ALL HIKERS

DAY 1: JACOB LAKE TO TOROWEAP AND THE TUWEEP CAMPGROUND

     Richard Erbe and I are up early at the campground at Jacob Lake.  We go across the street and have breakfast at the restaurant.  We then pack up our gear and head for Kanab for a few items from the grocery store.  We also each pick up a bag of ice for our ice chests and then drive to Pipe Spring National Monument to the RV park there.  When Richard Erbe last did this hike, his friend left his car at that RV park.  We check, but they no longer allow cars to be left there.  The lady at the RV park desk suggests I leave my car in the dirt parking lot at the turnoff to County Road # 109, which leads to the Toroweap area and to the Tuweep campground.  Richard and I are concerned that leaving my car right there next to the highway might encourage vandalism or theft, so we agree that I will also drive my car down the road a few miles until a suitable parking spot can be found. 

 

 
 

Mileage sign near the turnoff
10-9-2019 @ 9:50

 

     Toroweap - 61 miles.  Really??  Yep, it really is 61 miles on a dirt road to the Toroweap area.  Toroweap means "Dry or Barren Valley" in Paiute.  However, this is the smoothest dirt road I have ever driven on.  The posted speed limit is 35 m.p.h., but you can easily drive 45 or 50 m.p.h. with no problems at all.  At the twenty-one mile point, we find a very nice parking area right next to the turnoff to Hack Canyon.  It would take a determined crook to travel this far to break into my car, so I'm feeling pretty good about its safety when parked here.  We now both have some serious shifting of gear to accomplish before we can get underway.  Things not needed for our hike are stored in my car.  All the necessary camping gear, food, etc. for our trip is transferred to Richard's high clearance Toyota 4Runner with 31 inch tires.  I jump into Richard's car and we're off. 

     After another hour's drive, we come to a few more signs.  Behind the second sign is a modern road grader.

Park sign
10-9-2019 @ 11:13

Park sign
10-9-2019 @ 11:25

Modern road grader
10-9-2019 @ 11:26

    In a little while, we enter the official park boundary and immediately find a very old road grader.  The Park Service Tuweep flyer indicates that this is a 1921 Adams Leaning Wheel Grader.  That company was started in 1885 by J. D. Adams.  Surprisingly, these early road graders were pulled behind horses or tractors to accomplish their road tasks.

National Park entrance sign
10-9-2019 @ 11:39

Old road grader
10-9-2019 @ 11:45

Adams Leaning Wheel Grader
10-9-2019 @ 11:45

     We reach the Toroweap Ranger Station at approximately the 55-mile point.  An older volunteer comes out and checks our permit.  From this point on, the smoothness and quality of the road begin to go downhill.  After another couple of miles, the road conditions become quite challenging.  We see a stalled small compact car at the side of the road that has broken down due to a smashed transmission case.  I can't believe anyone would attempt to drive a small car like that here.  Below are three pictures I took of this section of the road.  Other sections were considerably worse than this.

A very rough road
10-10-2019 @ 4:22

A very rough road
10-11-2019 @ 9:05

A very rough road
10-11-2019 @ 11:52

     When we reach the Tuweep campground, it is basically empty.  There are three campsites up above and nine sites down below that are accessed by a very rough road.  We check them all out and pick site #3 up above, which is very level and right next to a bathroom.  After unloading some of our stuff, we have lunch.  It is very nice having a picnic table here.

Tuweep campground
10-9-2019 @ 1:30

Tuweep campground
10-9-2019 @ 1:30

     After lounging around camp for a while, we drive to the Toroweap overlook.  The road is equally as rough as it was the last two or three miles.  It is 3,000' looking straight down from the overlook to the Colorado River.  I try to get as close as possible to the edge so the pictures will be better, but that is a little uncomfortable.

   

 

Richard Erbe at the overlook
10-9-2019 @ 3:06

 

Looking down, Toroweap overlook
10-9-2019 @ 3:02

Looking across from the overlook
10-9-2019 @ 3:03

Toroweap overlook
10-9-2019 @ 3:03

     We then scramble over some boulders and walk a little ways to the west so as to have a better view looking down River.  Surprisingly, the overlook has a very nice bathroom, which even has its own toilet paper.  There is a detailed information sheet of the area on the exterior bathroom wall.

Toroweap overlook
10-9-2019 @ 3:13

Bathroom at the Toroweap overlook
10-9-2019 @ 3:34

     Back at camp, we set up our tents and break out the lounge chairs.  It has been hot this afternoon, so we try to get our chairs in what little shade there is from this tree.  It's also very windy, so cooking supper is more challenging than normal.

Our campsite at Tuweep campground
10-9-2019 @ 4:58

Richard's tent at camp
10-9-2019 @ 4:58

Richard Erbe's tent at camp
10-9-2019 @ 4:58

     People have been coming into the campground all afternoon and most of the campsites are now taken.  I'm glad we got here when we did.  Tomorrow we are going to explore more in the area.

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