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Cottonwood Canyon Road - logistics Question
  
 
msoomro
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Cottonwood Canyon Road - logistics Question


Planing to drive this road in Feb/March time frame next year. Have some questions i need help with

Can the road be driven in a rented medium SUV with standard clearance and tires?

In Feb/March time should i be concerned about rain and road becoming impassable.

Logistics wise, what should i plan to carry. ( i normally carry water and food for a day or two when in back country). Anything else?

Can one camp on that stretch?

Thanks
msoomro



Oct 23, 2017 at 06:06 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Cottonwood Canyon Road - logistics Question


Are you asking about Cottonwood road in the GSENM region in lower Utah?

It isn't that bad of a road and your rental SUV should be fine in good conditions. Any time it rains you should be concerned about the traction issues, especially in some areas. Dry or nearly so the road is an easy drive.

I'd carry whatever you usually carry into such places. (I've been there a few times.)

Dan

Edited on Oct 24, 2017 at 05:51 AM · View previous versions



Oct 23, 2017 at 08:25 PM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Cottonwood Canyon Road - logistics Question


msoomro wrote:
Planing to drive this road in Feb/March time frame next year. Have some questions i need help with

Can the road be driven in a rented medium SUV with standard clearance and tires?

In Feb/March time should i be concerned about rain and road becoming impassable.

Logistics wise, what should i plan to carry. ( i normally carry water and food for a day or two when in back country). Anything else?

Can one camp on that stretch?

Thanks
msoomro


Most passenger cars can easily navigate the road ..... when it's in good shape! Maintenance is sporadic, and the actual road conditions can vary wildly.

In Feb / March, the road may well be closed, or so rough that you'd want to avoid it. I'd offer 50:50 odds that it will be passable.

I'd bring far more water. The radiator may spring a slow leak, you may be stranded for a few days, etc. IMO, 5 gallons at a minimum. Tell someone where you're going and when you'll return!

Check the weather before heading off into the Great Empty. Stay the hell off the road if rain is is predicted; the surface turns to goo when well watered. There should be forecasts and road reports at the Kanab, Big Water, Pariah, and Cannonville BLM offices. On-line road conditions: https://www.nps.gov/glca/learn/news/road-conditions.htm

Places to read up on:
Yellow Rock, Hackberry Canyon, Cottonwood Narrows, Round Valley Draw, Grosvenor Arch (hike around the back side, to a viewpoint neat the top.)

If Skutumpah Rd is also in good shape (less likely, but possible), Willis Creek and the rugged Bull Valley Gorge are wonderfully photogenic destinations. BVG is not usually 'technical' but is rocky rough, and remote, and would be a bad place to suffer a broken leg.

Camping along Cottonwood is fine, so long as you use pre-existing sites. There's also a site at the Willis Creek trailhead. Lows will vary from low/mid-20s near Kodachrome Basin, to ~30 at the southern end of CCR. https://wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ut4755



Oct 24, 2017 at 12:51 AM
msoomro
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Cottonwood Canyon Road - logistics Question


@Dan and Greg Thanks for inputs. very helpful checkpoints and recommendations

@Greg. Since March may be a bit early to go. What might be preferred months to plan for, for good light ? I guess monsoon in that area is June thru Sept? Is that correct?

Would a stock SUV qualify when a High Clearnece Vehicle is required?







Oct 24, 2017 at 02:47 AM
 

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gdanmitchell
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Cottonwood Canyon Road - logistics Question


msoomro wrote:
@Dan@ and Greg Thanks for inputs. very helpful checkpoints and recommendations

@Greg. Since March may be a bit early to go. What might be preferred months to plan for, for good light ? I guess monsoon in that area is June thru Sept? Is that correct?

Would a stock SUV qualify when a High Clearnece Vehicle is required?


I've been over it in a Toyota Highlander and a 4Runner. I'm sure it would be easy in a Subaru Outback.



Oct 24, 2017 at 05:52 AM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Cottonwood Canyon Road - logistics Question


I'd call one of the BLM offices and ask "what are the odds?"
Even in the dead of winter it's entirely possible to get a run of several clear weeks that allow for the road to dry and be patched up. (Whether or not the road work actually gets done is another question.)

FWIW, my experiences, driving an Accord:
November - A few small mud puddles, but passable. (A few days earlier, it might have been a soggy mess)
Feb - road closed due to land slide
Early April OK. I think this was the trip where the road was very washboarded and had quite a few modest ruts to drive carefully around.
Memorial Day (2x) - fine both times.
Late June? Fine.

Note that the BLM folks tend to over-state any road damage and difficulty. On several occasions I've stopped to ask and have been told, "It's open, but very rough. Not recommended!" But when I tell them I've driven it several times, they tend to backtrack and say, "Yea, you'll probably be fine." They REALLY don't want completely unprepared tourists, likely following some GPS map, to wander in and find themselves out of their element to the point that they require rescue.

IMO, their 'High Clearance Recommended' standard is fairly conservative. If you can drive around the bumps and crevasses, you can usually get through. When they start talking about 'HC Required,' I'd pay attention. The good thing with rough areas is that you can always turn around. OTOH, any mention of mud or sand must be taken seriously. Both can appear in abundance and get you stuck in a hurry.



Oct 24, 2017 at 06:02 AM
msoomro
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Cottonwood Canyon Road - logistics Question


@Thanks Greg. I will either have stock SUV or my own Sequoia. If I take my sequoia, i am more equipped and carry a basic traction mat in car for sand/snow.

Similar to this:
https://www.amazon.com/MAXSA-Foldable-Traction-Extraction-20025/dp/B000H0PANU/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1508844717&sr=8-9&keywords=traction+sand



Oct 24, 2017 at 11:33 AM







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