Starting from Stovepipe Wells, this road heads north and west. It starts below sea level and lazily ascends to over 1,000ft! This road is very susceptible to washouts and scouring after rain. See how far your car can make it.
If somewhat capable, most vehicles can make it almost
to the start of the Cottonwood/Marble Canyon Loop
. From there, the road becomes less road, and more wash. The "road" officially stops at a Wilderness Restoration area, so regardless of your vehicular abilities, you'll have to hoof it from there.
It is improbable that you'd see vehicle traffic on the final portion of Cottonwood Canyon Road. ATV's are most likely the only vehicles that would be able to traverse the sandy, boulder-strewn path. If you're traveling on foot however, the way is quite negotiable. This portion of the road is well defined and easy to follow. You'll be moving on a gentle incline, but the slope is generally tame and gentle. Any obstacles in your way will be easily navigable, and the sandy trail surface may be the only real stumbling block.
Need to Know
Drink plenty of water: Drink at least one gallon (4 liters) of water per day to replace loss from sweat, more if you are active. Fluid and electrolyte levels must be balanced, so have salty foods or "sports drinks" too.
Avoid hiking in the heat: Do not hike in the low elevations when temperatures are hot. The mountains are cooler in summer, but can have snow and ice in winter.
Travel prepared to survive: Stay on paved roads in summer. If your car breaks down, stay with it until help comes. Carry extra drinking water in your car in case of emergency.
Watch for signs of trouble: If you feel dizzy, nauseous, or a headache, get out of the sun immediately and drink water or sports drinks. Dampen clothing to lower body temperature. Be alert for symptoms in others.
Desert flora can be seen off trail, especially in the early spring.