Cottonwood Canyon Road

Florence, Arizona (Pinal County)

Last Updated: 07/07/2021
4 / 5 ( 1 reviews )
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Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Permit Information: Permit Required - Click Here
Length: 8.92 miles
Highest Elevation: feet
Duration: About 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Florence
Nearest Town w/ Services: Florence
Official Road Name: Cottonwood Canyon Road
Management Agency: Arizona State Trust Department and Gila District Bureau of Lang Management
District: Gila Ranger District


Highlight: Cottonwood Canyon Road
Cottonwood Canyon Road serves as one of the entrances to a very popular OHV area commonly referred to as Florence Junction. This expansive area is littered with old mining claims, mine tailings, hieroglyphic writings, mine shafts, and beautiful scenic views.


Route Information

Technical Rating


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1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The staging area at the trailhead is very large and is the usual spot to air down tires, disconnect sway bars, and unload vehicles on trailers. On busy weekends it can be quite congested. Depending on weather conditions the staging area can be muddy and rutted or very dusty. Please Tread Lightly and park responsibly so others may use the staging area. Locally, the staging area is commonly referred to as, "Cottonwood," or "The flagpole."

Directions to Trailhead

Access to the trailhead is approximately 22 miles South of Apache Junction, Az. The trailhead can be found by traveling east on US60 to the intersection with Highway 79, at exit 212. Exit the US60 and travel south 5.5 miles to the trail head, turn left. From Florence Junction, Az travel 10 miles North on Highway 79 to the trail head, turn right. The trailhead is at mile marker 145.



Trail Reviews (7)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Arizona National Forests and State Lands are back open for travel. There are still some very important fire restrictions in place. These restrictions can often change by specific areas.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Due to extremely high fire danger, exceptional drought conditions, resource availability, and increased fire activity, the Department of Forestry and Fire Management and the Arizona State Land Department will implement closures to State Trust Land throughout Arizona. These closures are also in conjunction with our USFS partners. As of 8am on June 25, 2021, closures will be implemented on state-owned and managed lands in all 15 counties. All state-owned and managed lands are closed to entry for recreational purposes, including hunting, camping, and off-road vehicle use. Target shooting and fireworks are prohibited year-round. AZ State Land Closures Notice
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
So my wife and I actually took the Mineral Road Trail from the 60 down to this trails eastern end. We intended on taking it to the 79 but immediately hit a large washout at the trail entrance where Mineral Mountain Road/Trail and this trail meet. It looked very similar to the conditions you'd expect at Cleghorn with severe off camber and two/three wheeling, locker definitely needed. We had to back down the trail and go back the way we came.
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Power Wagon Approved 🇺🇸
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Our group used Cottonwood Canyon Road today to get to Woodpecker, one of the most popular trails in the area. As expected, there was frequent traffic as this is a very popular area. One thing that was noticed was that there are new carsonite signs on Mineral Mountain Road which direct traffic in the direction of US 60, one of the local interstates. Otherwise, the trail has remained unchanged.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Used this trail as a shortcut from the head of Box Canyon for two reasons:
  • Had a commitment to get to so this provided a quick access back to 79.
  • Was curious how the new bypass affected the entire "Cottonwood Rd Experience".
  • I was not disappointed. I ran opposite the waypoint counts in the trail write up, starting at Waypoint 5 and continuing out to 79. I found the road rocky, steep and bumpy between waypoints 4-5. Between Waypoints 3 & 4, there are a lot of blind corners that I almost collided with some fast movers (Side by sides) who were not concerned about anyone coming the other way. There are new signs marking the way to AZ 79 marked at strategic spots on the trail. (most agreeably on the 5 way intersection) with AZ60 on the reverse side. These signs have been placed there in the last month or so. They were helpful. Once past Waypoint the road flattened out and you could progress at high speed. There is a large staging area to the west, right at the intersection with AZ79 that had about 2 dozen trailers / trucks parked in it. Aired up here (Partially, because I ran out of CO2) but it's a great spot to either rally, or air back up.
    Status: Permanently Closed
    Offroaded on:
    I travelled west on Cottonwood Canyon Rd after leaving Reymert Mine site, and attempting to reach AZ79 near the Military Camp north of Florence. About a half mile west of the Petroglyph site, there is a Private Property/No Trespassing sign, and another quarter mile on there is a substantial and new-looking padlocked gate. Could not determine if there is a detour around this. **** Reply **** The section of the trail that you speak of was the "old," Cottonwood Canyon Rd before it was re-routed around the ranchers property. The detour is further to the south and outlined in the Cottonwood Canyon Rd guide. Thank you.

    Questions & Answers (3)

    Q: I'm curious if you take this trail up and intersect with mineral mountain road, if you can continue on Mineral Mountain road going north back towards the freeway system as one continuous run. That is certainly possible, correct? Planning a route for tomorrow morning with some friends. Any answer asap would be awesome!
    –Jon Sauber (07/17/2021)
    –Bobby Nelson (07/17/2021)
    Q: What day is this run?
    –Maryann Jerry (12/16/2018)
    –Chad Chaney (12/17/2018)
    Q: After leaving the petroglyph site, I noticed all sorts of private property signs and a padlocked gate. Are you sure Cottonwood Canyon Road is open to the public?
    –Tom Culver (01/14/2017)
    –Chad Chaney (01/14/2017)

    Writer Information

    Bobby Nelson

    Mapping Crew - Arizona

    While living in the Midwest, I developed a passion for searching out new trails and hidden spots. That passion continues to this day in the beautiful southwestern United States. My wife and I are full-time RVers who travel from region to region exploring every nook and cranny we can find. While we're getting to know the locals, we gain insight into these areas, then passing on that knowledge onto our subscribers. We truly enjoy traversing long, beautiful back-country routes with epic campsites, but we equally enjoy pushing the limits on difficult rock crawling trails. Our rig was built to do everything and that's what we hope to share with our subscribers. Please visit our website to follow us and for opportunities to join us on our adventures. You can also view our vast video library on YouTube XPLOREMOR.
    For individual use only, not to be shared.