Getting out to the wide open spaces of the west is a pastime of those who wish to escape the daily grind. People that are tired of seeing the direction that civilization has gone do relish the thought of going to a remote place where Mother Nature is undisturbed, just to find some peace of mind. The type of vehicle that one drives is the only limiting factor for making the great escape happen and those who drive a capable off-highway vehicle will find more opportunities to get away from it all. There are places that ordinary passenger cars simply cannot go and this is where 4×4 vehicle owners wave goodbye as they vanish into the great beyond where majestic vistas await to be experienced.
The Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument is one of the most desolate remote wilderness areas in the Southwest and this is a place where ordinary passenger cars dare not go. There are no paved roads anywhere near this this destination, so drivers of low ground clearance cars will be out of luck, unless they rent a 4×4 ATV or Jeep for the occasion.
Just to get to the borders of the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument requires a long drive over rough dirt roads that only a high ground clearance vehicle can handle. Two wheel drive pickup trucks and SUV vehicles can handle most of the county dirt roads, but there are places where having the four wheel drive option will guarantee that you will not get stuck way out in the middle of nowhere. If it rains, then all bets are off, because even a tough Jeep will have a difficult time slogging through the deep mud in this vast expanse. Since there is no use beating around the bush when it comes to safety’s sake, it is best to choose a rugged 4×4 if you really want to spend some time touring the vast wide open spaces of the Grand Canyon Parashant.
The long dirt roads that go to the Grand Canyon Parashant are located in the Nevada, Arizona, Utah tri-state area. This region is called the Arizona Strip and the respective BLM offices manage this area. The access road to Grand Canyon Parashant can be found in the Gold Butte National Monument, Mesquite NV, St George UT and near the community of Cane Beds AZ. Each of the access roads requires about an hour of rough dirt road driving just to get to the Grand Canyon Parashant boundary, so fuel supply management becomes critical. Once inside this park, it can be well over 50 miles to the chosen destination and the return trip has to be figured into the fuel mileage calculation too. To be on the safe side, carrying 5 to 10 gallons of extra fuel is highly suggested if you plan on doing a long Grand Canyon Parashant venture. Carrying one or two extra spare tires is highly suggested too, because it is an awfully long hike back to civilization if the vehicle is stranded.
One of the easiest Grand Canyon Parashant access roads to find is located in the Gold Butte National Monument near Mesquite, Nevada. A previously published article about Whitney Pockets Road To Aravada Springs describes the travel route to the starting point for second leg of the trip. The Third leg of the journey heads back to Mesquite through the mountains and the entire trip can be done in one day.
Aravada Springs is where 3 major dirt roads meet in the western end of the Grand Canyon Parashant and each of these roads go to majestic destinations. One road comes in from Gold Butte, the second road heads south to the Grand Wash and the third road runs north to St George. For today’s off highway trip into the Grand Canyon Parashant from the Aravada Springs landmark, you want to follow the road to St George, which on a map is County Road 101.
There are a zillion no trespassing signs on either side of the road around Aravada Springs, but these signs do not apply to travelers on the main dirt road. Aravada Springs is a private camping & hunting resort that is squeezed between the two National Monuments next to the Arizona border and this place is worth looking into if you really want to get away from it all for an extended time.
For the record, it is about a 10 mile drive from Aravada Springs to the junction of Lime Kiln Canyon Road and Kelly Point Road. After passing by the cottonwood trees at Aravada Springs, the Grand Parashant National Monument welcome sign comes into view at the border. There are also several warning signs that concern impassible wet weather conditions and how there is no chance for rescue in this place. You will truly be on your own in the Grand Canyon Parashant and if the worst possible scenario occurs, you will have to depend upon your own survival skills.
After rounding the first bend, the views of the Grand Canyon Parashant are unobstructed. A onlooker can clearly see how the Pakoon Basin gradually runs downhill into the gigantic Grand Wash, which drains into the Colorado River in the west end of the Grand Canyon. Basically, the Grand Canyon Parashant is the gigantic wide dry wash ravine where the water from southwestern Utah drained into the Colorado River in ancient times. There are several ridge lines and mountain ranges that guide the water to the river way downhill in this vast dry wash that extends for over 100 miles. Volcanic cinder cones, fault lines, eroded mesas and massive upheavals of rock strata can be seen all over this panoramic landscape. The views from County Road 101 in the western end of the Grand Canyon Parashant truly are as majestic as can be, so be sure to bring a good camera along for the ride!
When traveling to the junction on CR 101, a visitor will pass by the Red Pockets Mountain viewing area, which is pretty easy to identify. Much like Whitney Pocket on the other side of the mountain, Red Pockets Mountain is covered with multi color sandstone outcrops. Because the air is so clear in this place, the distances are deceptive and the rock outcrops in are actually much larger than they appear to be from the roadside. As can be seen in the photos, the Red Pockets Mountain area is an intriguing place that is well worth exploring on foot.
For the rest of the ride, a visitor will definitely get acquainted with the harsh Mojave Desert terrain, which at times seems to be unending. There occasionally is some wildlife to be seen, but most of the local creatures are nocturnal, because the summertime temperatures can be brutally hot. Elk and deer have been known to frequent this region and coyotes wander through these parts. Mountain lions tend to stick closer to the high ground and Bighorn Sheep can be spotted here as well.
The most likely large animal to be spotted in the Grand Wash region during daylight hours is not what most naturalists would expect to see. Wild burros from the old mining era roam this region with ease, because they are so well adapted to the rough terrain and they can go for several days without water. The wild burros in Grand Canyon Parashant are not used to a human presence, so they will nearly always trot away to a safe distance, instead of strolling up to say hello.
Upon arrival at the junction of Lime Kiln Canyon Road and Kelly Point Road, there are several road signs that make it easy to navigate which way to go from this four way intersection. Kelly Point Road is a rough primitive dirt road that runs east deep into the center of this National Monument before heading south to the Colorado River overlook foot trails. Kelly Point Road is closed during the winter season, but there are alternative routes a few dozen miles away, which are actually a smoother ride.
The County Road 101 travel route from Aravada Springs is the southern road at this four way intersection, which leads to the Grand Wash and Gold Butte. On the north side of the junction the name of the road changes to BLM 1041, which runs north all the way to Black Rock Mountain and St George. County Road 101 is just a few hundred yards east of this intersection and this road follows the same route.
At the intersection, the road going west uphill into the mountains is called Lime Kiln Canyon Road (CR 242) and this travel route goes all the way to Mesquite. For those who want to do 4×4 day tour, doing the long loop from Mesquite to Whitney Pocket, Aravada Springs and then taking Lime Kiln Road back to Mesquite through the mountains is the perfect choice! There are also BLM camping options in Lime Kiln Canyon near Mesquite.
It is easy to see that this four way intersection is an important coordinate for navigating the desolate terrain of the Grand Canyon Parashant. By featuring different legs of the off-highway travel routes in this remote National Monument, it just may make it easier for the uninitiated to venture into this majestic place. The 10 mile journey from Aravada Springs to the four way intersection is an easy ride, but it is important to keep in mind that the roads do get rougher from this point on.
Be sure to take plenty of time to enjoy the majestic scenery of the Grand Canyon Parashant, because this literally is a place where few others have gone before. In this vast pristine wilderness area, there certainly is plenty of room to roam and survival skills do come into play. ATV 4×4 and Jeep rentals along with organized tour excursions can be found in Mesquite and St George, so even if your own vehicle is not capable, you can still get up and go!
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