Two previously published articles describe how to get to the Grand Canyon Parashant and Tuweep. The long bumpy ride on Antelope Road to a dispersed camping area inside the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument is the first hurdle and the Tuweep area campground is the second leg of the journey. The total distance from Highway 389 to the Toroweap Cliffs is about 70 miles and as can be guessed, the best option is to plan on camping overnight near the final destination, so plenty of quality time can be spent viewing the west end of the majestic Grand Canyon. The early bird gets the worm and the views of the Grand Canyon at dawn certainly will create memories that last a lifetime.
Dispersed camping in the neighboring Grand Canyon Parashant is as easy as looking for a previously occupied small clearing with a stone fire ring. Camping at Tuweep inside the Grand Canyon National Park is more complicated, but it is just a short hike to the Toroweap Cliffs from that campground. Permits are required for the Tuweep Campground and there are only a limited amount of campsites. To top is off, there are vehicle restrictions for the very rough dirt road to the Tuweep Campround, which include no RVs, no trailers and no ordinary passenger cars. The rough grueling road to the campground and Toroweap is rated for only high ground clearance 4x4 vehicles, so all others must park by the ranger station and pack it all in.
I drive a Jeep 4x4, so I actually was the only person touring Toroweap at dawn during my visit. Oddly enough, there was only a couple of campers in Tuweep, so it does pay to check on camping permits, especially during the autumn season. The road from Tuweep to Toroweap only goes a few miles, but it truly is one of the roughest bare bedrock pathways in the entire Arizona Strip. Going a little too fast will result vehicle damage, as well as the molars being jarred loose, so the slow going is something to consider if dawn is the planned arrival time.
For those who get to the Toroweap Cliffs by sunrise, the first view looking east deep into the Grand Canyon certainly will cause the jaw to drop in awe. The early morning haze adds a dramatic effect as the sunlight first gleams on the highlights of the canyon walls. Looking west from Toroweap will reveal rolling hills that the Colorado River has cut through on the way to the towering mountains near Lake Mead. The views looking straight down into the deep abyss definitely will cause the panic button to flash red, so care must be taken near the rim because there are no safety devices in place. There is only the solid rock Toroweap Cliffs and beautiful views of the west Grand Canyon that seemingly stretch out forever!
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