Toroweap Overlook
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
May 21, 2005


Located on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, Toroweap Overlook offers unobstructed and unfettered access to the rim's edge, fully 3,000 vertical feet above the roaring Colorado River. And let me emphasize "unobstructed" and "unfettered": there are no guardrails here. One can inch up to the edge, and from there, carefully peer down into the chasm below.

The thousands of visitors to the Grand Canyon winnow down to the dozens who make the journey to the Overlook. Beth and I were touring northern Arizona along the "Arizona Strip", the patch of territory north of the Grand Canyon and south of Utah. We visited first the North Rim part of the Grand Canyon, but late season snow blocked a couple of dayhikes we had planned. From Jacob Lake we made a long dirt-road journey to Toroweap, covering 61 miles from the pavement near Fredonia to get to the overlook area itself. We arrived about 3 p.m. in hot weather and nabbed a great campsite, then relaxed a couple of hours until the Sun set some and the temperatures cooled. Then, we drove onto the overlook, getting it all to ourselves.

This is the only place in the Grand Canyon where one can drive to directly above the Colorado River. The road ends and about 100 feet later, the land drops off in sheer vertical cliffs, a heart-pounding 3,000 vertical feet of air down to the mighty Colorado below. We scampered about trying to find the "best" place for views and photos, but anywhere we stood was awesome. We both felt skittish getting close to the edge. We often got onto our bellies.

We were amazed that among other things, we could hear the roar of the Colorado way down below us. We could make out white-caps and see sections of rapids. We spent about 2 hours here before going back to camp, then returned at dawn the next morning for some more inspiration. Toroweap is an amazing, surreal, spiritually invigorating place.

Photos (Click to enlarge)

Toroweap Point is a massive cliff band that overlooks the overlook.

Looking East at Toroweap. The Colorado River is 3,000 feet below us.

Beth takes in the view.

As does Scott.

Another shot of Beth.

Beth gets brave and worms up to the very rim itself.

Looking west.

Moonrise at the campground.

Our campsite!

The dreaded Toroweap Bunny.

Beth warms up the next morning at the overlook.

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(c) 2005 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.