Cottonwood is a census-designated place (CDP) in Shasta County, California, United States. The population was 3,316 at the 2010 census, up from 2,960 at the 2000 census. Cottonwood is a stagecoach town founded in 1882. Cottonwood is equidistant between Redding and Red Bluff , 15 miles (24 km) in both directions. It is 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Anderson.