The Dusty Trail to Toroweap Point!

The view from Toroweap Point on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Early Monday morning after the Overland Expo, a group of 5 vehicles headed north of Flagstaff to the Toroweap Point camping area on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.   There were 2 Jeep Rubicons, a Ford F250 pickup, a Lexus sports utility vehicle and my Tacoma in the convoy.  One Jeep and the Lexus were pulling off-road trailers. We were all anxious to find some peace and quiet after the craziness of Overland Expo 2014, see some beautiful scenery and more than anything, we all wanted to do some trail driving.  Yes, the Expo motivated all of us to venture off the beaten path, if only for a few days!
The distance from Flagstaff to Toroweap Point is about 258 miles.  The internet map I used called the location, Toroweap Point, Colorado City Arizona.  Drive time under normal daytime conditions is roughly 8 hours.  The easiest way to find Toroweap Point on a paper map is to find the town of Fredonia, Arizonia and go about 10 miles west on Az 389 to the left (or south) turnoff.  From the Toroweap turnoff you have about 65 miles of dirt and gravel road down the beautiful valley all the way to the north rim of the Grand Canyon and the Toroweap Point Camping area.  The first 55 miles of dirt road are pretty easy, much like county roads anywhere in the country, except for maybe the beautiful views…. it’s the last 7 to 10 miles that are a bit challenging.  Plan about 2 and 1/2 hours drive time for the 65 miles.  There are signs recommending 4×4 and high clearance vehicles for the last 7 miles or so and that’s a sound recommendation!  My Tacoma TRD is stock and I had no problem negotiating the rocky 7 mile trail in high 4, but I drove slow!  A passenger car will probably not make it!  There are a few tight turns, so I believe any vehicle over 20 feet long (excluding vehicles with trailers) might get some Mojave pin-stripping during the last few miles.  An “Earth Cruiser” on a Fuso-Truck showed up at the campground on our second day there with some new pin-stripping on his truck-side from a rock wall or two, but he made it!  The campground has only 10 sites, no water or electric is available but camping is free of charge.  One site is a “group” site and will accommodate 4 vehicles and no more than 10 people.  Volunteer Ranger “Bob” was nice enough to let us camp at the site with 5 vehicles.  From the camping area it’s about a 1 mile walk to the rim of the canyon… and yes you are on the rim… one bad step and you could fall about 3000 feet to the canyon-floor and the Colorado River below.  The views are truly stunning in both directions, up and down river!  We spent 2 nights and one full day at Toroweap Point and had an awesome time.  We ate lots of great food.  A generous friend had a 3 pound tri-tip steak he shared with everyone on the first night!  Delicious!  Thanks Kevin!  The second night we improvised a bit and made what we called “North Rim Nachos.”  Everyone had some kind of mexican food, black beans, refried beans, carne, cheese, sour cream and hot sauce… we just combined everything into our bowls and dipped in with tortilla chips.  That way the mix was semi-protected from the wind and the sand!  The meal reminded me of the story from the children’s book, “Stone Soup.”  
Thanks to Mel, Kevin, Mark and Kelly for your culinary generosity during our visit to Toroweap Point…. I’d travel with you guys anytime and hope our paths cross again one day!!!
The dusty road to Toroweap Point.
The Toroweap sign at the Ranger Station.
Arriving at Toroweap Point Camping site.
Setting up camp.
Sunrise at the camping site, Toroweap Point.
Mel’s awesome ride!
A no legged friend near Toroweap Point.
The mandatory, “I was there picture.”


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I am an adventure-loving American man, with a severe case of wander-lust and a desire to experience as much of this wonderful world as humanly possible. Every place I have visited or lived has taught me something about life and helped me grow. For me, traveling opens my eyes to how similar the human race is, yet at the same time, how unique we all are. I hope this blog will motivate you to put down the TV remote, dust off your backpack and decide to take a chance on an adventure. It can be a walk in a new neighborhood 2 miles from home or a trip to a far off distant land. I have lived in or visited over 50 countries during my life and hope to see many more. I want to share my experiences. I hope you enjoy the blog. -WAND3R3R, Somewhere on the Globe, 2014.