After grabbing gas and ice cream near Big Water we headed off to the Cottonwood Canyon Road 400 to finish the Grand Staircase Loop. We planned on cutting out at Death Ridge, but we'd do the rest of Road 400 in a couple of days.
There are a few trails that cut a different path through the Brigham Plains on the south end of the trail, but we decided we couldn't spare the time. We stayed on Road 400 and it made it a quick trip into the canyon.
It was an overcast day, but even with the bad lighting we couldn't believe how incredibly beautiful the canyon was. The Cockscomb on one side was jagged and rough, with yellows and reds. The Rush Beds on the other side were rounder and made up of a lot more colors including purple and white. The canyon was narrow and it was gorgeous.
Of course, there was quite a bit of traffic. The road offers a lot of hiking to both sides, and there were lots of hikers. SUVs were traveling in both directions. Even with all of the people we still had time to look at everything and enjoy ourselves.
We didn't want it to end. It was one of the prettiest trails we'd been on. As soon as we popped out of the canyon we found our turn to Death Ridge, stopping for a while at Grosvenor Arch.
If you're anywhere near the area and you have a decent car or SUV, definitely take this road. It's not suitable for towing, and all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive would be handy, but it's basically an easy road. It was a great find for the group!