Take a Leap at Toroweap?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by silverspurs, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. silverspurs

    silverspurs what's over there?

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    Part one of two parts...

    I've always been fascinated by the Grand Canyon...
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    The big ditch... so to speak
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    I oared a 20' raft through it on a 20 day private rafting trip a few years back (Lava Falls nearly ate my lunch!) on a trip I'll never forget!
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    and I've done the standard Tourist visits to the
    South and North rims... it is truly a Grand place.
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    then a couple years ago, I heard about Toroweap overlook on the G C. When I heard that getting to Toroweap involved between 60 to 100 miles of dirt road (depending on approach) and once there, you look straight down at the Colorado river from 3000' above, I decided I had to go there. and I had to do it on two wheels... so I made a plan to go to Toroweap in Apirl of 2012 but had to cancel due to a family wedding... Dang!,

    So... one year later I'm ready to try it again. I recruited a couple of tried and true riding buddies Trent and Jim. Our plan was to ride to Toroweap, do a primitive camp on the rim, then head back out to Colorado City, Coral Pink Sand Dunes and Zions Park, ending up in St George at the end of day two...
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    We set the date for early May to beat the summer heat... and because riding on knobbies from Boise to St George Ut didn't sound like much fun, we hauled the bikes to my dads place in St George and started the riding from there.

    The road South to Toroweap is basically just an extension of the South River Road... you just keep riding South on it until it turns to Dirt and then becomes the Mt Trumbull Loop Road. Right from the beginning, the views are awesome...
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    The road climbs up into the Arizona Strip going from low desert to Sub Alpine Cedars...
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    The road then crosses a broad expanse of plateau that goes on for 60 miles
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    We are cookin along fine and are about 30 miles out From St George... then Trent picks up a nail:waysad... no problem right!?
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    Shouldn't be a problem... but Trent has only patches, no spare tube... I'm a little skeptical, I've never had very good luck with tube patches unless they have several hours of drying time before airing them up... we have no choice, so off we go...
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    doing fine for about ten miles... then that patch fails. Dang!
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    I have a spare tube that will fit Trents wheel and give it to him... but when trouble strikes, it comes in bunches!! that new tube gets pinched while putting the tire back on. :huh
    Now what!? no on else has brought spare tubes... I have a spare tube for my 21" front tire... we have no choice but to schlub that front tube into that rear tire, creases and wrinkles and all... We decide we need to retreat and get some tubes in St George... so with our tail pipes between our legs... back to town we go!
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    It's Saturday... it's 3pm in St George when we get back to town... St George is hosting an Ironman Triathlon competition and the whole town is shut down. We can't find any Dealers open who can sell us a couple of KLR Tubes... finally out of desperation, we try the Harley Davidson Dealership... who'da thunk it!?? they have a couple of tubes that will fit!... Never been so happy to visit a HD dealer!!
    We get the tubes from the Hardley Dealer, get a new tube in the rear of Trents bike go out and get some dinner and kick back at my Dads place preparing to try again the next day. But now we'll be doing the entire trip in and out in one day instead of two... it's going to be a loooonnng day... we decide to leave at 6am the next morning...
    we hope for better luck tomorrow!
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    end of day one!
    #1
  2. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    Oh yea, this'll be good. :lurk

    I was just there last month.
    #2
  3. silverspurs

    silverspurs what's over there?

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    Day two, up at 05 somthin' we want to be on the road by 6am!... no breakfast... granola bars will have to do... we have a lot of time to make up. We take the same route South out of St George and thankfully dodge what ever patch of nails Trent ran over yesterday. We pass our farthest point South from yesterday and so far so good!... new tubes from the Hardly dealer are holding up:clap... about 60 miles South we come to the old ranching community of Mt Trumbull and the old school... (well, not exactly, the original was burnt down by some drunken jerks a few years back so the existing Mt Trumbull School has been rebuilt)
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    Lots of history... they've done a great job restoring the school
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    At one time, this was a thriving ranching community... but as with most rural places in America, everyone has moved to the cities and there are just a few working ranches now.

    We've come far... but still have far to go... fortunately no problems...
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    the road leaves Mt Trumbull (the town way down there on the flat) and heads South East over Mt Trumbull (the Mountain)...
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    it's a steep, rough and fun road, topping out around 9000' in elevation with Ponderosa Pines up on top, then it drops down again to the plateau about 15miles North of Toroweap
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    Heading South, getting closer, it's about 11am, we've made good time.
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    Finally we get to the NP boundary... We've arrived!...
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    well... sorta, we're still about 9 miles from Toroweap and the rim of the GC... This sign at the Ranger station seems to mean business!
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    The road begins to deteriorate once you pass the ranger station... high clearance in places...
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    And nasty patches of poof dust about 6 to 12 inches deep... ya gotta pay attention in this stuff!
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    Always fiddlin with somethin...:ddog
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    This last bit of road is really fun... this is what we came for!!
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    We're getting closer to the Rim... the road is turning into Sandstone bedrock...
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    things are looking good now, this is the campground area... nice!
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    We're here!!... I think this is gonna be worth it!
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    This is an amazing place!! ok, this is the shot you've been waiting for!... if you've got a weak stomach, look away now... 3000' straight down to the river... yikes!:clap
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    Those are 20' rafts down there on the river below my feet, they are like pin points down there!... wow! there is so much beautiful stuff to see here, I can't show it all, but here are a few shots from the area:
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    No guard rails here... your on your own to explore!
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    Lava Falls down river about 3 miles... it kicked my butt a few years ago in the raft... considered by most to be the toughest rapid in the 300+ mile Grand Canyon Float
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    Shades of Poe...
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    It's been a long ride, gotta rest up for gettin outta here... :wink:
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    All good things must come to an end, time to move on... Wow, we have loved this place!!
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    Now we have 60 miles of dirt road to get to Colorado City...
    about halfway out...
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    The road out to Colorado City turns out to be sorta treacherous!... lots of pits of poof dust, problem is, the road will be fine, your cruising along good gravel at 50mph and all of a sudden you hit a pit of this stuff...:huh notice the furrow Trent plowed with his pannier!!...:p3rry:rofl
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    By the time we get to Colorado City we are tired of fighting this stuff, we try the road to Coral Pink Dunes, but find it is made up almost entirely of this poof dust and every cager that goes by just buries us in dust!... after several crashes, Trent and Jim have lost their sense of humor about this stuff and we abandon Coral Pink Dunes... another day!! instead we opt to go to Zions Park to finish the day, but not the part of Zions that most people see, we go to Kolob Canyon, on the North West portion of Zions... it is an amazing place
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    No crowds here, and no tour buses... just us!!:clap:clap
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    It doesn't get much better than this!
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    Well it's been a long day, with some amazing country...
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    All good things must come to and end... time to load em up and head home...
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    it's been a great trip, if you get the chance to ride down to Toroweap, take it!! one of those special places... but take some extra tubes!!... :evil

    thanks for coming along... see ya out there!:ricky...

    #3
  4. River

    River Gee

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    :clap:clapawesome report...ran it three times '89 crew of 3, '90 crew of 3 and '04 grew of 4, in our 18ft bucket boat. That sure looks like a wicked ride on the bike:D
    Here's us entering Lava in '04...me in the yellow jacket

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    thanks for sharing
    #4
  5. silverspurs

    silverspurs what's over there?

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    I don't know why it took me so long to find out about this place... probably cause I live in the far off NW?? but I'm sure glad I found out about it... this place should be on every dual sporters list of places to see!... thanks for tuning in!
    #5
  6. silverspurs

    silverspurs what's over there?

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    ahhh yes! that famous Colorado Chocolate milk water!!:rofl
    We got lucky on my trip and had nice green water all the way down to Mead where the caving in banks from the river cutting into the silt beds of the reservior turned it brown... great river!! I do have to say however, that after 20 days, I was ready to get off that river!!:lol3
    #6
  7. River

    River Gee

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    yeah, I hear ya...I always looked forward to a few days in Vegas after the trip...you could smell us when we walked into the casino:puke1
    #7
  8. silverspurs

    silverspurs what's over there?

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    :rofl:rofl

    been there!!... people just kinda move away from ya after a good long river tirp or a good long bike trip!:lol3:lol3
    #8
  9. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

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    Great report and pics. Definitely on my bucket list.
    #9
  10. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    Glad it worked out and you finally made it.

    Not a bad place for a toilet...eh?

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    #10
  11. AZ Mark

    AZ Mark Long timer

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    Great Report...


    Thanks for taking us along ! :clap
    #11
  12. Idahosam

    Idahosam Set Adrift

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    humm, you just gave me something to think about. Appreciate the heads up on the Poof stuff. sounds like a place the the mighty DRZ.

    OK :*sip* added to list of TTD's (things to do)
    #12
  13. silverspurs

    silverspurs what's over there?

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    it looks so out of place out there!!...:lol3 but yes, I was glad it was there!:evil...
    #13
  14. silverspurs

    silverspurs what's over there?

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    I promise you'll be happy if you go Sam... it's worth the effort and there is lots of riding in the area, there is another overlook about 15 miles down river that you can ride to, there is also Vulcans Throne etc, etc...

    here's a pic of the sign at Mt Trumbull for that alternative overlook... Whitmore Canyon... then when your tired of riding, you can always head West and ride across the desert to Vegas!!
    :evil

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    #14
  15. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Yeah -- the overlook at Toroweap! It's an attention getter. :thumb

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    Nice ride report. :clap
    #15
  16. ryanwilliamcantrell

    ryanwilliamcantrell Get Out and Ride!!

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    :D
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  17. silverspurs

    silverspurs what's over there?

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    Hi Ryan!... thanks for the bump!... I've sure enjoyed the posts of you and your son out riding... good stuff!

    You've inspired me to get a TW 200 and get my grandson started on that... he's having a blast!

    see you out there!
    #17
  18. AngryRed

    AngryRed Lost in Cyber Space

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    This is an absolutely amazing place. A group of us went out last year in vehicles, I got 1 flat tire in my FJ Cruiser and my buddy ended up with 2 separate flat tires in his Jeep. There is something about that road that eats tires for breakfast.

    A few shots from our trip, I'd like to do the road again this year on bikes. It is a truly stunning place to witness.

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    The wonders of optical illusions
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    One of my pals shot this
    <a href="http://ldavison.smugmug.com/Landscapes/Grand-Canyon/25553529_QDw8jh#!i=2107838758&k=sz7Q8VN&lb=1&s=A" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://ldavison.smugmug.com/Landscapes/Grand-Canyon/i-sz7Q8VN/0/M/IMG_0254-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>
    #18
  19. silverspurs

    silverspurs what's over there?

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    Great pics!...

    you'll love the ride!
    #19