Sometimes when you’ve been immersed in canyon country– the red rocks, vermillion cliffs, green veins of copper deposits, solid blue skies, the gorges, and terraces, and plateaus, and arches cut by water and wind and uplift– you feel as though once you leave you are only biding your time until you can return.
I’m not the only one who can speak to this. The pull of nature is felt in many souls in macrocosm across an entire microcosm of different and varied landscapes. Each geography, vista, clime, and character calling to those who have a particular taste for that beauty remembered on their tongues, stamped on their hearts, thrumming in their pulse. So at this point in the year I ask myself where?
Where to next?
What adventure can be chased in the fall? What canyon traversed, what vista awed over, what area of this river-cut iron-rocked landscape should we visit next? I have three canyon destinations on my radar:
1. Toroweap (or Tuweep).
This gorgeous spot is on the Northern Rim side of the Grand Canyon. Some refer to it as the West Rim, and it is reached by 60 miles of unmaintained road. Taking a southerly route near Pipe Spring National Monument on the edge of the Kaibab Piute Reservation this quiet overlook is worth the effort. I visited once in college with friends and have yet to return to the spot.
I’d like to do some further hiking there, as well as just make it out along that practically impassable road once again. A couple of hurdles to this trip are that you definitely need a 4×4 with high clearance to make the road, and you also need some additional TIME to make it to Toroweap. The road is long, washboarded, and unforgiving.
2. The Subway in Zion National Park.
I’ve wanted to do this hike since college and simply haven’t had time or opportunity yet. I’ve heard incredible things about the canyons, pools, river hiking, and roped descents this trail includes. To hike the subway you must have a permit from the National Park, and they are not always easy to come by. You can put your name in for a lottery 3 months in advance of your hiking date, and you can also sign up at the Ranger Station there at the park
3. Moab, Arches, Canyonlands
We visit here every Spring with our boys, but this trip would be geared for more advanced hiking, climbing, and maybe even some mountain biking. Even if you’ve visited one place repeatedly as we have with the areas around Moab, there is always more to see and do. I’d like to camp in Arches National Park, or check out some hiking in Canyonlands National Park which is even more remote as it is accessible only from a byway from Moab.
So I ask you: where should we go? I’d love to hear about some of your favorite canyon excursions. Have any of you visited Tuweep, Zion, or Moab? Have you an opinion of one you enjoyed most? Or an array of reasons you like all three? Or pros and cons to any or all? I’d love to hear your experiences. Right now we’re still pouring over internet searches and canyoneering guides hoping that one will stand out.
Cheers to chasing adventure this Monday!