riverbed send so the walk is slower than
usual. Once you are in the narrow canyon the rocky walls on both sides are
going up 60-100 feet apart (this is not slot canyon). There are many cottonwood
trees in the canyon and overall this is a nice hike.
~1.5 mile you can see a nice standing rock pillar in the cliffs just above the
I went into the canyon for about 1 hr (~2 miles), the trail keeps going but I tough
this was the interesting part, so I turned around and hiked back to my car.
for 2-3 hr hike with stops, bring enough water with you.
back to your car keep driving north on Cottonwood Road (#400) and after 10 more
miles (24.6 miles from hwy 89) you will reach Cottonwood Narrow South Trail
a nice, recommended 2 miles hike in the narrow canyon section of the cottonwood
river paving it way at the mountain ridge.
enter the canyon from both sides TH (south or north) and because this is in-and-out
hike (assume you do not want to walk the sun exposed road to go back to your
car) it is not so much important which direction you will do the trail.
simple easy hike in a nice canyon, the south section is more wide, sandy with vegetation
on the side and white color rocks. The north section of the hike it is paving
it way through red rock Navajo sandstone formation and get narrower in the
get additional ¼ mile hike if you keep going up the canyon when you have the
nice short side hike is after ¼ mile from the south TH turn left into white canyon
and after few hundred feet you will reach dead-end nice high waterfall.
to your car and from the south TH drive another 5 miles (29.5 miles from hwy
89) and you will reach Four Mile Bench road going to the right. Turn right and 1.3-mile
drive will take you to Grosvenor Arch parking.
short paved trail will take you to the footstep of Grosvenor Arch, combine two
sandstone arches towering 150 ft above the ground. You can walk right up under
the arches and look up into the sky.
very nice impressive arch that you shouldn’t miss if you are already in this
section of the Grand Staircase Escalante.
arch visit head back to the main road turn right (north) and keep going on the
main road that will take you to the west, after 9 miles from the junction you
will connect to the paved road, just at the entrance for the nice Kodachrome
off-road drive, highly recommended experience in the Grand Staircase Escalante desert.
be 3 hr drive-through if you are not doing any trail or one day exploration.