Elevation: 9,349 ft
Climbing and access information for this peak is found on page 119. Published June 2019
Cottonwood Butte is located deep within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness west of the Middle Fork Salmon River and east of Cold Meadows. Accessing the peak on foot will involve multiple days of hard backpacking. The closest access is the backcountry airstrip at Cold Meadows. USGS Cottonwood Butte
Bing Young discussed the peak’s history as a fire lookout:
Cottonwood Butte, at 9349 feet, is one of the highest peaks on which a lookout was ever placed on the Salmon Forest. Just when it came into being is not certain (it was then on the Payette Forest) but it is known that Cottonwood Butte was an early ’20’s lookout. Although the 1935 map still calls Cottonwood Butte a lookout station, it is doubtful it existed much longer. Butts Point and Stoddard lookouts replaced that Cottonwood Butte—at least on the Salmon. Both had better views of high fire-hazard country were more accessible, and were closer to water. Very little if anything, remains on Cottonwood Butte, which is the head of three major drainages: Cottonwood Creek, Kitchen Creek, and Papoose Creek. Located well within the River of No Return Wilderness Area on the Payette border, Cottonwood Butte is accessible only to those packing in from the Salmon River Lodge, or those landing at Cold Meadows airstrip for a trip over the Cottonwood Trail. —Salmon National Forest Fire Lookouts by Bing Young 1982, page 22.