North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Sept 2012


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This is a trip that myself and one other Jeep did two weeks before we did the Baja, Mexico Trip.
It was a pre-run of a trip that is scheduled for the main group to do next August 2013.

Our plan for this run was to start at Lake Powell and follow the north bank of the Colorado River down to Lake Mead, visiting as many overlook points as we could reach in a Jeep. On the river, the run from Lake Powell to Lake Mead is about 300 river miles, but in a Jeep this would take about 700 miles, most of which would be on dirt.

On the way to Kanab, UT I stopped overnight in Ely, NV and went for a ride on the Northern Nevada Railway Steam Train.
If you go to Ely you have to ride the Steam Train it was great fun:

Monday, August 27, 2012. Kanab, UT to Lake Powell, AZ

Our first stop was at the BLM Office in Kanab, UT, where we entered the daily lottery for permits to the Wave in Coyote Butte. The BLM only allows 20 visitors per day to the site. We were lucky; we won one of the permits to visit the Wave the next day. After receiving the permit, some maps, and some hiking tips from the BLM Ranger, we spent the rest of the day exploring the area around Kanab.
We went to the Hog Canyon OHV area along the ridge above Kanab. There are numerous Jeep, ATV and motorcycle trails in the area.

After lunch in Kanab, we headed east toward Lake Powell. We took a side trip to visit the Paria Movie Set, where a number of western films were shot. All that remains of the movie set are a few foundations. An unexpected side benefit of the trip were the colorful and scenic canyon walls:

That night, we set up camp at Lone Rock Beach Campground at Lake Powell. The elevation of Lake Powell was 3,624’ and the temperature was in the high 90s.
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Part 2

Tuesday, August 28, 2012. The Wave.

We broke camp at Lake Powell and headed to the Wire Pass trailhead on House Rock Valley Road near the Utah-Arizona border. The Wave is a three-mile hike each way with a 500’ elevation gain from the parking area. Because of the terrain, the ranger told us that most hikers take about two hours each way.
Because of the high temperatures, the hike was not pleasant, but it was worth the effort:



Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Marble Canyon.

After leaving Lake Powell, Lee’s Ferry, AZ is the next point on the Colorado River that is accessible by Jeep. Although it is only 7 miles downstream from Lake Powell, the wilderness areas along the river require a 50-mile detour through Page, AZ or an 80-mile detour via Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. It is the starting point for rafting trips through the Grand Canyon and the reference point for “river miles” in the Grand Canyon.

We drove along many BLM roads that wound through the House Rock Valley. Most of the roads were too far from the rim for a good view of Marble Canyon and the river. We found two viewpoints overlooking Marble Canyon. This is at about river mile 10 (10 miles below Lee’s Ferry):
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Part 3

Thursday, August 30 – North Rim

The next overlook was at the Saddle Mountain Trailhead, which is in the Kaibab National Forest just north of the Grand Canyon National Park boundary:

Our next overlook was Point Imperial in Grand Canyon National Park. It is only about two miles south of the Saddle Mountain Trailhead, but in order to reach it by Jeep, we had to return to the highway, air up, enter the park and return to Point Imperial—a distance of about 40 miles.




Friday, August 31, 2012

On Friday, we continued our quest to visit every overlook we could reach by Jeep, our first objective was to visit the overlook at Point Sublime. Although permits are required to camp at Point Sublime, no permits are necessary for a brief daytime visit to the point. The Point Sublime Trail is one of my favorite trails anywhere.
It travels through thick dark forests for several miles before delivering you to the point with it's fantastic views.

Saturday, September 1, 2012 – Kanab Point and SB Point

On Saturday morning, we checked out of the North Rim Campground.
After stopping at the Jacob Lake Inn to stock up on cookies, we drove to Fredonia, AZ and filled our gas tanks and gas cans and saw this old friend in town:

Our first overlook was at Kanab Point. We reached the overlook in mid-afternoon. The first thirty miles was on a smooth, wide, graded dirt road, but the last ten miles was on a narrow two-track trail that wound through the thick brush.

The next overlook was SB Point. The road shown on our GPS did not exist, and the alternate road was little used and overgrown. It took us nearly three hours to travel 20 miles from Kanab Point to SB Point.
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Part 4

Sunday, September 2, 2012 – Toroweap Point, Whitmore Overlook and Bar 10 Ranch

We arose on Sunday morning, loaded the Jeeps and drove the short distance from the campground to the Toroweap Overlook. Toroweap Point is at river mile 177 and the shear vertical drop to the river is about 3,000 feet. There are higher points along the river canyon but there are few that give you the "weak in the knees" feeling that you get when looking straight down from the edge at Toroweap.

We arrived at the Bar-10 Ranch in time to have lunch. The Bar-10 Ranch is a working cattle ranch, but it also serves as the transfer point for rafters going to and from the river. It takes the rafts about six or seven days to travel 177 miles to Whitmore Canyon from the starting point at Lee’s Ferry and it takes about three more days to travel the remaining 100 miles to Lake Mead. Helicopters pick up the rafters at Whitmore Canyon and take them to the Bar-10 Ranch where airplanes take them to Las Vegas or back to Lee’s Ferry. The helicopters also bring other rafters who get aboard for the trip downriver to Lake Mead. About 13,000 people pass through the Bar-10 Ranch each year. The Ranch provides lodging, meals and activities such as horseback riding and ATV tours of the area. We had made prior arrangements to purchase dinner, a shower, and gasoline from the ranch.

Every evening at the Bar-10 Ranch the Heaton family puts on an outdoor western show for their guests.

After the Bar-10 Ranch we continued our trip by visiting Kelly Point and Twin Point and finally two days later we made it to Grand Wash Bay on Lake Mead.
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Great pics and a nice trip report. When I was about 14, a group of us took canoes down the Colorado thru what is now Lake Powell (before the dam was completed). Beautiful area around there. That was about 50 years ago, but I still remember some of it.


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I'm jealous. Where do you find the time and $? I can barely afford my commute to work these days...

I'm semi-retired and am old enough to get Social Security,
plus a few years ago I married a retired California school teacher. :rolleyes:


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I'm semi-retired and am old enough to get Social Security,
plus a few years ago I married a retired California school teacher. :rolleyes:

You are doing it right! The very definition of "get busy living". I will be there some day, i hope.