Washington Hollow

The canyon is best known for the magnificent peaks and cliffs which form the backdrop to the canyon itself.

Only lightly visited, the Washington Hollow trail provides visitors with one of the outstanding wilderness experiences in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.  The trail is usually accessed from the Mill Creek trailhead which entails a 2-mile walk on a city maintenance road that serves a powerline and several pump houses north of the city of Washington, Utah. At the end of the maintenance road, hikers and equestrians will drop down into a wash bottom and follow the drainage for up to four miles before a series of dry falls makes it too difficult for most to continue.  Bicycles are not allowed to enter the Cottonwood Canyon Wilderness Area.  Due to narrow canyon walls and dense vegetation, horses will not progress into the uppermost portions of the canyon.  Elevation gain throughout the hike is a gentle 800 feet with no serious ups and downs.  The wash bottom consists of a sandy soil mixed with gravel and cobble-sized rocks which makes for relatively easy hiking.  Throughout the middle portion of the canyon, visitors will enjoy spectacular views of red and white sandstone peaks and formations and unusual displays of color and form that only nature can envision.  The upper canyon narrows considerably and, other than occasional slot canyon segments, diminishes the ability of visitors to observe some of the unique twists and turns of the wilderness environment unless the visitors leave the main wash to enter side canyons or higher ground to witness the breadth and beauty of the upland formations.  Most visitors will need to exit the canyon the same way they came in, making it an out-and-back of 12 miles to the Mill Creek trailhead if they travel to the northernmost end.  Hikers and riders should avoid the canyon during rain events due to the likelihood of flash floods.    Lands within the wilderness area are administered by the BLM within the Red Cliffs NCA.  Travel along the maintenance road occurs on lands administered by SITLA.

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