Detoured: Cottonwood Canyon plans thwarted

A few weeks ago I posted about our potential detour on Cottonwood Canyon Road. Well we arrived at the turn off on April 3rd to find a sign that read “Road temporarily closed 15 miles ahead.” A collective “Nooooooo!” rang out. We decided since we were there, we might as well check out the beginning section that was open. The dirt road was in pretty good shape, just a few jiggly washboard sections. Our rented Mitsubishi Endeavor took it like a champ. After about 8 miles, we stopped at a point overlooking the Paria River and had a look around before heading back to Highway 98 to continue on to Bryce Canyon.
Not all was lost, however. While at the Grand Staircase, Escalante National Monument entrance plaque, we snagged an area brochure and found an alternate (slightly) off-road route through the area. We turned off of Highway 98 onto Johnson Canyon Road which lead to County Road 1854 and then onto Glendale Bench Road. We merged back onto Highway 98 at the town of Glendale, Utah. While not as remote or interesting as the entire length of Cottonwood Canyon road would have been, there were some beautiful, multicolored bluffs, winding dirt surfaces and not another car in sight. Not too shabby for an on-the-fly detour.

The Endeavor at our stopping point on Cottonwood Canyon Road. Starkly beautiful.

The paved portion of Johnson Canyon Road.

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