Day 2 of our 250-mile expedition through Parashant National Monument
We finally made it to the north rim of the Grand Canyon after a joyful ride through the Hidden Mountains. Huge canyons, rocky mountain shelf roads, and thousand-foot sheer cliffs make you feel incredibly small in this enormous world.
A nice easy ride to Parashant Canyon
We woke at Hidden Spring after sleeping for nearly 10 hours. If you’ve been paying attention, you should have read about day one. Our lack of sleep the previous day was exhausting, and no one stayed up late. I was excited to wake up in the middle of Hidden Canyon. As Arizona’s last frontier, the Parashant National Monument is an unforgettable experience, and everybody should witness its beauty. I spent my morning walking around snapping photographs.
I’m usually the first one packed up and ready to go. My “overland” kit consists of a small bbq grill, ice chest, sleeping bag, and a fishing pole. I keep it simple because that’s all I need.
We started the day off like every other Adventure. A wonderful communal breakfast with some good friends. It was nearly 10 a.m., and we had overslept. To fulfill our plans and reach our destination, we must leave camp as soon as possible. The plan for day two was to reach the Grand Canyon and set up camp right at the edge.
First in line, and a clear site ahead, I lead the group up and out of Hidden Canyon. Hidden Canyon tightens up and starts gaining elevation quickly as you reach the top of Shivwits Plateau. Just ahead, you’ll find another historical cabin at Dewdrop Spring near the base of Poverty Mountain. Just southeast of Poverty Mountain is our next destination, Parashant Canyon.
Whitmore Point right on the edge
Continuing east on a fast-paced trail, Parashant Canyon becomes visible with its distinct red rock walls. After reaching a private ranch, we head south, paralleling Parashant Canyon. The trial gets interesting with deep ruts that nearly scrap your mirror on the grade. Shortly after, a sign greets us to the Parashant National Monument.
The trail evens out, and signs point you towards Whitmore Point. Along the way, several side trails take you to different overlooks. We stayed on the main track and found an incredible overlook just feet away. Our group took the opportunity to enjoy the view, and we got a great group photo. It was just a small part of what we were about to witness.
Camping at Whitmore Point
At Whitmore Point, we found a beautiful campsite that gave us a nearly panoramic view of the gorge that’s only beginning. Fifteen hundred feet separated us from the seemingly large desert floor below. Which in its self contains large gorges and hundreds of square miles. Objects that appear to be close sport a blue tint as if they are miles away. In terms of sea level, we sit nearly a mile above the Colorado River.
We can see the original destination, Mollies Nipple, and the trail that takes us there from our campsite. From Trail Canyon, it’s another 100 miles in and out. We shall return for Episode 2 with an extra full tank of fuel. This November, we will set off on episode two with a mission to see the sparkling waters of the Colorado River.
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