Winter Trip 2010 – North Rim of the Grand Canyon

DOSS

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Jan 17, 2012
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For the last few years my friends and I have tried to get a long winter trip in, the rules seem to be, guys only, I have to plan most of it and have as much fun as possible camping/hiking/wheeling in the cold and snow. The first year we went it was the Paria Trip of 08, the next year I planned it but got sick at the last minute and this year a trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon – enough buildup here you go.
Attendees:
Mason, My brother James, and myself (Sam was supposed to show up but got a case of the flakes and couldn’t make it)
The plan:
Leave home early AM on Feb 18th (Mason would leave the afternoon of the 17th and meet us near camp), Take the back roads avoiding I15 as much as we could and meet up near Hilldale/Colorado City.
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From there we would head south and camp along the trail when we felt like it.
Day 2 would see us driving to the Tuweep overlook and campground where we would spend all of Day 3 hiking and exploring as we saw fit. Day 4 we would travel back towards Mt. Trumbull and then to St George where we would make camp when we found a nice spot. Day 5 we would pack up and head home.
Day 2 would see us driving to the Tuweep overlook and campground where we would spend all of Day 3 hiking and exploring as we saw fit. Day 4 we would travel back towards Mt. Trumbull and then to St George where we would make camp when we found a nice spot. Day 5 we would pack up and head home.
Now for what actually occurred
Wednesday Feb 17 – Mason left home around 3:30 and made it to just outside of Cedar City where he got a flat that ruined the tire luckily he had a spare tire at home and called me up to grab it from his house and bring it down to him so he would have a usable spare for the off-road portion of the trip.
Thursday Feb 18 – James showed up at my house at 7:20 and we were loaded to go at 7:45 with all of his gear and my last minute gear. We headed south out of Tooele expecting to have smooth sailing all the way down, Mother Nature had a different plan as the road from just south of Stockton almost to Delta was slick with fresh snow and fresh snow was making its way down in abundance. South of Delta the roads were nice and we cruised towards Cedar City without a problem. about 20 miles outside Cedar City the gas light came on in the Jeep (not a big deal as I was hauling 10 gal of spare fuel but didn’t want to use it yet) we were placing odds about if we would reach a gas station before running out of fuel and did but with only fumes left in the tank. Once the tank was filled back up we continued on and finally got to Hilldale around 2:00, Mason was waiting for us at the gas station (the only gas station) after a quick hello and throwing a tire on Masons Jeep he headed across the street to the tire shop while we stepped into the only “fine dining” place in town and ordered a burger from a local. A quick top off of gas and we were headed down the road, on the outskirts of town we saw a beer stand and decided to grab some last minute brews. I picked up a couple of high alcohol content beers – Werewolf and Lobster Lovers beer – then we were on the trail.
A couple hours later we set up camp along the road and broke out the firearms. James decided it was time to shoot his 30-06 after long neglect and we all had fun plinking at various targets. Then for a quick meal and to stand around the fire drinking beer.
Morning came to fast and soon I was cooking breakfast for the crew and tearing down camp for the drive to the North Rim. A few hours of dirt roads and some mud holes later we arrived at the North Rim overlook.




After staring into the giant hole in the ground and coming to the agreement that really you have to see it to really understand the sheer size of this thing we headed to the Tuweep campground to make camp for the night. We found a nice spot with a overhang to protect us from some of the weather and a somewhat flat piece of ground for the tent.
Once camp was set up we spent some time rappelling off the rocks above camp and hiking around the area.

We finished the day with a few beers and some seriously good Tri Tip sandwiches thanks to Mason and hit the sack. Saturday came along with cool temps and cloudy skies. We spent most of the day lounging around camp, taking pictures and BS’n about things in general. We did take a drive to the lava flow and hiked down it a ways. Basically it was a day to relax even more than the rest of the time. we did decide to break out the high alcohol content beers this night, the Werewolf beer’s slogan was “you really wanna taste it”, truth be told if I am ever able to forget what that crap and the Lobster lovers tasted like it will be a happy day, I would have much rather drank one of Masons Coors Lights.
Sunday morning followed hard rain all night long but everyone stayed warm and dry. A nice breakfast of French toast with cinnamon infused syrup thanks to James, then pack up and head north. We were unsure if the passage towards Mt. Trumbull would be passable so we decided that we would decide on that route once we tried it. The roads from camp to the turnoff towards the Mt were much worse than they were on the way down but we decided to try the road anyway. after less than a 1/4 of a mile of sloppy wet clay that had begun to cover every inch of my jeep and trailer and wasn’t looking to get better but worse we decided that we would either end up stuck or run out of gas even with our backup supplies if we had to continue on this way for very much longer. That did it we would be headed back towards Fredonia AZ or Colorado City whatever was actually closer on the map. Fredonia it was, and we high tailed it north. Pulling the trail trailer across rutted roads covered with a fresh foot of snow was a huge hassle under 30 MPH as the trailer would often find other ruts to fall into and start pulling the jeep where it wanted to go, but above that it was a constant task to just stay on the road; so we traveled around 35-40 MPH on the back roads with a couple of hair raising adventures in sliding we made it to pavement.

We quickly drove to Hilldale/ Colorado City and used the low pressure car wash to remove some of the mud caked into the wheels that made it feel like we were driving a vibrating bed with the magic fingers turned on. Then on to Hurricane Utah for some lunch at a strange Bistro on Main Street, fill up our tanks and head over towards Zion NP camping on the south side of the road on the sand by the Virgin river. Just after setting up the tent and starting a fire for the evening as we commented on the nice weather a storm rolled in. Initially it rained but quickly turned to hail that left a 1/4 inch of frozen crap covering the ground and finally petered out to snowing for the remainder of the evening. We stood around the fire and under Mason’s canopy and enjoyed the evening non the less.
All things must come to an end so Monday morning we packed up and headed home but not before taking a last minute group picture.

 

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Nick

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Very nice! I can't believe I've never seen the Grand Canyon. So is that campground and actual campground or just primitive camping wherever you can find a spot? Because that looked like a killer spot for a CG!
 

DOSS

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Jan 17, 2012
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It is an actual campground, great place to go for sure
 

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