Whitewater Preserve to Cottonwood
Whitewater, California 92282
Local Phone: (760) 325-7222
The moderate-strenuous walk from Whitewater to the Cottonwood trailhead off the Haugen-Lehmann I-10 exit traverses the eastern boundary of the coastal chaparral community. This trail is 8 miles one way.
Leaving the ranger station, head northwest along the marked trail, cross the Whitewater River, and reach the Pacific Crest Trail in one-half mile. Turn left wind up switchbacks for roughly three – quarters of a mile.
At the top of the switchbacks, turn right at the trail post marked PCT South and wind back into the Cottonwood Hills. Two miles further, cross the top of Toutain Canyon (springs) and climb switchbacks before hitting the long downhill stretch on the Pacific Crest Trail in Golden Canyon that leads to a trail head parking lot off the Haugen- Lehmann exit on Interstate 10.
Most groups leave a car at one end, drive to the other end, and hike back along the eight mile one-way trail.