Southwest Road Trip 2012 Day 5 (Part 2): Cottonwood Cove in South Coyote Buttes

Misadventures-with-Andi-Road-Trip-ReportHaving spent a magnificent morning photographing White Pocket in the Paria Canyon of Arizona we headed to Cottonwood Cove which is part of South Coyote Buttes.  I don’t want to say that Cottonwood Cove was a let down, because it was totally amazing, but it was no White Pocket! Nonetheless we had a really great time capturing the area as you can see in the photos below. There are some unique aspects here like the huge amount of fins in the rock formations jutting both vertically and horizontally, I was fascinated by them and still blown away as to how they happen!

It is a little more of a hike (but not too much) to get to the good stuff than it was to get to White Pocket.  It wouldn’t have been so bad except we were already a bit tired from the morning, the heat and the amount of camera equipment we were hauling.  Virgil, our South Coyote Buttes Tour Guide from Dreamland Safari Tours, was an absolute angel, his patience was incredible despite the fact he could have run circles around us city folk!

Cottonwood Canyon in Coyote Buttes South Arizona

Cottonwood Canyon in Coyote Buttes South. (Photo credit Mr. Misadventures)

Aren’t the colors gorgeous? The blue sky is always the thing that gets me.  There is something about the desert environment that makes the blues so blue!

Cottonwood Canyon in Coyote Buttes South.

Cottonwood Canyon in Coyote Buttes South. (Photo credit Mr. Misadventures)

The fins were just simply mind-boggling, jutting out in so many directions, yet super delicate.

Incredible Fins in Cottonwood Canyon in Coyote Buttes South. (Photo credit Mr. Misadventures)

Incredible Fins in Cottonwood Canyon. (Photo credit Mr. Misadventures)

Most of the rock formations have names and Virgil knew them all but I had my hands full with camera equipment so I was unable to note them down!

Rock formations in Cottonwood Canyon in Coyote Buttes South. (Photo credit Mr. Misadventures)

Rock formations in Cottonwood Canyon. (Photo credit Mr. Misadventures)

At the end of a long hot day with lots and lots of photos taken, we hopped in our car and headed back to our base-camp in Page.  We were so tired that we just simply picnicked in our room with supplies we had picked up in Las Vegas.  We transferred photos to external hard discs and fell into bed! The next day we would be getting up early (again!) to spend a day with the owner of Dreamland Safari Tours doing a photography tour through The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area.

Here are some tips for Cottonwood Cove:

> You need a permit to access South Coyote Buttes, you can get these online and in-person at the BLM office unless you are going with a hired guide who usually has a blanket permit.
> I HIGHLY recommend you hire a guide. I cannot stress this enough.  Mr. Misadventures did a lot of research on South Coyote Buttes AZ guides, there are several in the area but he ultimately selected Dreamland Safari Tours and we were beyond thrilled with them.
> If you don’t hire a guide (God help you!) you need a 4×4.
> Water, lots of it.

How about you? Have you visited Cottonwood Cove and have any tips?

About Andi Fisher

I'm a lifestyle blogger focused on travel and food. I love to travel via my stomach eating and seeking out local artisans to feature here. I'm a big supporter of the blogging community and love highlighting travel and food bloggers for you to meet.


  1. Major cool pictures . Neat you got to go on such an awesome trip

    • @Stacie, sorry it took so long to share the post with you, but I finally did it! I hope you get there soon and have a great time!

  2. Jennifer Gail says:

    Amazing pics:)

  3. I’ve been to Arizona many times, but not really to visit. These posts have really opened my eyes. And, those rocks look like the magic window toy from the 1970s. Absolutely breathtaking. No wonder your hubby wanted to go. His photos are great.

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