I own no land, instead I have wheelestate. I’ve been a full time RVer since 1997. Working summers as a Park Ranger takes me to many beautiful places and playing during the winter takes me to many more. This blog is simply the story of my life's adventures.


Thank you for stopping by. Just to let you know, I'm still blogging but have moved to Geogypsytraveler. Hope you'll follow my adventures. Just click here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tuweep, a remote western view of Grand Canyon

01 Scrapes on slickrock Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (1024x753)

Scrape marks on the slick rock that’s called road, not ours

After the five hour drive over washboard then slick rock road we pulled into a full campground around 5pm.

02 Campsite Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (1024x411)

A fellow camper offered us parking in his large space as rules allow two vehicles per site. He pulled out the next morning.

03 Sunset E Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (1024x768)

Had a quick spaghetti dinner then walked the 1 mile (1.6 km) to the Tuweep overlook for sunset.

04 Sunset upriver Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (768x1024)

No disappointment here looking upstream.

05 Side canyon on SR feeds into Colorado River Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (572x1024)

Then we boulder hopped along the rim towards the west looking straight down about 3000 feet (914 m) into the Colorado River.

06 Downstream W Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (930x1024)

By the time we got to a good overlook downstream the light was gone, but the view sure wasn’t.

07 Darkling beetle Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (1024x768)

We walked back to camp by flashlight and saw this darkling beetle scurrying across our path. Sure glad it wasn’t one of the many snakes reportedly seen by the camphost.

08 Juniper at the rim looking E Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (768x1024)

The next morning after breakfast we walked back to the rim again.

09 Tuweep Point GRCA NP AZ (1024x768)

Tuweep sits at an elevation of 4600 feet (1400 m) on a landform known as the Esplanade which forms a flat shelf situated about halfway between the coniferous forests of the North Rim and the hot canyon bottom.

10 Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (1024x768)

A chaparral community thrives in Tuweep Valley with juniper and pinyon, sagebrush and saltbush, Mormon tea and other woody shrubs, and various grasses.

11 View E Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (1024x309)

Nearer the Esplanade succulent cacti, yucca, and agave predominate.

12 Up stream Colorado R Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (760x1024)


At less than one mile across the canyon to the Hualapai Indian Reservation on the South Rim, this is one of narrowest and deepest segments of the inner canyon.

13 Supai sandstone bedding planes and erosion Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (1024x750)

Sandstone bedding planes and erosion

The colorful redrock from the Hermit shale and Supai sandstones to the east…

14 Down stream Colorado R Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (1024x768)

…contrasts with the black, basaltic lava flows to the west.

15 Lava eroding off Hermit shale at Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (1024x768)

More than a dozen times in the last 7 million years lava spilled over the canyon rim damming the Colorado River.

16 Lava Falls rapid Colorado River Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (1024x768)

The river eroded these lava dams and continued its downward cutting to where it is now 50 feet (15 m) deeper than the base of the dams.

17 Down stream Colorado R Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (756x1024)


As the sun rose higher so did the temperatures.

18 Mike Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (1024x958)

We just couldn’t hang around during the heat of the day.

19 Erosion in Supai sandstone by camp Tuweep GRCA NP AZ by Mike (1024x768)

Eroded sandstone

So we headed back to camp for lunch in the afternoon shade of a large boulder next to our site.

20 Water pocket on slickrock Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (768x1024)

On the way we saw water pockets in the slick rock. When moisture fills these pools fairy and horseshoe shrimp, tiny frogs and microscopic organisms emerge from the muddy bottoms.

21 Cryptobiotic soil Tuweep GRCA NP AZ by Mike (1024x768)

It is important to walk only on the trail as the surrounding ground supports a rare and sensitive crusty black cryptobiotic soil. This complex community of lichens, algae, and bacteria takes years to grow.

22 Down stream Colorado R Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (766x1024)


After hanging out in camp being lazy all day, we once again headed to the rim for sunset.

23 Up stream Colorado R thru snag Tuweep GRCA NP AZ (768x1024)


I just couldn’t stop taking photos.

24 Gaelyn looking up stream at Colorado R Tuweep GRCA NP AZ by Mike (1024x766)

Nor did I want to leave.

25 Road from Tuweep BLM AZ (1024x680)

But in the morning we hit the dusty road for the long drive back.

26 Old homestead along road from Tuweep BLM AZ (1024x774)

At least we didn’t end up like this.

To view Mike's birthday video go here. Hoping this works.


blog with no name said...

TUWEEP!!! we gotta go back and next time the hang glider is coming along... :)

Katney said...

A long way but worth it. I don't know if our rig would make it, so I am so glad you have shared.

Johnny Nutcase said...

so many great shots! Love the lone tree, sandstone and the crust (love that stuff!). Looks like great light too, fun stuff. Really like the banner shot with the storm clouds, too :)

Diane said...

I would never want to return. I am not surprised you could not stop taking pictures thay are amazing. Diane

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Great photos as suspected. Funny that the so far down a long not good road that the campground is full.

I'm really intrigued by the cryptobiotic soil.

Andi said...

Awesome pics! What could be more special than a pink sunset over the GC?

Martha Z said...

So beautiful, thanks for these images. I doubt that I will see it in person; I think the drive would shake every fitting loose on the Roadtrek!
I've been catching up; your images of the southwest keep getting better and better though that seems impossible as they have always been great. I'm awestruck.

Craver Vii said...

As usual, the pictures are awesome!! Thanks for sharing.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Oh WOW!! What startling beauty!! I just love it there and think I will run away from home and go and stay there instead. How could one ever get sick of those wonderful views.

I am pleased Mike like his birthday. :)

Anonymous said...

Your views Rock....I mean, your views sand.

Looking forward to visiting your wondrous outlooks of Arizona once more.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That is worth the drive for sure! What an amazing spot. I guess I did not realize that there was a spot that was so narrow and deep, what a wonderful perspective! You got so many beautiful pictures too, what a great way to remember your time there. Just beautiful!

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful photos of Tuweep! The sunlight on the canyon is just beautiful. Love the view, the lone tree and the rock wall with the holes. Did you see any swallows in the holes?

Anonymous said...

Wow. For someone who has never been there, this is a good look at what we have missed. Thanks for sharing.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

I wouldn't want to leave either. In fact, we're thinking "wheelestate" is a great idea. This post took my breath away.

Diane AZ said...

Hi Gaelyn, there is so much to enjoy in this one post. The views are astonishing and I love the green color of the water.

Karen said...

Wonderful photos! And wondeful memories for you and Mike. What a gorgeous place.

Janie said...

What magnificent views you had!
I'm glad you didn't end up permanently parked like that old truck...

Firefly the Travel Guy said...

This is a stunning spot. Sitting up there with the spectacular views down the valleys and gorges must be an aweinspiring experience.

I can imagine that there are many visitors who doesn't really look where they walk and in the process causes a lot of damage to the surrounding geology and vegitation.

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