Never trust your GPS
Escalante Travel Blog› entry 25 of 56 › view all entries
May 2nd, 2006 – by: mahoney
The unpaved Cottonwood Canyon Road is a cross-country route, starting just past Kodachrome Basin State Park and ending near milepost 18 US 89. Some sections of the road are rather steep and narrow, with overhanging rocks, although 2WD cars usually can make the 47 mile journey, for a few hours after heavy rains the route may be impassable even by 4WD vehicles. The surrounding land has much of interest to explore; slot canyons, arches, springs and endless colorful, eroded rocky scenery.
The most exhilarating drive I have ever had in my life! During the entire trip, you have limited visibility of the road ahead of you. You never know what might be coming around the corner, and most of the road is one lane.
The GPS mapped it perfectly, I still can't believe it led me down this road. If you do not have a 4WD vehicle, I would not attempt it, even if you might make it all the way through, you will surely damage your undercarriage. I bottomed out my SUV several times (sorry Hertz!).
I came across a road leading to the left that said Grosvenor Arch. If I made it this far, might as well check out the sights. I couldn't believe that there were other people at this arch. 2 were on ATVs and the other vehicle was an SUV with 2 people from Washington, DC.
I continued on my way, ever watching for the free ranging cattle that tend to stand in the middle of the roads. The scenery was beautiful, and ever changing. From desert to high, steep hills and cliffs and a river bed.
At one point, I had to ford a river, based on tire marks that preceded me, I chose the crossing on the right, the SUV went across fine, but still bottomed out.
After 47 miles, I could see the highway and stopped for a minute to catch my breath and check the vehicle for any damage. Nothing noticeable, at least I'll get my deposit back!
Not the best route my GPS could have taken me, but sure glad it allowed me experience what the wagon trains must have gone through in the past.
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