Kelly Point Road is a seasonal 4x4 touring route in the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument and this dirt trail opens just in time for the spring season desert wildflower bloom. This road to the Paiute Wilderness is closed from November till late March, which leaves a short window of opportunity before the extreme heat of summer rolls around. Previous articles about the road from Whitney Pockets to Aravada Springs and Aravada Springs To Lime Kiln Canyon Road explain how to get to the Kelly Point Road intersection when coming from the direction of Gold Butte, which is the most popular way to go. At the end of Kelly Point Road a driver will have a choice of heading to points of interest near Saint George, Utah or heading into the Mount Trumbull Wilderness and the Toroweap Cliffs. All of these unique destinations are way out in the middle of nowhere, so fuel management will be a primary concern. Topping off the fuel, food and water is best to do in case the unexpected occurs and a spare tire with a flat kit will help to ensure a safe return.
From one end to the other, Kelly Point Road certainly will provide endless breathtaking views of the pristine Paiute Wilderness desert landscape that simply beckons to be experienced in person. The Paiute Wilderness is a geological wonderland composed of rolling hills, volcanic fields, dry wash canyons and towering mountain peaks, so a wide variety of desert environments await along the way. The vegetation varies from sparse sagebrush and cactus in the low elevations to deep juniper and piñon forests higher up, which shelter a wide variety of wildlife. Red tail hawks rule the skies, while mule deer and bighorn sheep can be spotted near the hills. All sorts of small critters abound in this region too, so it is best to pack a good camera for this long dusty trail.
During the spring season, wildflowers of all colors can be viewed along Kelly Point Road and some of the rarest desert flowers are found in this region. The local bugs and wild bees will definitely cause onlookers to dig through the entomology reference books, so a photographer that has a macro lens will certainly stay busy in this unique place. Landscape artists will find the desert views that dreams are made of, while those who simply seek peace and quiet will have their wish granted too. Taking it slow is the way to go, so there will be ample time to soak up the magnificent views and not being in a hurry helps to protect the endangered desert gopher tortoise population in this region. Slowly ambling along is also he best way to spot hidden pockets of wildflowers, so be sure to take it easy and enjoy the long ride!
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