Into the remote Western Grand Canyon Regions-Tuweep
Always looking for adventure, this time we wanted to get off the beaten track and do some remote hiking. At the extreme west end of the the park North Rim, hard against the small range of the Uinkaret Mountains and 10 miles south of Mount Trumbull lies Tuweep.
It's the long piece of dot.dot.dotted blue line that marks the route.
Now, it's a long, long +65 mile dirt road trip across the Kaibab plateau to get there. The only other way is by river, either by raft down the Colorado, or by crossing the river from the huge Hualapai Reservation, about 5 miles downstream from Mohawk Canyon. It's not a place for the faint-of-heart.
Just in case somebody is in the mood for a leisurely "adventure" jaunt in the station wagon with the kids on a Sunday afternoon, there's another sign a bit further on with larger letters...and with a bit more detail...
...and the cloud has moved over a little bit
Notice the flatness of the Plateau, the distant fire, and the sunny sky with a few nice, puffy clouds.
The first thing to do is talk to the Rangers to get the latest weather info, road conditions, and the overall situation on the ground, so to speak.
The crash bars and heavy duty winch come in handy with errant tourists.
We had stocked up with several separate containers of water, lots of food, and repair supplies. With a compass, a high resolution map, a GPS just for fun and a satellite phone we set off. It was a bright sunny day, and not too hot- just perfect for traveling.
The roads were as advertised. Parts were flat and perfectly smooth soil. Then there were sections with hundreds of yards of deep trenches, since solidified, evidently made by some truck struggling through axle deep mud.
And then there were the sections with lots of sharp-edged and pointy rocks. First there was this wobbly feeling, and then a mushy feeling at the wheel, then a rubbing sound, some lumping, and then a flat tire for sure.
Out came the repair kit, one of those with the big screwdriver/needle and the lengths of sticky, rubbery rope that you poke in. It took two of them to stop the hissing, and a whole lot of exercise with the little bicycle pump, but it worked....worked enough to get us 30 miles back into town for a brand new tire. Back at it again, albeit a few hours later into the afternoon.
The cloud over there is a bit bigger than I remember. Maybe it's half smoke, an interesting combo of Fire and Water.
But it's nice and sunny where we are, at least for now. I've been "Out There" enough to know how fast things can change.
Well, the nice puffy clouds are starting to grow in number, and seem to be attracting others like magnets. Within twenty minutes it's changed a little.
Uh Oh. We may be getting wet soon. I wouldn't want to be out here without 4 wheel drive and lots of rations put aside for a rainy day.
Thar She Blows !
It's our lucky day. All the water has fallen somewhere else, even if only a few miles away. Now we just have to watch for flash floods in the washes we cross through. But no trouble after all.
A double rainbow instead of Trouble at Mt .Trumbell.
Making it to the Toroweap area, we enter the hustle and bustle of the metropolis, as the skies begin rapidly clearing.
Arriving at the camping outpost, we get the once over from the locals.
Who you lookin' at Chump?
The Inspector stops by.
Pass Inspection. Visiting Hours are Over.
After having navigated the improved section of road (large rocks placed as steps to get over the ledge), we set up the tents, and head out for a look around.
Base Camp at Toroweap Achieved
Closer in, the arrow shows Tuweep relative to the rest of the Grand Canyon and the Hualapai Reserve.
The 60 mile road continues
A rock had put a one inch slice through the treads, even though we were driving only about 25 mph.