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Cottonwood Narrows & The Paria Box

Canyons of the Paria | Southern Utah Wanderings
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Over the years I’ve driven down the Cottonwood Road along The Cockscomb many times and have always skipped stopping at the Cottonwood Narrows along the way since I was usually on my way elsewhere and most likely in a hurry. However, after visiting the Paradise Slot in the morning and then returning to the Cottonwood Road, Jared and I both decided that it was finally time to stop and check out the Cottonwood Narrows! I have to wonder why I’ve never stopped here sooner because this narrow canyon was very nice with easy access, too. It’s no wonder that it’s such a popular place! There’s really not much else to say about this hike, so here are a bunch of photos I took as we hiked from the northern trailhead to the southern trailhead and then back again. It was a great little hike through this narrow section of Cottonwood Creek!

Cottonwood Narrows Corridor

Boulder in the Middle

Colorful Canyon

Fallen Boulders

Canyon Photographer

Narrow Path

Coxcomb Light

Canyon Wall

Cottonwood Sunstar


Cottonwood Narrows

The Castle

High Alcove View

Nearing The End

Boulder Jumble

Headed Back

Canyon Curve

After returning to the Cottonwood Narrows North Trailhead we continued driving south down the Cottonwood Road until we reached The Paria Box Trailhead. It was pretty warm out this afternoon so we thought it would be nice to cool off on another short hike along the Paria River in sandals and shorts while also checking out The Paria Box.

Following the Paria River toward The Box. After not seeing any clouds in the sky all week so far, some finally started to show up during this hike.

Along the Paria River Again

Entering The Box of the Paria River, which is where the river cuts a deep but short canyon through The Cockscomb. This short hike also happens to be part of the Hayduke Trail.

Into The Coxcomb

Paria Box Sunstar

Paria Box Sunstar

Interesting alcoves along the Paria River.

Paria Alcoves

Corner Pocket

Jared hikes ahead of me as we approached the exit on the other side of The Box.

Towering Over Jared

Here’s the view out the other side of The Box towards the old townsite of Paria as more clouds filled the sky to the west.

The Other Side

Then we returned the way we had come.

Back Through The Box

On our way back Jared spotted this strange structure on the canyon wall. I haven’t been able to find out anything about it, but I wonder if it was constructed for the filming of a movie since they used to film movies in this general area?

Unusual Ladder

Hiking through the river did help us keep cool, along with the shade from the canyon and clouds.

The Paria Box

Leaving The Paria Box

Leaving The Paria Box

When we returned to the trailhead it was time to find a campsite for the night. We planned to camp near the Old Paria Townsite just on the other side of The Box, but in order to drive there we had to take the long way around. As we were driving on the highway, we decided to continue on to Kanab for dinner before returning to find a campsite. By the time we returned it was dark out, but we found a great site past the Old Paria Townsite at the very end of the road under a large cottonwood tree.

>> Cottonwood Narrows & The Paria Box Photo Gallery


  1. John Mattsson
    John Mattsson November 28, 2020

    that weird ladder structure might have been for the movie “McKennas Gold”

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