Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
Description: The 3,000 feet vertical drop at Toroweap Overlook is breathtaking. You can hike above the rim and camp in designated campsites without a fee or permit. All sites are primitive with picnic tables and pit toilets and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are two prime camping spots at the overlook and nine more about a mile inland. Finding a campsite is easier during the week than weekends. It can get crowded on big holiday weekends like Memorial Day. The hiking route at Lava Falls goes to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and is suited for experts only. It is hard to find, extremely steep, and very dangerous. Portions of the route are nearly vertical. You’ll need a permit if you camp overnight in the backcountry. A wide gravel road most of the way, suitable for passenger cars in good weather. The road is susceptible to flash floods and wash-outs. To travel at the posted speed of 45 mph, you may wish to air down your tires for comfort on the washboard surface. Use caution when approaching blind curves. In places, deep arroyos have cut into the edge of the road and are often camouflaged by thick brush. There are sheer vertical walls 10 to 15 feet high right next to the road. Several serious rollover accidents have occurred in an area just south of the turn for Mt. Trumbull. The road gradually narrows and becomes rockier as you approach the camping area. Some campsites can only be reached with high-clearance vehicles. The side road to Lava Falls also requires high clearance and is deeply rutted where it crosses a soft, dry lake bed. Avoid this road when wet.
Video: Watch video footage of the trail.
Time & Distance: About 60 miles from Hwy 389 to Toroweap Overlook. Allow 2 to 3 hours each way to reach the overlook. You will need a full day to explore the area.
Trail Conditions: Grand Canyon National Park, Tuweep Ranger Station. Call (928) 638-7888.
Directions to the Trail: From the intersection of Hwy 89A and Hwy 389 in Fredonia, drive west 8.4 miles on Hwy 389. Watch for parking area and wide gravel road on the left 0.7 miles past mile marker 25.
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Get yourself and your TOY ready for the trip: Make sure both you and your vehicle are ready for your next adventure.
Before you venture out on your offroading trip you need to make sure you are prepared for emergencies. Even if nothing happens to you or your vehicle, you might come across someone who needs help. Short of always having your full-on Bug-Out-Bag with you, you should at least have some basic emergency items. It might seem obvious to some, but you should get yourself a tool box with appropriate tools and leather gloves, good first aid kit, fire extinguisher, set of jumper cables, emergency blankets (stored in heavy plastic bag – both are useful), flashlight, tow strap and some extra water. I would also suggest a recovery strap, a military folding shovel, heavy duty garbage bags, and a hand crank self powered weather radio. These items are not expensive, but they just might save your day.
Another thing you should definitely do before you leave is to save Joe’s number in your cellphone in case you find yourself in need of recovery in the middle of nowhere. Joe is the owner of Arizona 4×4 Off Road Recovery and has become a real hero to many in the Arizona offroad community. His number is (602) 697-8306.
If you’re ready for a next adventure and want to plan it right, check out some of these trail guides – Arizona has so many awesome destinations to explore!