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Cottonwood Canyon Rd
#1
On the last trip, we noted a bit of new signage on the road from SPW airport out to Cottonwood.   First, there were signs about no camping for the first 7 miles - and the road is about 7.8 miles to the big flat area before it drops down into the main wash.  In other words, no camping on most of the road now.

Also, we noticed that some of the new signs and other signs on the back side.   Including one just at the big flat area that was blank, but had signage on the hidden side.   The hidden sides referred to required backpacking permits, to be obtained at the SPW Ranger Station (which is never open at a reasonable hour for a desert hiker anyway).   It seems there are plans or contingencies afoot to require permits (for the Cottonwood / Marble loop?) and as long as they were redoing the signs, the got them ready to go.
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#2
Wonder if they're running into usage impact with Cottonwood. That used to be one of my favorite, easy places to duck out to for dispersed camping when I was getting into the Park at a late hour. Last couple of years when I hit Cottonwood Canyon it was a zoo. Not sure if that's still the case.
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#3
(2022-04-22, 08:51 AM)TacoLand Wrote: Wonder if they're running into usage impact with Cottonwood. That used to be one of my favorite, easy places to duck out to for dispersed camping when I was getting into the Park at a late hour. Last couple of years when I hit Cottonwood Canyon it was a zoo. Not sure if that's still the case.

It seems to me every time I head out there to start hiking from the big flat area, there's a few parties camped there. But there are also sweet areas for which you don't really need 4WD on either side of the "gates" just up the road a bit. This year there seemed to be a bunch of good sized rocks in the flat area - they seemed randomly placed but we wondered if they had been put there on purpose to limit access?

Back in March 2020, we parked there and hiked north toward Big Fall. When we came back, there were a bunch of parities there, but also we kept passing people camped all along the road - there are a few spots where one can camp nicely (not legally any more) after the big turn. It seemed really strange - till we got to SPW and learned that the park closed down all the official campgrounds due to covid, and there were notices taped to our doors at the motel telling us to get out in the morning.
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