This was my first time to the Grand Canyon and it was incredible! I’ve been living in Vegas since 1988 and I finally made it a point to check it out back in May of 2014. The views were awesome and I couldn’t have asked for much better company to share the experience with. I planned this trip with my riding buddies, Mike & Brian, two experienced adventurers and guys who have motocamped several times. Speaking of motocamping, that was another first for me. Although at first I felt like I might have overpacked, it was just right. Next time I will change a few things though. My Giant Loop Coyote bag made it a little uncomfortable on this trip taking up some valuable seat space on my KTM 690. I tried moving it back some, but then it was a big pain to fuel up my tank. It was perfect for my last Pine Valley trip, but 497 miles was a bit too much with it cramping me a bit this time. Since this trip, I ordered up some Happy Trails SU side racks & bags and they worked out MUCH better. Enough of all of that. On with the ride!
Our ride started in Henderson, NV and we rode to Toroweap Overlook, Grand Canyon. Where is Toroweap? As the crow flies, it’s about 70 miles southeast from Mesquite. Since we’re not crows and cannot fly, we ride motorcycles instead. The ride is about 130 miles via dirt. Toroweap, also called Tuweap, is the only viewpoint in the Grand Canyon National Park where you can actually see the Colorado River directly below. It’s about 3,000 feet straight down!
“Toroweap, a Paiute term meaning “dry or barren valley”, strictly refers to the valley and the overlook.”
We stopped for some really healthy breakfast food. We had to only because it was a tradition from our Pine Valley Ride.
After Overton, we headed up the Mormon Mesa.
Then we took a powerline road to Bunkerville, NV.
Heading into Bunkerville. There were lots of stars and stripes lining the hwy.
Then we hit dirt and headed towards Toroweap!
Getting into a little higher elevation, Mike & Brian stopped for a photo.
The Nutter Twists
Mt Trumbull Schoolhouse
We stopped off at Mt. Trumbull Schoolhouse.
But then we decided against it since the road was getting worse and worse and we were pressed for time to get to Toroweep and then find a place to camp. So this is where we decided to turn around. It was rocky as all heck.
Bar 10 Ranch, AZ
Back at Bar 10 Ranch, this was the airport.
Then we cooled off at Bar 10 Ranch.
We got up into some more elevation, hence the bigger trees.
This is me taking it all in. I was in awe. The Grand Canyon is a natural wonder. When you stop to think that it was formed by just the flow of water and how long that took, it is incredible. It reminds us how small we are and how short our time is here on Earth in comparison.
Brian snapped this great photo of me overlooking the Grand Canyon.
Primitive camping within national parks is not allowed without a special permit,
otherwise you must camp in a designated campground.
Camp for the Night
Just as we were racing the sun leaving Toroweap at 8pm to find some real estate outside of the national park, we came across a small trail off the main road. We turned on the trail and found a spot with a campfire ring already in place and plenty of firewood to gather in the area! Perfect! It’s like it was meant to be. It worked out great.
My Coleman “condo” tent was awesome and my North Face sleeping bag kept me very comfortable. I slept great throughout the night. The nighttime temps were great at the elevation we were at (~5500).
Rise & Shine!
Monday morning some wild turkey were out! Those suckers were big!
Overlooking Mt Trumbull
We stopped at an abandoned cabin.
It was a fixer-upper!
Hey at least the backyard was cool.
After Whitney Pockets, we decided to take some smoother, faster roads home to cover some ground so we hopped on the the I-15. It was like a furnace at 80 mph leaving Bunkerville!. We exited at the Logandale/Overton exit. Damn it was hot. I drank all 3 liters of water in my Camelbak before we even got to Overton.
If you start to feel thirsty or have a dry or sticky mouth, you are already dehydrated!
Drink plenty of water throughout the day and avoid high protein diets, alcohol, and caffeine.
We sat and waited for a while and there was no Mike! We waited a few minutes and a guy in a truck pulled over to ask if we had a third guy riding with us. Apparently Mike ran out of fuel and the guy said he was coasting down the shoulder and would arrive shortly. So we waited for him to show up.