DV Feb 2017 Hike 3: Cottonwood Slot

Our third hike was into Cottonwood Slot.  Cottonwood Slot is virtually unknown to those who are not long-time Death Valley hikers.  However, frequent visitors to the park have heard of it and some have even hiked it.  Cottonwood Slot was a 5-hour hike for our group.  We first explored the 1st Narrows by hiking up them while climbing 2 medium chockstone dry falls.  The passable canyon ends at a major dry fall which cannot be climbed.  We then used the advanced high-difficulty bypass found before the 1st Narrows to drop into the middle canyon.  Hiking back down the 1st Narrows, we were able to climb down 4 medium chockstone dry falls.  We were finally stopped by a major chockstone dry fall that cannot be climbed down.  And, in fact, some hikers have gotten stuck in the canyon by attempting this.  A word of caution is in order here in case somebody reading this blog post attempts this hike.  Do not hike through these narrows alone and make sure that someone knows where you are going in case you get stuck and do not return.  Climbing down the 4 chockstone dry falls to get where we did becomes continuously more difficult as you go and there is a possibility that you may become trapped by not being able to climb back up them.  We only accomplished this by giving each other boosts and a helping hand to pull one another up.  This is a very challenging area.  I will expand more upon this in the full report to come later.  We next finished the hike by hiking all the way through the 2nd Narrows until the interesting portion of the canyon ends with rolling dirt hillsides all around.  Here are a few teaser images.

The passable 1st Narrows ends here when heading up canyon
Beautiful polished white marble narrows
Shades of pink on the white marble
Tiffany finding a Bighorn sheep horn in the 2nd Narrows