Off-Road Trail Spotlight: Cottonwood Canyon to Panguitch Lake – St. George, Utah Trails

There are so many off-roading trails in Southern Utah to explore that you’ll have a hard time getting through them all. Not all of them offer challenging obstacles and rock crawling adventures but each is special in its own way.

If you’re looking to explore some of the fascinating trails through southern Utah and get to know more about this corner of the state, then join us on one of our excursions. We normally mix things up when it comes to trails so that drivers can get a taste of both thrilling obstacles and rough terrain.

One of the areas we love to explore is the stretch from Cottonwood Canyon to Panguitch Lake.

Trail Overview

If you’re looking for a scenic drive through some of the most beautiful scenery this state has to offer, then this drive will deliver. The Cottonwood Canyon Road stretches from Kanab to the Kodachrome Basin State Park. This road is unpaved and bumpy but nothing that a 4WD with sufficient ground clearance can’t handle. It gets muddy whenever it rains, making it slightly difficult to navigate during such weather, so plan your trip accordingly. Take time to stop and admire some of the fascinating rock formations along the drive including the Grosvenor Arch. Keep in mind that this trail goes through desert country and it can get pretty hot. So wear appropriate clothing and carry adequate drinking water.

Once you get to Panguitch Lake, the scenery changes, becoming greener. This lake is located only 18 miles south of Panguitch town and is the center for numerous trails suited for UTVs and ATVs. The lake itself is situated in the Dixie National Forest area and is the perfect place to stop for a swim, some canoeing, or fishing. The lake is home to some of the largest rainbow trout in the state, so if you have some time during your drive, you could try your hand at catching some.

Responsible Off-Roading

The Cottonwood Canyon to Panguitch Lake trail goes through some of the most pristine environments in the state. This makes it important to keep on designated trails to avoid damaging the flora or fauna. To help you do this, download the trail tracks of the area from our online store

Also, ensure that you leave no trace and carry out whatever you carry in. The area around Panguitch Lake is full of wildlife, so make sure you don’t disturb any that you come across.


For more information on trails in the area or to get your vehicle serviced before or after your trip, visit the Dixie 4 Wheel Drive auto shop in Moab.


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