Toroweap Overlook / BLM 109
On this long and desolate drive, head 60 miles south through remote ranching land into the Toroweap Valley to visit one of the most iconic viewpoints of the Grand Canyon. Much of the route is easy but the final 3 miles require high-clearance, with the final mile requiring 4WD.
Note: This page describes the most reliable route to Toroweap using BLM 109 or “the sunshine route”. There are two alternate routes (via Colorado City and via Mt. Trumbull) that are not described in detail on this page.
Where to go:
From Fredonia, head west on AZ-389 towards Colorado City. After 8.3 miles, turn left to head south on BLM Route #109/Mt. Trumbull Rd. The turnoff is marked for Toroweap.
Head due south from AZ-389 on the dirt road. Pass signs for Toroweap. Things remain uneventful as the road heads ever so slightly downhill. Depending on how recently the road was maintained, expect lots of washboards. Stay straight at 8.4 miles where a lesser road goes left. The trail begins to trend in a southwest direction as you begin to slowly climb. A tight turn at 17.6 miles provides the only curve in quite some time. The road continues to climb as views remain pretty monotonous.
Stay straight at 22.8 miles where a side trail to the left leads into Hack Canyon hiking area. Pass over a cattle guard and through a cattle tank. This area is actively used for ranching so be on the lookout for cattle at any point on the trail. The road continues a semi-rapid climb as it curves south again. After a cattle guard at 27.4 miles, stay straight where another road forks to the left. After the 31.0 mile mark, the terrain begins to change as you resume climbing. Continue to ignore numerous lesser-roads that split off to both sides. Shortly after reaching a highpoint on the trail, cross into the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument at 40.0 miles. BLM Route #5 from Colorado City joins from the right at the same time.
Stay left at 46.2 miles where road on the right leads to Mount Trumbull and Grand Canyon-Parashant N.M. The views continue to improve as you enter Toroweap Valley with cliffs on the left and Mt. Trumbull on your right. Things remain bumpy and mildly rocky. At 53 miles cross into the National Park and at 53.7 miles pass through the ranger station (jokingly called ‘Tuweep Metropolitan Area’) and check in with the ranger. Permits are required ahead of time for overnight use. Pass an old road-grader on the left as the trail continues due south.
Stay left where the road splits at 57.1 miles at a low clearance parking area. Low-clearance vehicles should park and hike the final 3 miles in. To the right here leads to Vulcans Throne and Lava Falls. Continue left as road conditions deteriorate. Numerous rock ledges require a slow pace, careful tire placement, and possibly 4WD depending on conditions. At 59.0 miles the trail splits again. To the left is Toroweap Campground. High-clearance/2WD can make it to the campground. To continue to the overlook, stay right. 4WD is strongly recommended past this point as conditions worsen further. Follow the trail until it ends at the overlook at 59.8 miles. Walk a few yards south for an impressive view of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River.
Notes & Trail Ratings:
At 60 miles one-way, this trail is quite long. At minimum, you’re going to spend 120 miles off-pavement. Allow for a full-day if you’re going out-and-back in a single day. Consider camping at Toroweap or in the area. There are numerous other roads to explore in this vast region. As far as difficulty, 95% of this trail is easy, fast-moving although washboardy road. The final 3 miles require high-clearance with the final mile requiring 4WD. We’ve rated the entire trail a “6” out of “10” for rock-ledges and tight sections with no bypass. However, if you are willing to hike a little bit, the trail is rated “2” out of “10” to the low-clearance parking area (57 mile mark). This is a very remote area with no cell service. Come well-prepared for emergencies. The closest services are in Fredonia. Read the National Park brochure on traveling to Toroweap here.