Grand Canyon – Toroweap
Toroweap – The Other Grand Canyon View
By Mark Havnes
For a truly wild and spectacular visit to the Grand Canyon, the adventurous with time and a hearty vehicle should venture to the Toroweap Overlook. Just watch your step. A Paiute word meaning “dry or barren valley,” Toroweap is located on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, offering a rare view of the canyon from the rim to the Colorado River, a dizzying 3,000 feet below. Located 61 miles south off Arizona State Route 389, the dirt road is a bone-rattling trip over dusty washboards, with a stunning reward at the end. For those who want to camp overnight, there is the adjacent campground operated under the auspices of the National Park Service and requires reservations. While normal vehicles can negotiate the rough road, caution is advised. If the road gets wet, it can be like trying to drive through greasy butter. Towing stuck vehicles can cost upward of $1,000. Heavy-duty tires are essential and if camping, plenty of food, water, tents, warm clothing, stove and lanterns are necessary. Because there is no cell phone service, a satellite phone is the only way one can keep in touch with the outside world. The road ends abruptly just a few hundred yards from where the earth takes a dramatic plunge, forming a narrow gash, that some who are shy of heights have been known to approach the edge lying on their stomachs. Because of its remoteness and grandeur, the mood and features of the canyon seem to deepen here. Colors are darker, shadows are deeper, and sounds and silence are richer. For more information on Toroweap, and to make reservations at the Tuweep Campground, visit nps.gov/grca.