In The Desert
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Black Rock Trip
Arizona Strip, Arizona
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Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument
This is one of those places in the desert we'd heard about. A trip through a desolate area on the Eastern side of the Virgin River Gorge, Arizona and around the mountains to Mesquite, Nevada. Our friend Dan Pendery said he'd be the guide. He brought along a friend, Pappy, from Kanab, Utah to make this trip with us. We'd also heard about the Lime Kiln Canyon trail. So this made this doubly interesting. This trip has a total of 67 miles off-road and took 5 hours. Elevations were from 1,500 to 6,900 ft.
This trip starts just a few miles south of St. George, Utah at Exit 27 on I-15 at the Black Rock Rd. Exit just over the border in Arizona. You'll want to head Southeast from the exit. A big open "gravel pit" and "Gypsum Mine" are the first places you'll drive through on this very scenic trip. A lot of cattle are being grazed in all the areas we visited, so be careful. The main Co. Road you'll be following in the beginning is Route 1009, if you have a topo map of the area.
You'll go through some interesting places like "Big Valley", the "Gypsum Mine", then through "Dinner Flat" then you start to climb into the foothills of "Black Rock Mountain" with the "Virgin Mountains" to the West and with "Mokaac Mountain" to the East. You'll run along side of "Hodgets Canyon", "Tombstone Canyon", "Pocket Hill", "The Dives" and "Black Rock Canyon" which is a pretty amazing site, (See the slideshow). Then you climb up onto the North side of "Black Rock Mountain" via a steep narrow trail of switchbacks. Along the way you'll see signs for places like, "Black Rock Spring", "Wolf Hole Valley", "Low Mountain Road", "Paiute Wilderness Area", and "Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument". At the top of the mountain we found small patches of snow left from a winter storm and one heck of a view from different overlooks.
Most of this run is in the "Grand Canyon-Parashant, National Monument". Coming down slowly off the mountain you'll run alongside the "Tom and Cull Wash" in "Hatchei Valley". You'll eventually come to a main intersection in the trail, with Co. Hwy 101 (gravel, dirt road). If you follow the track included here, you'll want to make a sharp right and head toward "Lime Kiln Pass". This is a rough, steep, and rocky trail with great scenery. Coming down off of the Mountain Pass into "Lime Kiln Canyon" is quite an eye opener! You'll want to keep watching the scenery (rock formations) and at the same time watch this narrow and steep section of the route. Part way across the flattened desert here you'll enter the State of Nevada just south of Mesquite, NV. This is a really scenic run. This is also a fair weather run.
Watch this in full-screen -- 1080 HD
For more detail, view the enlargement
Download the GPX Track for this trip HERE
If you happen to be anywhere near St. George, Utah or Mesquite, Nevada then this is a trip you should consider. It's not hard and a 4x4 is only necessary if the roads are muddy after a storm. There are a couple places that will get your heart pumping and the scenery is fabulous! There are also a lot of side roads you might want to investigate.