This small (15.4-acre) site is much like Box Elder WMA. Cottonwood, Snell and Box Elder Canyons are all located fairly close to one another. “Cottonwood Canyon is located south of Maxwell. Snell Canyon is a few miles east and Box Elder is a couple miles west of Cottonwood. In contrast to the nearby Platte River Valley, these canyons are relatively steep with different species of trees and grasses. Mountain bluebirds, eastern bluebirds, Townsend’s solitaires and cedar waxwings often spend winters in these canyons.
There are small, man-made lakes near the mouth of each canyon. The lake at the mouth of Snell Canyon is good for migrating shorebirds. is privately owned, but a county road runs along the entire east edge of the lake. All 3 canyons are home to black-headed grosbeaks, Say’s phoebes and rock wrens (which nest in some of the steep-cut dirt banks) in summer, along with many other species. With the exception of Box Elder WMA (at the mouth of this canyon) all land is privately owned. Take care on winding canyon roads, with blind curves and cattle crossings (may even be cows on roads) and do not venture into the canyons after rain or snow melt, as the roads get pretty “greasy” for a couple of days.”