Cottonwood Wash | Capitol Reef

Canyoneering Cottonwood Wash - Capitol Reef Canyoneering Cottonwood Wash

Capitol Reef

Overview

RATING: 3B

Fri

Showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny. High near 97, with temperatures falling to around 95 in the afternoon. North northwest wind 1 to 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

97 | 69

Sat

Showers and thunderstorms likely after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 96. North wind 2 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

96 | 70

Sun

Showers and thunderstorms likely after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 94. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

94 | 68

Mon

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 95.

95 | 67

Tue

Showers and thunderstorms likely after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 96.

96 | 67

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Spring, Summer, Fall
GEAR: Standard Technical Gear. Be sure to have quite a bit (10 m) of webbing.
RAPPELS: 3+ to 20 m ( 66 ft. )
WATER: Some pools. Wetsuit (3mm full) in all but the hottest conditions.
FLASHFLOOD: High

Fri

Showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny. High near 97, with temperatures falling to around 95 in the afternoon. North northwest wind 1 to 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

97 | 69

Sat

Showers and thunderstorms likely after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 96. North wind 2 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

96 | 70

Sun

Showers and thunderstorms likely after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 94. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

94 | 68

Mon

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 95.

95 | 67

Tue

Showers and thunderstorms likely after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 96.

96 | 67

View Full Weather Details
Mark and Tyler early in Cottonwood.

Mark and Tyler early in Cottonwood.

Mark making the first rappel

Mark making the first rappel

Important Note: The Scenic Drive, used to access this trailhead, will be closed from April 29, 2024 through fall of 2024. See the park page for details: https://www.nps.gov/care/planyourvisit/scenic-drive-rehabilitation-project.htm

Of the 3 canyons in this area (Burro Wash, Cottonwood Wash, and Five Mile), Cottonwood Wash is by far my favorite. With a shuttle, it is a very casual canyon, though will take a full day by the time the shuttle is done both ways. The narrow section is magnificent, and fairly continuous.

All drops are fairly short, with relatively straightforward anchors. That makes this a good choice for intermediate canyoneers, or even beginner groups with competent leadership. Some groups do 4+ rappels, though 3 seems to be the number of mandatory rappels with a few moderate downclimbs interspersed throughout the canyon as well.

Brrr - move fast!

Brrr - move fast!

Tyler downclimbing just below rappel 3.

Tyler downclimbing just below rappel 3.

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