Cottonwood Canyon Road
Cottonwood Canyon Road (Route 400) is an unpaved road made of clay and sand, which can be dangerous if it has rained or snowed because it can be iced or flooded, or you can get your car stuck in the mud. It is very important to ensure the road is safe before venturing into it because it can leave you trapped even on a sunny and apparently “safe” day.
During winter, some areas in the shade can remain covered with snow and ice for a while, maybe even for weeks. Also, some areas with mud can remain wet even if it has not rained for several days.
The greatest danger, in my experience, was that in the 47 miles, we only met a single car. So, if you need help, it will be very difficult to get it. There is no cell phone or internet service and the GPS does not work.
Now, let’s go to the good part. My first impression was that I had traveled to another world. Driving on a dirt road made me remember my adventures in Colombia, where this type of road is still common among the most remote areas. Leaving civilization and comfort is sometimes very exciting too.
This small canyon, which in summer must have green trees and flowering vegetation, in winter is absolutely barren. But perhaps for this same reason, the rocks’ beautiful colors and the mountains surrounding them stand out much more.
I started my journey from Kanab east on US Hwy 89 and then took the detour north to Cottonwood Canyon, route 400, between mile markers 17 and 18.
At the end of the road, there is a detour to the right for the Grovesnor Arch. If you drive a few more miles, you will find the beautiful Kodachrome Basin State Park and then Bryce Canyon National Park.
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