Cottonwood Camp is located on the North Kaibab Trail halfway between the North Rim and the Colorado River. Since the North Rim only gets about 10% of the visitation of the South Rim, Cottonwood also gets fewer visitors. It is also much more rustic than it’s South Rim neighbors, Bright Angel Campground and Indian Garden. Because of this, I have found that the majority of the people who make it to Cottonwood tend to be better prepared and more of the ‘backpacker-type’ as well.
There are 11 small group site accommodating 1 – 6 people and 1 large site for a group of 7 – 11 people. All sites are located north or upstream of the ranger station. Below are some photos of the ranger station and a couple campsites. The bulletin board and water faucet with treated water is located near the composting toilets, also shown below.
Some things to be aware of at Cottonwood:
- Treated water is only available during the non-freezing season. So be sure to check with the Backcountry Office before you come down if your timing is in early spring or late fall.
- Bright Angel Creek flows year ’round, so you can always get water from the creek as long as you treat it.
- Carry toilet paper with you! Cottonwood is often out.
- Due to lack of funding, Cottonwood is usually not manned full time. Rangers check it from Roaring Springs or Phantom Ranger Station. This means that if something happens here, you have to be prepared for emergencies yourself. Carry a good first aid kit and make sure that you take all the precautions to prevent illness and injury.
- There is an emergency phone located located outside the ranger station.