Toroweap ( barren valley) also known as Tuweep is a very remote area in the western part of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park . It is worth the difficult trip to see the Toroweap Overlook which has spectacular scenery.

The biggest problem you will have is getting there. It will take about 3 hours over an unpaved road. Most of the road is well maintained but there may be parts of the road that are sandy and washed out. The last 5 miles require very slow going over rough and practically a non-existent road.

You need a high clearance vehicle, in fact ,I would recommend a 4Wdrive vehicle. Boulders in the road can really wreck a car. I have personal experience with that one...

So you still want to go? Ok here are the directions...

The main entrance is accessed from either Hurricane, Utah or Fredonia, Arizona along AZ389 about 7 miles west of Fredonia. Watch for the small sign pointing toward the dirt BLM road (109) that says Toroweap 61 miles. Drive slowly so as not to puncture your tires.

Make sure that you have a spare tire and tools to change the tire. Watch for standing rocks and drive slowly over the cattle guards. The first 20 miles are pretty easy but the road becomes more difficult after that. Bring water, food and blankets in case you get stranded. There isn't much traffic on this road so you may there awhile if you get stuck.

There are no services on this road and the road may be impassable if it has been raining. It's a good idea to check with the rangers before leaving to find out the road conditions. The road is open year round as Toroweap seldom gets any snow.

I wouldn't take this road at night but if you do be sure to bring a flashlight. You will also encounter wild life crossing the road. Be prepared.

After reaching Toroweap, you will still have several miles to drive before reaching the Overlook. Once the road ends, 100 feet further, the land drops off in sheer vertical cliffs. It's a spectacular sight. I should add that this is not for people who have a fear of heights. From this point you can hear the roar of the Colorado River and usually can see the white caps on the river.

Toroweap Overlook is the only place in the Grand Canyon where you can drive directly above the Colorado River.

There is a campground located about a mile from the rim. It has 10 sites and is first come first served. This campground is closest to the rim. It's fairly open and doesn't have much shade.

The lower camp sites are closer to a rock ledge that provides some shade during the day. The road is steep down to these camp sites so it may be difficult to get there by car. If the camp sites are full you will need a permit to camp in outlying areas. There is a ranger station in the area that has an emergency phone.

On the way to Toroweap, look for a sign for Mt Trumbull Road. Follow this road for 3 miles to the Nampaweap Petroglyphs. It is also referred to a Billy Goat Canyon because of some the drawings on the rocks. If you're interested in petroglyphs this is a good side trip.

Hiking on Toroweap....

       Tuckup Trail              Lava Falls          Vulcan's Throne     Saddle Horse Tr

  • Tuckup Trail
    This is a 6 mile round trip trail called Tuckup Trail. On the trail you will see wonderful elaborate paintings or pictographs. It is believed that they were painted before 1000 B.C. and as a result they are fragile. A few of them are life size and multicolored. They are called Gordon's Panel after the mule wrangler that found them in the 1800s.

  • Lava Falls
    This is a trail that is a 1 ½ miles but drops in elevation 2500 feet. You will see a sign posted by the Forest service letting you know that it's dangerous if the temperature is over 80 degrees F. The trail also has loose scree and is rocky and not well maintained. You will need lots of water if you decide to hike this trail.

  • Vulcan's Throne Hike
    This isn't really a trail but is cinder cone that is considered to be a small volcano that erupted about 74,000 years ago. You are allowed to hike up to the top of the cone. It's about 1 ½ miles round trip. The trailhead is located next to Lava Falls.

  • Saddle Horse Canyon Trail
    It is difficult to see this trail sign. When you arrive at the rim, park and walk back along the road. Look for a pull over and a small sign. This trail leads to the north views of the rim. It's an easy 1 ½ mile hike.

The trip to Toroweap is worth the time and trouble. The views from the overlook of the Colorado River are outstanding. Put it on your things to do while visiting the Grand Canyon.

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