While Coyote Buttes South does not have the superb photographic opportunities of the North there are many good photos to be had, and you are far less likely to see other people. A $5 permit is necessary to day hike in the area. As of 2010 permits were readily obtainable online provided you apply within a few days of when they become available. See the permit section of this site for more details. Walk in permits area also available the day before you wish to hike.
If you have permits for two consecutive days you should camp at the Cottonwood trailhead the first day and drive directly to the Pawhole trailhead the next morning, see the red line in the map below. The red line road has a steep sandy hill going uphill from Pawhole to Cottonwood Cove. Many people (myself included) have been stuck going up it. Down hill has not been a problem. Hence the recommendation - first day at Cottonwood, then drive down hill to get to Pawhole on the second day. This road is 2.9 miles long.
If you are only going to Cottonwood Cove I strongly suggest you take the longer green road below and not the combination of the Blue and Red Roads.
Blue Line in the below map. House rock road turnoff is between mile posts 25 and 26 on Highway 89 in Utah and is normally passable by passenger cars. Do not take this road if it is wet. Take House Rock Road 16.1 miles to the Lone Tree Reservoir - Pawhole junction. It is .1 miles to the Lone Tree Reservoir, park here if you do not have 4WD. If you have 4WD continue 2.5 miles further to the trailhead. Mark you location with your GPS. I know of one person who got separated from his group and spent the night here in the cold. Once at the trailhead walk due East down the faded two track to Pawhole. Late in the day the red rock in the area lights up and you can get good pictures right from here, including shots of the rock reflected in Pawhole. Is is worth exploring the rocks further east, also there are many photo opportunities in the "Yellow Stripe" area, this is a morning shot.
Green line in the below. Take House Rock Road 19.9 miles to the intersection with "Pine Tree Pockets Road" (BLM 1017). There is a corral at the turnoff. Reset your odometer, all mileages now are given from the reset of the odometer. Take BLM 1017 2.8 miles and bear left. At 3.1 miles turn left on Red Pockets road. At 6.2 miles you will come to a cattle gate, leave it in the same condition as you found it (open or closed). At 6.4 miles you come to the area on the topo map called Red Pocket. Continue straight. At 8.3 miles bear right. At 8.7 miles turn left onto Upper Pawhole Road. This area is called Poverty Flat. There is a corral and some old buildings, there used to be a windmill here but it is gone. At 9.1 miles miles turn right so that you are going due North. The road that goes West here is the road to Pawhole so make sure you are going due North. At 10.9 miles you will reach a closed gate with a Coyote Buttes Fee Area sign. At 11.4 miles you have arrived. Park on the left hand side of the road. The road is closed just a little further on before a steep downgrade.
A good way to begin your hike is to head west to the teepees, about .6 miles away. "Half and Half" and the "Control Tower" are good destinations to start with.
The following map covers an extremely large area and is a work in progress. It covers most of the Vermillion Cliffs NM. Most of Vermillion Cliffs NM is BLM land and is open to the public. There is some state owned and private land, click here to see the large scale official BLM map of the area showing ownership and to place the map in context.
Caution - Some of the roads shown have not been driven by me and may be closed or impassable. The main routes to Coyote Buttes South and The White Pocket have been verified however.
The map below not only covers Coyote Buttes South but also the White Pocket and the entire Sand Hills area. The Coyote Buttes South Permit area is shown in lavender on the upper left edge of the map, you should concentrate on this if you are only visiting the south buttes. I suggest you view the map using the View larger option below. Then locate Coyote Buttes South and turn the lavender overlay off using the menus on the left edge of the Google maps window. To the best of my knowledge it is not possible to turn the overlay off in Bing maps.
This page was last updated 1/24/2013