North Cottonwood Canyon Road, Utah

April 23 & 24, 2017 – This is a continuation of my winter travels in 2016/2017

In my previous post about my winter travels I hiked up Yellow Rock along Cottonwood Canyon Road, in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, and that night I camped right by the trail head. As the end of the day drew near, all other vehicles left and I had the place to myself. The pictures above show you my boondocking spot for the night. When full dark was on, the stars were truly incredible. I spent most of my time inside the van, reading and trying to decide where to go next. Outside the wind blew and threw dust up at my van, it wasn’t a night for a campfire.

Cottonwood Canyon Road is a geological smorgasbord, this section is called The Cockscomb and you can see why, and this section of road is built on bentonite clay (I talk about bentonite clay in some of my other posts), avoid it like the plague if it’s wet. The hogbacks on the Cockscomb are made up of Dakota Sandstone, and the base of the valley is Tropic Shale.

I went for a walk up the Cottonwood Narrows and tried out the InReach device I’m testing out for Bob Wells of, but down here in this canyon, I couldn’t get a signal. I’ll be doing a YouTube video on this soon, so sign up for my YouTube Channel so you don’t miss it.

Cottonwood Narrows Trail Head is about 25.2 miles north of Hwy 89. You can hike up it to where it basically ends in a very narrow section and exit it there and walk the road back to your vehicle. If you leave the canyon at this point, you’ll come out at The Squeeze (see below). I hitched a ride back down the road to where my car was parked.

This section (see the image below) is called The Squeeze, at about 25.1 miles north of Hwy 89. It’s incredibly beautiful if you’re into raw, untamed, stark, remote and fascinating terrain.

At about 28.9 miles north of Hwy 89 I turned right onto road 440 and went to Grosvenor Arch.

The lower part of Grosvenor Arch is made up of Jurassic Henrieville Formation and the upper part is Cretaceous Dakota formation. The colors are washed out in this image because it was a very cloudy day and I thought it might rain. I returned to Cottonwood Canyon Road and continued on it for another 9.4 miles to the paved road which begins near the entrance to Kodachrome Basin State Park. This section of road is very narrow and windy in spots, and steep, and there is a wash that one has to cross with flash flood potential. Most vehicles can make it though if it’s not too deep

Eventually, the road comes out at Cannonville, then I headed east towards Henrieville, and then Escalante. I found a boondocking spot just off Hwy 12 on BLM lands.

It was time to stock up on food, water and do some emails, so I spent a day in the small town of Escalante before heading out again.

I hope you have enjoyed this installment of my travels during the winter of 2016/2017, and hope you’ll continue the journey with me. Please visit the HOME page to find more articles, and feel free to share, sign up and leave a comment. Also please visit my YouTube Channel. Until next time…remember to step outside of your comfort zone as often as possible and watch it grow.

Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature


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