I joined seven friends on an 18 day trip into the Arizona Strip and Grand Canyon. My van is a Ford E350 extended body with an Agile Off Road 4x4 conversion, four inch lift and 32” BFG K02 tires. It handled the rough and difficult road conditions extremely well.
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The Meandering 7 met at Whitney Pockets near Mesquite, NV to start our adventure. Whitney Pockets is an area of red and white sandstone rock formations with lots of small caves/pockets in them. Moqui Marbles can be seen protruding from the sandstone.
On the way to Grand Gulch Canyon we stopped at the Devils Throat sink hole to look down into it 238 foot depth and the Gold Hill mine site. The throat is worth a visit, the mine not so much.
Two of us took what was suppose to be an easy 40 mile loop around the more difficult Grand Gulch Canyon road that the others took. The easy loop turned out to to be 80 miles of rough road. In one area we had to stack rocks to get over multiple 12 to 18 inch high rock ledges that blocked our path. The van had no difficulty climbing up and over the rock ledges.
We met up with the rest of the group later than planned and headed for the Cunningham and Savanic mines. They were not worth the time as the roads down into the canyons to them were very narrow and overgrown with grass and bushes.
The only thing I can say about Kelly Point is that it has a beautiful view of the Sanup Plateau. Is it worth the four hour 22 mile one way trip to get to the point? Let’s just say that traveling out and back over the very narrow rock garden they call a road that winds through the trees is not something I am going to repeat anytime soon. Two of us broke our HAM antennas, I damaged the passenger side mirror and we all got lots of new desert pin striping on the sides and tops of our rigs.
We made camp early the next day and discussed the fuel situation around the campfire. We decided to make the 60 mile round trip to St. George for gas. Back on the strip we stopped at the Mt. Trumble Schoolhouse and then camped at the head of Parashant Canyon. It was windy but the view was great.
Three of us headed to the Bar 10 Ranch for showers and some relaxation. The rest of the group went partway down into Parashant Canyon. We spent the night at the Whitmore Canyon Overlook south of the Bar 10. The view of the Colorado River making a long east to west curve in the Grand Canyon was fantastic. We could just make out several rafters below us.
We met up with the rest of the group the following day at the Bar 10. The ranch is the only place to buy gas on the strip. You can expect to pay twice what you would pay in town. From there we split up again with three of us headed to a campsite on Mt. Logan via the schoolhouse and the rest taking the road through Hells Hollow.
The next morning we we headed to Toroweap. On the way we stopped at the cinder pits (a waste of time) and Nampaweap Petroglyphs. (Well worth the side trip.) We had two permits that allowed two cars with three people each to camp in the Toroweap campground. The view of the canyon from the campground is not very impressive. The best views are actually a short distance away from the campground. A permit is only required if you are planning on camping there. The view is free.
From Toroweap we headed to Kanab Point. Again advanced permits are required to camp there. The camping is dispersed as opposed to Toroweap which has designated sites. We parked at the canyons edge and enjoyed the light playing on the canyon walls during sunset and sunrise. The road into Kanab is not as rocky as the one to Kelly. If anything it is narrower as it twists and turns around the trees. It seemed like who ever put the road in tried not to knock over any trees. Pin striping can be expected.
The plan was to head into the Kaibab the next day but the smoke from the Ike’s fire deterred us. Instead two of us headed for southern Utah to hike Wire Pass a slot canyon and then head home. The rest of the group headed back west to see twin points and then headed home.
I took Cottonwood Canyon road north and stopped at Grosvenor’s Arch then proceeded to to Kodachrome Basin State Park where I did laundry and spent the night. Both places are worth the visit. From Kodachrome it was a three day drive on the freeways home.
Total mileage: 2,878
Dirt mileage: 713
Total gallons of gas: 284
Days on the road: 18