In The Desert
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2009 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
Parashant, St. George, Utah
Our traveling companions - Arvin & Mable. This is a long trip; 63 miles down to the Canyon and 90 miles back to St. George. The roads as you'll see are fairly nice. Warning, if it's raining or has just rained then it's going to be mud holes most of the way!
Download Garmin GPS Topo Tracks
DON'T forget your camera. The scenery is beautiful and varied. Linda; my wife, is always prepared! This trip is better for an overnighter, but we did this in one long day. Your bound to meet some other travelers here that are also enjoying the endless scenery.
This is an active Maps.google Satellite Map. Shown here - Toroweap Overlook.
The largest section of road after you leave Rt. 59 at Colorado City is like this (photo). You can travel this at a good clip if it's dry. Mt. Trumbull (the mountain) can be seen directly ahead of the road.
As you get into the low rolling hills you'll find cattle grazing areas. This is probably an old ranch hands cabin. This same area has some hidden caves that the Indians used a long time ago.
Don't hesitate to look at the road behind you (where you've been) and you'll see several old volcanos. Some are pretty big! The foothills before you get to Mt. Trumbill have a lot of interesting scenery. Watch for cattle in this area.
On the right - meet Jim Hancock who works for the Grand Canyon National Park. He's an interesting person. He was building the masonry support for the new Canyon sign on the Main road in --- Road No. 5
That's me Don on the left - author of these trips.
Now that your in the Grand Canyon National Park you'll see the local Rangers Station. There are bathrooms here, but the ranger isn't always available.
Just past the Rangers Station and just a little to the right of the road is Vulcans Throne; an extinct volcano. Just past Vulcans Throne is the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. This is one of the most desolate area I've ever been in. The valley here is beautiful.
Now the scenery is changing fast. Big buttes, mesas, and more greenery the closer you get to the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. The road also gets a little rougher here. The whole trip is passable by a 2 wheel drive though; unless it rains, so keep an eye on the weather.
And did I mention flowers? Well these photos were taken in May so it was probably the best time to see them. They were every where. And a large variety too.
Here's a close-up Arvin took. It was spectacular -- the hills were full of flowers. So many different varieties.
This is as bad as the road gets. Not bad at all. Just past this little rise is the campground if you want to stay there. We did this trip in one day with an early start.
Well we thought we were at the edge of the Canyon here. NO, this is just a side canyon that drains into the Colorado River. There are other roads that leave the main road to the Canyon (like to the campground); to get to the Canyon stay right.
Arvin caught us looking over the edge. It's 3,000 ft. to the river and it's straight down - be careful! This is really worth the time to get here. See next photo!
Looking down at the Colorado River from the edge is nerve wracking - of course if your not afraid of high places at all -- then this is the place for you!
Another view -- WOW what a great place for photographers. This is something you just have to see. Unlike the commercialized portions of the Grand Canyon where you can't hardly see the River and you don't get the same kind of depth perception as here.
If you go back the way we did (long way) to St George then you'll drive around the Southern edge of Mt. Trumbull. As you can see your in a pine forest with really big ponderosa pines. Talk about a change in scenery. This is a beautifull drive.
When you get down off the mountain onto the flat plains you'll come to this sign and the Mt. Trumbull school house that's been completely restored and is open to visitors. Try ringing the bell! The rest of the trip is fairly flat up thru cattle ranches and then back to the South end of St. George. Still more neat scenery on the way back. Great trip!
Great trip that most don't get to see. We've made several trips down to the Canyon Rim and on one we found some Piaute Caves we'd been looking for. See another view here - Paiute Caves to Grand Canyon.
Updated November 11th. 2017
Recent trip by the St. George Jeepers group out of St. George, Utah
This trip in the desert was originally published by "Bud" Sanders for the St. George Jeepers and is published here with Bud Sanders permission.
Here is another view of the Toroweap Overlook at the Western end of the Grand Canyon. Great photos and very interesting history of this area and areas that you travel through to get to the overlook. Don't miss this neat trip report by Bud Sanders!
Please be patient -- this PDF file will take a minute to download and open,
Toroweap Overlook Trip (PDF)
Original Trip - May 2008
The newest trip was done 9 years after our original trip - nothing has changed, which is a good thing.