The vibe at Cottonwood Campground
Drop some Cottonwood Campground knowledge on us.
They water the campground by flooding the area. We did not see a schedule, just a sign that said pitch you tent on high ground. We only stayed one night and weren't sure if we where on high ground or not, but they did not water while we where there so we were good. We had a great night stargazing! The nights where cool and the days hot. The winter time is the busy season for this area. Make sure you have everything you need because there are not any major stores in the area. The best you can do is a couple of gas station, one in Study Butte out side the park and one on Panther Jct Rd near Main Park Rd. Both stores do have gas!
Hiking up to the Santa Elena Canyon entrance is a must-do if you are in the area. Watching the canyon rise up 1500 feet off the desert floor (or watching it drop off into nothing, if you're coming from the opposite direction) is mind-blowing.
Beautiful campsites with close access to Santa Elena Canyon which is a must see if visiting the park! Cottonwood is less crowded than some of the other campsites. We went in November and there was only one other camper in the campground. Be advised that the park waters the campground at night and you must pitch tents on high ground. If you happen to be out of your tent at night, it's best to keep a lamp with you and stay on the camp roads.
I liked the quiet of this campground, it's more secluded as its at the far reaches of the park. It is closer to Santa Elena canyon, but expect another 40 minutes of scenic driving before you reach it past Chisos Basin. Fresh water, and vault toilets is all you will find, but shade trees over each camping spot ( that I can remember). Bear boxes too. No reservations, but doesn't fill up unless its a holiday weekend. Camped in early August and found the nights cool enough to be comfortable. This is my go-to campground for this park!