We planned well in advance for our trip to Toroweap Overlook, part of the North Rim Grand Canyon.
Toroweap (Tu-weep to the Paiute Indian) refers to ‘the earth’, and translates appropriately to ‘dry & barren’. It’s hard to imagine this long rough rocky 61-mile dirt road through sagebrush and salt bush can open up to something so enormous, vast, and beautiful.
As the Colorado River winds through the bottom of the canyon, the steep walls stretch out to the sky with abundant rock formations.
We got the camping permits 6 months in advance, as required, estimating that the end of March would be less crowded and have best potential for rainy weather and clouds, and not be too hot.
Truth be known, we hit the mark. We hoped for clouds and clouds we got. In fact, we got so many clouds that over the course of 3 nights and 3 days (that’s 6 sunset / sunrise shoots), we only saw the sun once.
Outside of that one time, the sun was behind a dense cloud bank and never made an appearance. And unfortunately, it never even lit up the sky.
While I was disappointed, it was a gorgeous spot to watch the sun rise over coffee, and end the evening watching it set (hoping the light would come).
North Timp is one of those many points jutting out over the backwoods of North Rim Grand Canyon. One doesn’t have to go into the National Park itself to see some amazing viewpoints. We had hoped to get to more of those great overlooks, but circumstances intervened and it wasn’t meant to be. So it will have to be one of those ‘re-do’ experiences for another time.
For now, I got a couple pix of North Timp…. and next time, I’ll try to collect a more complete catalog of amazing viewpoints OUTSIDE the Park. Stay tuned.
While at the Grand Canyon North Rim, we decided to take in Point Sublime, another overlook we had never been to. The map shows it’s only 17 miles… so we figured it would take maybe an hour to get there. NOT!!
We stopped at the Backcountry Office to get our Permit to camp there. The Ranger told us that we should take the long way for our truck, instead of the shortcut for short wheel base Jeeps. We had no idea the trek would take almost 4 hours.
The dirt road is not well marked, and the rough map is difficult to follow. The drive along the way is lined with aspens and a gorgeous drive.
The turn at Kanabownits was basically the last sign we saw. We turned around once, but decided to stick it out. The road along the way was worth the drive… we were anxious to see the overlook.
At the end of the long drive we were rewarded with a stunning vantage point. We set up our camp as we took in the views we had all to ourselves.
Photos just don’t do it justice. It was worth the price of admission (free!).
Admittedly, I have been to the North Rim more in the last couple years than I have in my whole life. But, oddly, I have never been to the ‘popular’ out of the way overlooks. In part, I imagine that is so because National Parks are notoriously dog unfriendly. Thus, we tend to camp outside of the actual park and get awesome views without the crowds.
But this time, we took the occasion to do Cape Royal (above) and Point Imperial (below).
What stunning overlooks! The weather graced us with mostly blue sky with minimal clouds. But we made due with what we were given and captured some images for the archives.
Toroweap Overlook is a viewpoint within the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, United States. It is located in a remote area on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, 55 miles west of the North Rim Headquarters.
Grand Canyon National Parks own brochure says it best: “At 3,000 vertical feet (880 m) above the Colorado River, the sheer drop from Toroweap Overlook offers a dramatic view. The volcanic cinder cones and lava flows in this ancestral home of the Southern Paiute people make this area unique. A visit to Tuweep provides an opportunity for an uncrowded, rustic, and remote experience. Access is challenging and demands skill at negotiating difficult roadways. Services are non-existent: there is no water, gas, food, lodging, or phone service.”
Backcountry Permits are required from the Grand Canyon National Park in order to camp at one of their only 8 spots. We felt lucky to reserve our permit in advance. It made for a fascinating and stunning overlook for a few days.
We just got back from several days in the Grand Canyon. Not the popular and tourist heavy South Rim… but the more out of the way North Rim. More over.. not actually in the National Park itself, technically outside of the park. We camped in the forest outside the Grand Canyon – North Rim, finding amazing spots that overlooked the back side of the Grand Canyon.
We didn’t have to fight the crowds, or make reservations at jammed lodges for a year in advance. We camped on our own, brought and ate our own wonderful meals. We went for hikes along amazing trails and took in views that took our breath away.
As I sat one morning, all by myself, waiting for the sun to come up over the canyons, I took pause to feel thankful for this amazing state we live in. How fortunate I feel to live in a place where we can see this amazing landscape, in the solitude of my own company, feeling quite safe and extremely comfortable.
As the light shifted and changed over the canyon walls I thought how challenging Arizona photographers have it to photograph these vast ravines and sprawling cliffs. The shadows and light changing like a curtain being raised slowly over a work of art, waiting to see what moods today will bring about… clouds, blue sky, storms, dust, or haze.
We camped in several stunning spots, including Jump Up Point, Crazy Jug, and Rainbow’s End Trails. Each had their own beauty, foreground, and atmosphere. It was a great peaceful, relaxing trip…. one we’ll have to do again.