Cottonwood Campground is an excellent starting point for day hikes, overnight backpacking trips, and equestrian use. The campground is located in the McCain Valley Resource Conservation Area.
The Pepperwood Trail is a 4.2 mile hike (one-way) that eventually leads to a spring surrounded by cottonwoods. A rocky knoll near the end of the hike offers views of Canebrake Canyon and the In-Ko-Pah Mountains. The trail is sandy in composition and meanders through public, state, and private lands. Elevations range from 3,000 to 4,500 feet. This makes the area an excellent escape from the hot summer temperatures of lower elevations. The trail is rated moderate to strenuous. A sign on the north side of the east loop of Cottonwood Campground marks the trailhead.
Directions: From El Centro, CA, Take Interstate 8 to the Boulevard exit. Proceed south to the first stop sign. Turn left (east) on Old Highway 80. After approximately 2 miles, turn left on McCain Valley Road. A sign with mileages is located at the junction of McCain Valley Road and the road to Sacatone overlook. A sign on the north side of the east loop of Cottonwood Campground marks the trailhead.
Elevation: 4,500 feet
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