Cottonwood Canyon Road
ElevationAscent: 1,368' 417 m
Descent: -18' -6 m
High: 1,347' 410 m
Low: -18' -5 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 6% (3°)
Popular runs nearby
Mosaic Canyon Trail
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Salt Creek Interpretive Trail
0.8 mi 1.3 km • Out and Back • 32 ft Ascent 9.79 m Ascent
Cottonwood/Marble Canyon Loop
26.8 mi 43.1 km • Loop • 4,032 ft Ascent 1229.03 m Ascent
Wildrose Peak Trail
8.3 mi 13.4 km • Loop • 2,283 ft Ascent 695.79 m Ascent
Red Cathedral Out-and-Back
2.9 mi 4.7 km • Out and Back • 522 ft Ascent 159.18 m Ascent
Desolation Canyon Trail
3.7 mi 6.0 km • Out and Back • 777 ft Ascent 236.76 m Ascent
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“Dirt road very susceptible to washouts after precipitation events; see how far your car can make it.”— Mikhaila Redovian
If somewhat capable, most vehicles can make it almost to the start of the Cottonwood/Marble Canyon Loop. From there, the road becomes less road, and more wash. The "road" officially stops at a Wilderness Restoration area, so regardless of your vehicular abilities, you'll have to hoof it from there.
It is improbable that you'd see vehicle traffic on the final portion of Cottonwood Canyon Road. ATV's are most likely the only vehicles that would be able to traverse the sandy, boulder-strewn path. If you're traveling on foot however, the way is quite negotiable. This portion of the road is well defined and easy to follow. You'll be moving on a gentle incline, but the slope is generally tame and gentle. Any obstacles in your way will be easily navigable, and the sandy trail surface may be the only real stumbling block.
Need to Know
Drink plenty of water: Drink at least one gallon (4 liters) of water per day to replace loss from sweat, more if you are active. Fluid and electrolyte levels must be balanced, so have salty foods or "sports drinks" too.
Avoid hiking in the heat: Do not hike in the low elevations when temperatures are hot. The mountains are cooler in summer, but can have snow and ice in winter.
Travel prepared to survive: Stay on paved roads in summer. If your car breaks down, stay with it until help comes. Carry extra drinking water in your car in case of emergency.
Watch for signs of trouble: If you feel dizzy, nauseous, or a headache, get out of the sun immediately and drink water or sports drinks. Dampen clothing to lower body temperature. Be alert for symptoms in others.
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Land Manager: NPS - Death Valley National Park