Arizona, south Utah, west New Mexico and east Nevada
Open hillsides and woodlands, around the pine/pinyon-juniper boundary; from 6,000 to 9,500 feet
Alternate, hairy, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, up to 6 inches long, often pointing upwards
Cryptantha setosissima is mainly found in the mountains of southwestern Utah and along the west edge of the Colorado Plateau in Arizona, together with some nearby areas, and is easily recognized on account of its height, up to 3 feet, much taller than most other cryptantha species.
Leaves grow at the base and at alternate intervals along the stem, and are covered both by short, soft hairs and longer, spreading bristly hairs. Stems are thick and rigid, usually solitary and unbranched. Lower stem leaves are attached by short stems while upper leaves are sessile.
The inflorescence is a group of dense, slightly arching spikes, in which the flowers are arranged alternately, and angled approximately in the same direction - offset by at most 90 degrees. The light green calyces are broad at the base, tapering to a narrow tip, and covered by long spreading hairs and shorter bristles. The white corollas are relatively small, and short-lasting.