Camping at Cottonwood Cove - Coyote Buttes South


Feb 26, 2018
Has anyone ever camped at the Cottonwood Cove trailhead? It looks like the trailhead is outside of the Coyote Buttes South boundaries and looking on Google Earth it would appear that there are places where you could set up a tent. I know camping isn't allowed within Coyote Buttes, but I would like to be at the trailhead the night before to photograph sunrise, if it isn't frowned upon.

Also, has anyone ever taken the shortcut from Cottonwood Cove to White Pocket...roads 1084 and 1323...via Poverty Flat Ranch? That would save me some miles but I'm not sure if going that way would be wise or not. Is it any worse than the road into Cottonwood Cove?
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We saw people camped to the right of Cottonwood Cove TH last fall. It’s not a big area, but it’s outside the permit area.
But WP has much more room to camp.

I know several people on BCP who have done that shortcut after rain or when the roads are frozen in the winter. But many tour guides drive the long way. Some tour guides take the shortcut, because they have 35” or 37” tires with a 3-5” lift AND they have a lot of experience driving in very deep sand.
When you go the long way, then you also have more people to help you out, if you get stuck. Because anyone stuck will block the road for everyone else.

So I don’t know what car you are driving and what kind of sandy road driving experience you have? But we go the long way, as you can also quickly waste so much time digging yourself out, lowering tire pressure etc… DO NOT take the shortcut unless you have super skills and the right vehicle.

It’s so tempting to take the “shortcuts” and yes they are much worse, here’s a similar “shortcut“ story from the area:
See here’s-recovery-paw-hole-sand-trap-winch-to-the-rescue-my-lizzy-moment-ha….10051/
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I've camped at the Cottonwood Cove TH and there are plenty of places to pitch a tent in the sand around the area.
I'll be driving a stock Nissan Frontier Pro 4x and I'm probably more confident in my driving skills than I should be. With that said, I was reluctant to test my luck with the shortcut and was kinda hoping someone would say that it's no problem at all. I'll go long way to White Pocket. Thanks for the info on camping at Cottonwood Cove TH. I assumed it would be fine but just wanted to make sure.
When are you heading there? We're going later in March, and I'm super excited!
We’ll be there just a few days later. Hope you’ll have a great time. Good luck with the drive!
I"ve only driven to white pocket the long way and it's really a fun drive -- fast, soft sand
I'd say no with stock tires on stock frontier... Even the pro one. I have a frontier, lifted oversize tires limited slip front ...... Deep sand is a headache still.
I'd say no with stock tires on stock frontier... Even the pro one. I have a frontier, lifted oversize tires limited slip front ...... Deep sand is a headache still.
It might be fun to try but I’m not going to risk it. It’s not that far of a drive going the long way.
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