Tuweep - Toroweap

Tuweep - Toroweap Point

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Magnificent Toroweap Point at Tuweep

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This is truly the most spectacular place in the Grand Canyon, but you need a high clearance vehicle for this trip. There is a washed out section of the road near then end that is more comfortable to navigate if you are traveling in a 4WD. There are no services at Tuweep or along the 61 mile dirt road. Make sure the roads are dry and stock up on food and water before going.  This road is known for tearing up tires, so make sure you have a spare and the means to change it.  Bring plenty of water along and good lighting in case you end up changing a tire in the dark.  If you keep your speed down it greatly reduces the chances of tire damange.To get there from Fredonia, Arizona take AZ 387 driving toward Hurricane, Utah. You will see a small road sign about 9 miles out of Fredonia saying "Toroweap 61 miles." This road is open in the winter, but if roads are wet it can be impassible. There is a primitive tent site, vault toilets and a fee free campground at Toroweap.


Those who brave the 61-mile dirt road out to Tuweep rave about their adventure. A trip to Tuweep is certainly one of highlights of this park. The Colorado River can been seen from Toroweap Overlook, flowing directly below the fenceless point. The elevation is only 4,500 ft. so Tuweep does not close in the winter due to snow like the main section of the North Rim does.  Tuweep is on the Arizona Strip, "where the west stays wild."   This is a remote area where no services are available. Do not let the rough road keep you from visiting what must be the most spectacular section of the Grand Canyon.  The geology of Tuweep has distinct differences from the rest of the Grand Canyon. When standing on the rim, the steep drop off is obvious. To see the Colorado River, you must peer over the rim because the water is directly below. The reason for this unusual steepness is a change in the rock type from much of the rest of the canyon. The sandstone that is prominent at Tuweep is strong and sturdy enough to resist the break in the slope.

Saddle Horse Canyon
The 1.6 mile round-trip Saddle Horse Canyon Trail is a fun and easy route.

Esplanade Loop
Hiking around the Esplanade of the Grand Canyon is always enjoyable. This 2.9 mile round-trip loop is no exception. Start at the campground and follow the route along the rim.

Lava Falls
For those who want hardcore adventure, Lava Falls beckons. Contemplate this path carefully before attempting it.  The route, although short, plunges 2,500 ft. to the river in only 1.5 miles. To make it even more difficult, the route is along sharp, loose lava rock. The prize at the end is some of the biggest rapids of the Colorado River, the Class 10 Lava Falls rapids, where a geologic fault crosses the river. Camping is allowed at the river but obtain a backcountry permit prior to the trip.

Nampaweap Petroglyphs

Namopweap Pictographs

The Nampaweap Petroglyphs are etched into black basalt rock along what is believed to be a route the Anasazi and their predecessors took to travel in and out of the Grand Canyon. In Paiute, Nampaweap means "foot canyon."  The petroglyphs are not inside the park, but they are a short jaunt off the road on the way to Tuweep.  Peck marks are visible on many of the rocks leading researchers to believe the Indians used the method known as pecking to carve the petroglyphs.

Detailed Hiking Guide

Grand Canyon Vacation: Canyon Country

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     Grand Canyon North Rim, Zion Park and Bryce are only a short distance from each other making the trio an ideal destination.

Naturalist NotesNature Notes

The first known non-Indian explorers to the area were John Wesley Powell and his group. The name Toroweap was given which means "barren valley." Toroweap refers to features of the area including the fault, formation and the point. The name Tuweep was used afterwards to describe the white settlement and later the park district. In 1932 the area became part of the Grand Canyon National Monument and part of the park in 1975.

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