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Cottonwood Wash

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Cottonwood Wash Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 4,842'
Location: 39.08097, -110.43611 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,410
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Light .50 on Mar 9, 2014
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The view from P2 on "Desert Mishap"... L...


Beautiful and remote this canyon is very secluded. A hidden gem in the Northern San Rafael Swell, often overlooked. Cottonwood Wash is scattered with a few climbs throughout. The large expanse of walls gives you an idea just how beautiful and remote this region is. The Rock is good quality Sandstone. Several routes have some exciting starts on loose sandstone but, quickly leads to solid rock.

Pack plenty of drinking water, sunscreen, and other necessities, because there is nothing near here for miles. You may find a spring for drinking purposes but, generally it’s not the best quality. And, always practice good LNT in the backcountry.

Getting There 

Along Highway 6 there is an electrical substation between mile post marker 284 and 285. Turn left or right depending on what direction you are coming from. Be advised this is a high clearance road. Drive approximately 2.5 miles and veer right at the intersection. Smith’s Cabin is the next point you will reach at approximately 6 miles, turn right before you reach the cabin. Continue along for 9.8 miles and you should see Cottonwood Wash on the left. A good clue your on Cottonwood Wash Road are power lines. You should be parallel to them as you travel. Depending on the time of season there will be a good amount of water near the mouth.

Make your way west up Cottonwood Wash. It’s rather easy travel although, be prepared to trudge through some sand.

The furthest climb is two miles up Cottonwood Wash. The climbing is all traditional and requires a diverse rack. As you make-way up Cottonwood Wash it’s a good idea to have a map (Mexican Mountain Quadrangle) and one clue, hug the right side of the canyon walls where possible if you find yourself confused. This will help avoid costly time hiking up washes that lead to no were. Michael R. Kelsey gives a great account of navigating Cottonwood Wash in his book "Hiking and Exploring Utah’s San Rafael Swell".

Climbing Season

For the San Rafael Swell - North area.

Weather station 13.6 miles from here

4 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Cottonwood Wash

Donkey Humped 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b  Utah : San Rafael Swell : ... : Cottonwood Wash
The route follows a crack system on Navajo Sandstone. The route starts with a bolt for protection. A few face moves will lead to a thin crack that differs in consistency. Sections of bullet hard stone tolerate bomber protection, leading to stone where the protection is questionable. The route in its entirety is very fun!...[more]   Browse More Classics in Utah

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