March of 2018 saw the culmination of 2 years of planning and “wanting to go” to Toroweap Overlook on the western end of the Grand Canyon! It was quite a wait…but oh so worth the wait!!
I had seen some pictures of it on Google Maps one day while just wandering around the map. And the picture that I saw captured my imagination and kept me thinking about the place for months! I finally started making plans to go, and go I did! Along with my buddy Pete Christie. It was all I expected and even more!
It is on the extreme west end of the Grand Canyon and not your usual tourist spot. The actual overlook is 67 miles south of the closest paved highway. A beautiful drive in thru Indian reservation lands, Grand Canyon Parashant Nat’l Monument lands and then back onto Grand Canyon Nat’l Park land.
There is a full-time Ranger that lives there. A really nice spot, his power is solar & emergency generator, pure water supply…and OH! what a view!! During the summer there are one or two volunteers to help out for the summer season.
There is a sign up that says (at the 11 miles to go point) no vehicles over 24 feet long allowed. And they do mean it! You don’t want to take a large vehicle in…you’d never make it! The last 5 or 6 miles it is highly recommended that you be in either a high-clearance or 4X4 vehicle. You are basically rock crawling for the last few miles. It is not “massive” rock crawling…but you don’t want to take your sedan or minivan into the area!
When you go to the overlook, there are a couple of picnic tables, a two-holer vault toilet, and THAT’S IT!!! No signs, no fences, just that fabulous view of the Grand Canyon!! We were there for close to 3 hours and say about 10 people. There is a “Primitive Campground” with just 7 sites about a quarter mile from the overlook. It is totally primitive, you bring all you need & you pack out everything you brought in. A true “Leave No Trace” camping area!
But the beauty of the place! It will in all honesty take your breath away!
The starkness and roughness and colors of the Canyon are never done justice with photos! But it is a close as I am able to bring you what it is like! It is almost beyond the mind to comprehend the beauty of the place!