Arizona Strip - Fall 2014

Cool Danish

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
136
The upcoming weekend promised great warm weather for October, so I decided to take a long weekend and explore a little around the Arizona/Utah border. I was doing this trip alone, hoping for some solitude and for the most part wasn’t disappointed.

Friday, October 3, 2014
Home to Toroweap.

I left my house in Southern California around 7:00am and made it to Pipe Spring National Monument around 2pm. Because of the short notice, I had to stop at the visitor center to pick up a permit for 2 nights at the Tuweep Campground at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon NP. After getting the paperwork taken care of, I was soon on my way south on a well graded dirt road.

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The 65 mile dirt road was in good condition and it was possible to maintain a fairly good speed. I made it past the buildings for the rangers and a couple of miles before the overlook I turned down a side trail to the campsites. The trail down to the lower campsites is down some fairly steep rock needing high clearance on your vehicle. I found a nice single campsite with a great view and setup my tent. Since it was in the low 80’s and clear skies I did not need my rainfly. The campsites around me were only about 1/3 occupied and everyone were nice and quiet.

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The view from campsite.
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It was getting late in the day so I decided to head down to the overlook for the golden hour. The views up and down the Colorado were amazing and did not disappoint. I spend the rest of the evening walking along the rim taking in the views.

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After the sun disappeared I drove back to my campsite and cooked up some dinner. It had been a long day of driving from California, so I hit the sack and read a little before falling asleep.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Toroweap.

I did not get up before sunrise in the morning and took my time eating breakfast, just enjoying quiet morning and beautiful view from camp.

After breakfast I decided to do a short hike around the Saddle Horse Loop Trail that can be started right from the campsite. The trail took me right along rim of Saddle Horse Canyon down to the rim overlooking the Colorado River. It’s was a great way to spend a couple of hours in the morning.

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Back in camp I debated what to do next. I have wanted to hike from Tuckup Point down to the Shaman gallery for a long time ever since first I saw the pictures of the incredible panel. Even though it was now around 11am I thought, I would be able to drive up to Tuckup Point in about an hour and still have time to hike down and back before dinner time. Sounded great on paper, but in hindsight I should probably have headed over to the much closer Mt. Trumbull to explore there. But the lure of seeing the panel made up my mind and I was soon on my way to Tuckup Point.

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Using the USGS Topo maps I had downloaded to my tablet before the trip, I decided to take the first side road that looked like a short cut to the road heading out to Tuckup Point. Unfortunately I kept hitting dead-ends and finally had to admit defeat and backtrack out to the main road and drive north for a while before turning south again towards Tuckup Point.

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When I finally arrived at Tuckup Point it was close to 2pm. I made hard, but correct decision to forgo the hike down to the panel. Instead I opened up the awning to get some shade and had lunch right there and enjoyed the beautiful weather and view down Tuckup Canyon.

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But as Arnold the Terminator would say “I’ll be back!”. I headed back to camp where I sat and took a nap in the shade until it was time to head back to overlook for the sunset. The sky this evening was great.

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Sunday, October 5, 2014
Toroweap to Paria Canyon Overlook.

I left Toroweap and headed towards Kanab where I stopped for gas and was again on my way out a 4x4 trail. This time a very sandy trail that took me to the lesser known Peek-a-Boo slot canyon a.k.a. Red Canyon narrows. The canyon was fairly short but had very nice colors.

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Next I turned the Jeep towards the Paria Plateau. More specifically I wanted to reach the Paria Canyon overlook on Cedar Mountain where I would camp for the last night. But first I took a little detour down House Rock Valley Rd and then up a steep 4x4 trial over the Cockscomb and then down Long Canyon back out to Hwy 89.

Long Canyon.
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Soon I was back on another sandy trail out to the overlook, trying to avoid stupid cows on the way. I setup my tent and walked the rim for a while enjoying the views. I went to bed fairly early as I needed to get an early start in the morning.

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Monday, October 6, 2014
Paria Canyon Overlook to Home.

I got up a couple of hours before sunrise, skipped breakfast and quickly threw tent, sleeping bag and air mattress in the Jeep and started the drive home to Southern California. In Kanab I got some gas station coffee and continued the drive thru Zion on Hwy 9. I was just able to make it to the end of the Canyon Overlook hike to catch the sun hitting the top of the cliffs in Zion. It was very cold with the wind, so I only stayed 10 minutes before heading back to the Jeep. On the way back to the Jeep I saw a small group of big Horn sheep just off the trail.

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I proceeded the drive thru Zion NP which was almost empty which was a nice bonus to the awesome scenery. Then I headed out to St. George and got on the I-15 which would take me all the way home.
 

blueeyes

ephemeral excursionist
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,109
Second Nick about the awning! Where did you get that?

Great report.


PS. The hike to the panel is excellent! Definitely worth a trip just for the panel.
 

Cool Danish

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
136
That awning is awesome. Great pics and report.

Second Nick about the awning! Where did you get that?

Great report.


PS. The hike to the panel is excellent! Definitely worth a trip just for the panel.

fantastic pics. How are you liking the batwing?

The awning is an Eezi-Awn Bat 270degree (comes in either Left or Right configuration). Eezi-Awn is a South African company and I bought it from Equipt Expedition Outfitters (there might be other importers?). http://www.equipt1.com/item/bat-270-degree-awning-left-hand-side


I am extremely happy with the awning. It's probably my best purchase for my Jeep, right after my ARB Fridge. It is pretty pricey though, but you can tell it is high quality.
It great for shade during lunch stops and I have also used it when it was raining (my buddy and I have sat under it at the edge of the Green River at Millard Campsite in the Maze District a whole evening while it was raining).
Another nice thing about this kind of awning is that you can open it up without having to put the legs down, if there is no wind. If there is more than a slight breeze, you do have to put the legs down and stake them down.
Because it opens up 270 degrees it keeps the back of my Jeep covered too, which is very nice if it's raining and you are trying to cook dinner.
As you can see in the video above, it opens and closes very easily by one person. I think it weights about 28lbs.
 

steve

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
2,140
Wow, I'm impressed it's so light. Thanks. I've been eyeballing the foxwing awning. This looks much better (albeit at twice the price). I have no doubt it's worth it, ezi awn makes amazing stuff.
 

Vegan.Hiker

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Messages
2,094
Very nice report. Not sure why, but for some reason I thought you were from overseas. That view of the Colorado from Toroweap looks amazing.
 

Cool Danish

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
136
Very nice report. Not sure why, but for some reason I thought you were from overseas. That view of the Colorado from Toroweap looks amazing.
I was born and raised in Denmark and moved to the US in my early twenties. I have been living in the US for about 20 years now.
Yes the views of the Colorado are quite dramatic. You can even see the Lava Falls Rapids down a ways.
 
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