Cottonwood Canyon Road, Grand Staircase, Utah

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Cottonwood Canyon Road

The scenic Cottonwood Canyon Road runs northwards from Hwy 89, just outside Paria Canyon, through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Kodachrome Basin to Cannonville on Hwy 12, a few miles east of Bryce Canyon National Park.

  • Cottonwood Canyon Road runs for 46 scenic miles following Cottonwood Creek
  • Allow 2 hours for the journey on this dirt and gravel road and longer if stops are made
  • High clearance vehicles are recommended, although cars may navigate the route with care
  • The road is only driveable in dry weather 
  • The route includes access to Grosvenor Arch and the Narrows

Overview

This lovely drive runs through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Kodachrome Basin State Park which are known for their colorful rock features. 25 miles north of Hwy 89 are the Narrows, a popular area to hike to. Five miles further north is the turnoff to magnificent Grosvenor Arch, a spectacular photographic opportunity. The road finally veers west through Kodachrome Basin.

Driving Directions

The turnoff from Hwy 89, about 4 miles east of the Paria River is easy to miss – watch carefully for the sign. Cottonwood Canyon Road is a dirt and gravel road which roughly follows the Cottonwood Creek northwards to Cannonville on Hwy 12.

Passenger vehicles should travel slowly and carefully; high clearance vehicles find the road easier. The road is only navigable in dry weather.

Time/Distance

Driving time is 2 hours to cover the 46 miles but if you plan to stop at the Narrows and Grosvenor Arch the trip will take most of the day.

Highlights

  • Make a stop at the Narrows, a popular hike in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  • 30 miles north of Hwy 89 take the turnoff to magnificent Grosvenor Arch, a spectacular photographic opportunity
  • The final stretch of the Cottonwood Canyon Road runs through the spectacular colorful rocks of Kodachrome Basin

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