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This primitive trail leads into an area of red-rock bluffs and wide canyons. Low peaks with sheer cliff faces and scrub-covered slopes define the horizon, as this roughly defined route snakes along intermittent watercourses and up and over the manzanita- and oak-clad ridges that separate them. Some of the climbs are steep here and the trail can be hard to follow, but views that stretch into Mexico are the reward for your diligence and effort. Remember, this is a primitive trail, which means that the level of maintenance is low. Come prepared to be responsible for finding your own way and be ready to take some time to do it. Because this area is relatively low in elevation, exposed and south facing slopes can be quite hot. Since natural sources of water are unreliable, be sure to bring plenty of your own. This is an area that was used heavily in the mid 1800's by the U. S. Army during their campaign against Geronimo, but it's doubtful that you will see any evidence of that aspect of its history. The Cottonwood Trail dead ends at private land, so through hikes are not possible.
Cross-country route, remote setting, primitive trails, good views. This trail is maintained in a primitive condition. Using it safely requires appropriate skills and equipment. 4.2 miles of the Cottonwood Trail are within the Chiricahua Wilderness. USGS Map(s): Swede Peak
1. There is an old closed road which runs north from the eastern trailhead to Price Canyon Road. It is easily possible to walk this road entirely on public land to the (completely unmarked) trailhead, bypassing any private inholdings.
Check out the Official Route.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.