April 18 – Day 9: Visits to Bryce Cannon and Zion National Parks are on the itinerary but after asking Mr. Google what else there is to do here in Kanab, we decide to drive Cottonwood Canyon Road. It’s 47 miles of “unimproved” road full of ups, downs, and switchbacks in the Paria River Valley desert.
Cottonwood Canyon Road is located in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The Monument is not a National Park. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Management whose mission is “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.” They are also dog friendly!
The drive was amazing, don’t you think?
There is a trailhead that lies 25 miles up Cottonwood Canyon road called the Cottonwood Wash Narrow. It’s 1.5 miles of impressive rock formations and towering Navajo sandstone walls, a great hike for the 4 of us. Parts of it are very narrow forcing us to walk single file and parts are so steep that we had to carry Cal and Trixie up and down the rocks. We were the only ones in the narrows so we let them off their leash (shhh…don’t tell anyone we broke the “dogs must be on a leash that’s no longer than six feet at all times” rule). Definitely the best day of the trip so far!