Western Grand Canyon: Toroweap Point at Tuweep

If you stop and ask directions you will find some locals will call it Toroweap and others will call it Tuweep. The name Toroweap was given by John Wesley Powell, but today it is used only to describe features of the area including the fault, formation and the point. The name Tuweep came into use to describe the white settlement and later the park district. A trip to Tuweep is not for everyone, but for those who do not mind driving for 2.5 hours on a washboard dirt, tire ripping, primitive road to the very edge of the Grand Canyon, Tuweep and Toroweap Point are magnificent! Toroweap Point is the lowest viewpoint in the Grand Canyon, but the 3000' sheer unfenced cliff gives even those with no fear of heights an uneasy feeling when they step out to the edge to see the Colorado River flowing below. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is remote, but the Tuweep section of the Grand Canyon is 2.5 hours from any kind of civilization. Situated at 4550' the point rarely gets snow, in contrast to the the North Rim of the Grand Canyon The road to Tuweep is open year-round, but it may be impassible if wet. Road Conditions

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Tuweep Campground 
Overnight use for the Tuweep area is only allowed at the Tuweep Campground. Picnic tables and composting toilets are provided. Reservation permits are required for all camping and overnight use at Tuweep Campground. Nine small campsites are available for one to six people with a maximum of two vehicles, including motorcycles. One large group campsite is for 7–11 people with a maximum of four vehicles, including motorcycles.  There is no water available. Permits cannot be issued at Tuweep.

Western Grand Canyon Permits
Permits can be obtained up to four months in advance from the NPS backcountry Information website. Permits are available in person six days in advance or less, and at the Pipe Spring National Monument which is 14 miles west of Fredonia, AZ. They can also be obtained at the Public Lands Information Center in St. George, UT at 345 E. Riverside Drive.

Hiking at Tuweep

Shaman's Gallery - Tuckup Trail
Hiking a 6.2 mile round-trip on the Tuckup Trail allows hikers to see some of the most magnificent pictographs in the Grand Canyon. The paintings were discovered by mule wrangler and guide, Gordon Smith in 1986 and thus are often called Gordon's Panel. These multi-colored paintings are exceptionally fragile and it is believed they were painted before 1000 B.C. Some of the images are life sized, many are painted in layers and all are excitingly elaborate.  Shaman's Gallery Photos

Colorado River and Lava Falls
The Colorado River approaches from the east and flows toward the west. Downstream is Lava Falls. When looking down into the river, look for Vulcan's Anvil. This is a 50' lava neck left over from an extinct lava vent. Lava Falls holds some of the roughest water of the Colorado, where water drops abruptly at the falls with great force. The start of the Lava Falls route is not signed, and is only 1.5 miles, but the elevation change is 2540'. This is a trail that few choose to travel and for most it would be the most difficult hike they ever attempted. It takes 2-4 hours to go down and 2-6 hours to come back up. This is not a trail, but a cairned route down loose scree! Be prepared for scrambling and a rocky, un-maintained route in a remote and primitive area.  Plan to hike this between late October and early April.  Several fit, capable people have died on this route in recent years due to the rapid onset of heat illness.  Self-rescue is your only option. Lava Falls Trail Information Lava Falls Trail Photo Album

Vulcan's Throne Hike
When approaching the rim a curious 600' hill is seen to the right (west) of the road. This is a basaltic cinder cone that is considered to be a young volcano. This was a volcano that erupted on the flat about 74,000 years ago.   The route starts along the Vulcan’s Throne Road. Although there is not a trail, hiking is allowed up to the top of the cone. The route is a 1.5 mile round-trip.

Saddle Horse Loop Trail
You would have passed this trailhead when driving to the rim, but the sign is not easy to see unless you are looking for it. Look for a pull-over and a small sign post between the Tuweep Campground and Toroweap Overlook. The 45-minute loop offers spectacular views of the Colorado River. Access the trail along the road between Toroweap Overlook and Tuweep Campground or from a trailhead near campsite 5. Saddle Horse Loop Trail Photos

Tuckup Trail 
Experience Tuweep's unique geology on this six-mile round-trip trail. There are two access points: the first is signed before arriving at Tuweep Campground and the second leaves from campsite 10.

Esplanade Loop Trail
Begin at the Toroweap Campground and follow the trail toward the rim. The trail is and easy one, and hikers travel 2.9 miles in total for this round trip.

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The main entrance is accessed from either Hurricane, Utah or Fredonia, Arizona along AZ 389, located 8 miles west of Fredonia. A small sign pointing towards the dirt County Road (109) road will say: “Toroweap 61 miles." Drive slowly along this road or your chances of having a punctured tired increase greatly. The first 30 miles of the road seem harmless, but the reputation the road has for puncturing tires is well deserved. The first 30 miles are graded regularly and smooth which makes for a lot of sharp, fractured rocks.  Make sure you have a spare tire and all the tools needed to change it. A tire plug kit, cigarette lighter and air compressor are a bonus. If you plan to travel at night make sure you have a flashlight. Night travel is slowed by the numerous jackrabbits that run in the path.  Be aware that the Tuweep area is open from sunrise to a half-hour after sunset. Watch for rocks that are standing up on end and travel slow over the cattle guards. Brings lots of water and blankets in case you become stranded. This road gets little travel, so be prepared. There are no services during the 5 hour round-trip on the primitive backcountry road. This road may be impassable when wet. Check the NPS website for trip planning information. After reaching the entrance to Tuweep there are six more miles to drive to get to the view point. A 4WD will provide a smoother ride over the washboard road, but it is not usually required if the roads are dry.  A high clearance vehicle is mandatory.

Grand Canyon North Rim Road Map

Directions to North Rim Grand Canyon: From Zion National Park, take on U-9 through the park to Mt. Carmel Jct. Turn south on US-89 to Kanab. There is only one stop light in Kanab; this is where US-89 changes to ALT 89. Fredonia, Arizona is 6 miles. In Fredonia take 89A to Jacob lake (36 miles), then take AZ 67 to the Grand Canyon North Rim park entrance.

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Toroweap Point at Tuweep at the Grand Canyon National Park

Toroweap Point offers the most magnificent view in the entire Grand Canyon, but the backcountry road to the rim keeps most visitors away


Lodging Zion National Park
Lodging Zion National ParkLodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.



Nearby Hiking

please link to meNampaweap Petroglyphs
On the way to Tuweep, keep your eyes peeled for a sign indicating the Mt. Trumbull Road. Follow this road for about 3 miles to the turnoff for the Nampaweap (foot canyon) Petroglyphs. There is a signed parking area. Follow the signs to the petroglyphs. The area is also called Billy Goat Canyon due to the mountain sheep drawn on the basalt rocks. Do not climb on the rocks. The petroglyphs can be seen from below. The petroglyphs are Archaic, Anasazi and Paiute.
Nampaweap Petroglyphs Photos

Snake Gulch Rock Art
These pictographs are located near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the Kaibab Forest in the Kanab Wilderness Area. This is a long hike, but it's lacking the significant elevation changes in many of the area hikes.

Nearby View Points

Crazy Jug Point
From Fredonia, Arizona, drive south on Highway 89A toward Jacob Lake for 1.5 miles and look for Forest Road 22 on the right. Turn right onto Forest Road 22 and follow the road, driving past several intersections and signs that indicate various vistas. At mile 28, notice the Big Springs Field Ranger Station. At 33 miles, turn right onto Forest Road 425, headed toward Crazy Jug and Monument Point. There is another intersection at mile 41, continue straight on Forest Road 425 to Crazy Jug Point. map

Monument Point
Follow the directions above, but  continue on Road 425 past Crazy Jug. Look for a corral and a "Y" in the road at mile 43 where you will turn right on Forest Road 292. Continue for .3 miles to the next "Y" and turn right. There is one more intersection at 44.5 miles. Continue straight through it and drive 2 more miles to Monument Point. map



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