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Round Valley Draw is one of my favorite easy slots. A short approach, combined with an easy exit make and very beautiful narrows make this a family friendly outing that most will enjoy. Getting into the slot requires a minor bit of scrambling, but most will not have a problem, especially if a little team work is employed. I would compare this in some regard to Little Wild Horse in the San Rafael Swell.
This makes a good hike to combine with Bull Valley Gorge and/or Willis Creek in the same weekend since they are in relatively close proximity. This also can be a fantastic winter outing if the roads are dry and passable. My last visit was during Thanksgiving weekend a couple of years ago and was absolute perfect weather for visiting. Summers are do-able, but can be hot.
Reaching the trailhead starts in the small town of Cannonville, UT, east of Bryce Canyon on highway 12.
From Cannonville, go south on the well signed Cottonwood Wash Road. Follow the paved road, passing Kodachrome Basin at 6.4 miles, and the road turning to dirt at 6.6 miles. At 12.9 miles from Cannonville, Road #422 goes off the Cottonwood Wash Road on the right. Take it, resetting your odometer.
Follow the road down the wash. At 1.5 miles from the Cottonwood Wash Road is the trailhead those with low clearance vehicles will want to use. With high clearance, it is possible to go an addition 0.75 miles to a parking area at the end of the road.
Approach (2 minutes from the 4wd parking area)
Follow the wash a couple of minutes to where it drops into the Round Valley slot.
The most difficult part of the trip is at the start of the slot where it drops about 2 m ( 7 ft. ), then about 5 m ( 17 ft. ) in quick succession. The first is fairly easy to help a person from below. The second, bigger drop is a good size and most will be able to scramble down without difficulty. A short rope may be a useful handline for some here.
Round Valley the amazing! As you head down canyon, the slot opens and narrows a bit in several places. A few minor obstacles are encountered along the way, but it is generally easy going.
As the canyon open, a side canyon comes in on the right, with large trees at the bottom. This is the exit canyon.
Exit (30-45 minutes)
Go up the side canyon on the hikers trail, heading north. It climbs out of the canyon and meets up with a road. Follow the road a few minutes, then leave it on the right, east, and follow the hikers trail as it contours along the rim of Round Valley Draw back up canyon. At a major side canyon (the north fork of Round Valley Draw), follow the trail down into the canyon, past some hoodoos and back to the trailhead.
|Trailhead - 2wd||
12S 420372mE 4145943mN
N37° 27' 25" W111° 54' 01"
12S 419435mE 4145540mN
N37° 27' 12" W111° 54' 39"
12S 418077mE 4144610mN
N37° 26' 41" W111° 55' 34"