Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Carlton's log - Cottonwood Canyon

Cottonwood Canyon was pretty, and cool, and over grown. We drove through the hills, ascending steeply on a dirt road and landed at a dead end of a road.

Sheer cliffs on both side of the road made the drive interesting. Interesting because on one side, the mountain cliff was filled with stones -solid huge massive boulders on top of boulders- and all I could think of was: "yup, base of the 'Rockies'!". The other side was scrub and desert looking. The further up the canyon the narrower and rockier the road.

You can see the river poking out around the curves and pass the "pump house" where the river is caught and drained of most of its' water for the aforementioned aqueduct.

We made our way to the U.S. Forestry sign labeling the canyon and giving us all the details. At this point there was a small plot of land that was a "parking lot" although you couldn't park more than four cars there if you tried. Getting out required a three point turn in pretty much any vehicle. The wild growth surrounding the lot meant no off roading, strictly for hikers only from now on; even that would mean hikers would need to be nimble enough to crawl under low hanging branches and manipulate branches and bushes to get through the lack of trails and into the water.

Just beyond the lot was a small trail that led to a little 'meadow' for lack of a better word. Small meaning maybe a quarter acre of land, but just beautiful. I thought it would be a great spot for a picnic or for little ones to play after the long ride to get there. There was a small trail that led further up into the canyon, but to get into the water would be tricky. The river was protected by large over grown trees and bushes so thick I wanted a machete to hack my way around.

Absolutely no bank on the small river, once you're there, you have the option of standing on the hanging 'ledge' or just get in the river itself. There are places where small waterfalls roll over boulders and the thought of crossing the river is fool hearty. Not very deep any place I could see, but rocky and tough to navigate at best.

The kids, many years ago, played there all day long while Thor was working about ten miles away. They had such a blast finding ways to get and stay wet, climbing the sides of the cliffs and walking through the small rabbit trails. If your family is anywhere near Bishop and needs a small out of the way place to explore; I recommend this tiny piece of California.

add to sk*rt


Lisa M. said...

Oh so beautiful-

s'mee said...

Lis, it would blow tour mind driving there. You feel like you are driving through the most barron boulder ridden moutains and then whammo! Prettiness abounds!