The only way out is through

Kodachrome Basin is a great place from which to launch an exploration of Southern Utah’s canyon country, but it’s somewhat remote, and it’s certainly not on the way to anywhere—except for the spectacular remoteness of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Just south of Kodachrome Basin is Cottonwood Road, a path that takes drivers right across the center of the Monument. It’s a dirt road, very rough in some places and covered in thick redrock sand in others—not the kind of place you want to drive in wet weather. Halfway along the road lies a gorgeous slot canyon that is completely hidden from the road; walk one minute downhill, however, and you’ll find yourself in the right in the middle of it.

The bad news for winter-time travelers is that Expedia seems to think that this road is just the perfect way to get from Salt Lake City to Phoenix. In good weather, expect it to take two hours to drive the road’s 40 miles, but in wet weather, the road is a bog, fully unpassable. So pay attention to those road-closed signs, seriously, and why are you using Expedia for directions, anyway?