Arizona Strip

We spent five days playing in the Arizona Strip/North Rim country. Had a great time!

Two rigs and four people on the trip, me and my son Logan in my ’06 LJ, our friends Steve and Jen in Steve’s ’12 JK.

We spent Tue. night in St. George, then got the trip started proper on Wed. morning. On the way down to St. George the night before, my Jeep had the CEL come on and from the code it looked like probably a bad TPS. So after a huge breakfast at the Egg and I, we made a quick stop at the Autozone on Bluff street to replace the TPS in the parking lot.

Mount Trumbull and Nampaweap

Then we were on our way! We just headed south on River Road. Our first stop was this old place north of Mount Trumbull.

Abandoned homestead north of Mt. Trumbull
This little guy was the only one home

When we got to Mount Trumbull there were a lot of rigs parked at the old schoolhouse so we didn’t even slow down for it, just motored right on past. A short distance up the road, I swerved to avoid running over this guy before shooing him off the road.

Gopher snake

Next stop was the petroglyphs at Nampaweap. It’s a short walk from the parking area down into the canyon where there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of petroglyphs carved into the volcanic boulders.

Nampaweap petroglyphs

The canyon was also loaded with large cocoons full of caterpillars. Never seen so many concentrated in one spot before – they were everywhere!

Cocoon full of caterpillars
There were thousands of cocoons and who knows how many caterpillars in the small canyon

From Nampaweap, our next stop was an out of the way lava tube cave with some really cool pictographs.

Colorful pictographs in lava tube
A variety of brightly colored geometric shapes anthropomorphs and quadrupeds

Torroweap

From the pictos in Paiute cave we motored to Torroweap and found an open spot in the campground there.

Neat camp site at Torroweap

Following a delicious gourmet cheeseburger dinner, we headed down to check out the Torroweap overlook. The views were stunning!

Steve playing it safe to look over the edge
Nearly 3,000 feet down to the river
It’s a long way down…
Me acting stupid as usual
Pictures just don’t do this justice
Just a stunning view

Shamans Panel

The next morning, Thur. 5/3, after striking camp we drove to the rim of Tuckup Canyon, from where Logan and I took a hike to check out some rock art. The trail was about 7 mile round trip, with almost 2,000’ of elevation drop to get there and the same 2,000’ elevation gain coming back. Basically, 3.5 miles down-down-down to the site, then 3.5 miles up-up-up back to the Jeep.

This site is known as the Shamans Panel. I had read that the site had not been discovered until fairly recently in the 1980’s, but I think that may simply be the most well known and recent “publicizing” of the site, as I found inscriptions in the boulders there dating at least as far back as the 1940’s. Regardless any of that though – this is awesome rock art!

Shamans Panel
Layers of ancient rock art
Fascinating combination of shapes
What it is, your guess is as good as mine
You can see just how expansive this panel is

SB Point

From where we parked for the Shamans hike, we drove towards SB Point and found a nice campsite just outside the park where we didn’t need a permit and could have a campfire. After an awesome bbq pulled pork dinner, we started heading out to SB point for the sunset. A couple miles from camp, the inner torsion bar of my Swayloc broke off…

Broke off right at the splines

Only took a few minutes to remove the arm and link from the axle end and we were on our way again. In all the commotion, I missed the turn for SB point though! We ended up at an overlook looking down into 150 Mile Canyon instead.

Throwing rocks off high places never gets old

The next morning, Fri. 5/4, after breakfast burritos and lots of coffee, we loaded up camp and headed back for SB point again, this time not missing the turn. I wish we could have seen it in morning or evening light, but even at high noon the view was still pretty dang good!

View from SB Point
Layers upon layers

Kanab Point

From SB Point, we drove towards Kanab Point. Again, we stopped just short of the park boundary to make camp.

Cozy camp

Dinner this time was teriyaki chicken wings with rolls and mashed potatoes. After dinner, we all piled in the Jeeps and headed out to Kanab Point for the sunset. These were the best views of the whole trip in my opinion!

View from Kanab Point
Spectacular views
Logan taking in the sunset at Kanab Point

We awoke in our Kanab Point camp the morning of Sat. 5/5 to yet another glorious morning. The weather could hardly have been better for the whole trip. Temps were mostly in the 70’s during the day, high 40’s at night, not too much wind other than the first day. Can’t ask for better!

Vermillion Cliffs and White Pocket

After another big breakfast and breaking down camp, we headed towards Fredonia. When we hit pavement west of Fredonia, we had been on dirt for a little over 300 miles. We topped off our tanks and had burgers and shakes at Big Al’s in Kanab. Then turned south out of town, through Fredonia again and onto the very scenic drive over the Kaibab Plateau and down into House Rock Valley where we left pavement once again and headed north into the Vermillion Cliffs area.

Our first stop along the way was the roadside Condor viewing area.

Scale of condors

Guess we were there at the wrong time of year though and no condors were seen.

Next stop was a short side trip off the main dirt road to visit an archaeological site, a partially excavated Anasazi ruin. There aren’t any walls left standing, but plenty of fallen rubble and lots of potsherds strewn about to see.

Partially excavated Anasazi site

From there it was on to our last camp site of the trip at White Pocket. We stopped to check out an old abandoned farm stead along the way.

Abandoned farmstead
Bathroom needs a cleaning
I love poking around old vehicles like this

Eventually we arrived at our final camp site.

Camp at White Pocket

After ribeyes and fried cabbage for dinner, we made our way over to the White Pocket itself for the evening.

Wonderful colors and formations
Cross hatching from prehistoric creature activity
Textures and colors
Merry Go Round
Other worldly

Following the sunset at White Pocket, there was just one more night in camp…

Full moon rising

The next morning, Sun. 5/6, it was north on dirt to the highway, back in to Kanab for fuel and then the long drive home.

A little over 400 miles dirt total for the trip. One dead TPS and one dead Swayloc for me. Steve shredded one of the BFG MT’s on his new Rubicon.

All in all, a fantastic trip. Thanks for looking!

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Arizona Strip
Article Name
Arizona Strip
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Five days exploring in the Arizona Strip/North Rim country. A little over 400 miles of dirt. Had a great time!
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Coyotestuff.com
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6 thoughts on “Arizona Strip”

  1. Incredible photos as always. The middle character on the Shamans Panel looks like the hunter from the movie “Predator”. Some of the terrain is truly other worldly. I have got to make that trip. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great trip Dave, I need to get back down to that country again soon.
    Glad the TPS issue manifested before you got all the way out there.
    I really liked that swayloc system, curious to see what your fix is.

    1. Jared, my Swayloc was waaaaay out of warranty. And ORO has done a couple of redesigns since I got it. The only part on mine that fits the new ones is the locking mechanism. So, no replacement parts were available. But ORO gave me a killer price on a whole new one, sans the locking mechanism, which I was able to use off my old one.

      So, the fix was basically a whole new unit, for half price. I’m happy with that, considering how many hard miles it had on it and how long out of warranty it was.

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