Living in the shadows of Zion National Park, sometimes it’s hard to understand that there can be beauty anywhere else. Two weeks ago, several staff members took a day trip to check out Toroweap and the Grand Canyon. So after a quick stop at Deep Creek Coffee in Springdale, the ZAC staff drove the four and a half hours to check out the canyon. The drive begins with crossing through something familiar, and occasionally routine for me, Zion National Park. On our drive, bighorn sheep and mule deer greeted us as we drove through the east side. Since we left early in the morning, we were lucky enough to catch some of the sunrise on our drive. Between the majestic colors and good conversation, the drive went by quickly. The town of Fredonia is a small Arizona border town. And no road trip through a border town is complete without a stop for Lottery, Guns, Ammo, and Beer! So after a brief stop filling up our coffee cups and Landcruiser at Judd’s Auto, we moved on.
We eventually turned onto a dirt road for beautiful views of desert plains and distant mountains for 60 long, rutted miles. At this point, there isn’t much to do except listen to music and marvel at how your vehicle dust travels for miles in the wind. On the drive out, we stopped at the ranger station to meet Marjorie and learn some information about the area. I highly recommend always stopping in to at least say hello. The two Tweep area rangers live in a desert home that makes most hermits look like city folk. However, that isn’t a negative by far! Views of Trumbull Mountain and the Vulcan’s Throne would make any morning wake-up call special. And just a short drive away, they have a relatively convenient 3,000-foot drop to the Colorado River!
The campground was once described to me as having the world’s most scenic outhouse. And believe you-me, it’s no lie! The campground is situated on a beautiful rise that overlooks Saddle Horse Canyon and the Grand Canyon. Several day-hikes in the area give a greater overview of what exactly our little slice of desert in the southwest is like. From Toroweap Overlook, you’re also able to see Lava Falls, which is considered by some as one of the most difficult rapid on the Colorado. If you’re lucky, like we were, you’ll get the experience of watching one of lucky permitted trips float down through.
If you have a four-wheel drive vehicle, patience for driving long dirt roads, and the desire to view a secluded area of the Grand Canyon then Toroweap is a great destination to roll into a Zion-area visit. So check the weather for a sunny week, free up your schedule, and take a trip out to Tuweep. Spend an evening enjoying the silence of vastness of the Grand Canyon, go exploring on hikes, enjoy a sunrise and sunset, and I promise you’ll be amazed and humbled by the experience! And don’t forget to stop in and say hi to Marjorie!