The long-awaited adventure around the four corners
The everlasting desire to see something new and experience life from a different perspective will drive us towards more and more adventure. Our time in the backcountry, no matter where we are, gives us a chance to escape the pressure of daily life. Despite the negativity in the world today, we find ourselves escaping to our own dimension—a world where only nature judges and deep canyons keep you imprisoned. The journey isn’t only an adventure. It’s a time of kinship and camaraderie with a small group of friends.
The crested saguaro cactus is an attractive destination
Among the thousands of saguaro cactuses in Arizona, there are a few who stand out from the rest. Most humans give them no attention as we pass by daily. Maybe the saguaro blends in with the rest. Or perhaps they are just disregarded as a freak of nature.
Escape the crowds and go camping in the Arizona backcountry.
I have been asked many times, “where is the best place to camp?” My response is always the same, Arizona. Our excess of public land allows us to camp nearly anywhere in the state. Not including private property, most areas are open for camping. With thousands of miles of backroads, the possibilities are endless.
In this article, I will attempt to highlight every single camping opportunity in Arizona. My idea is to provide the ultimate resource guide for both primitive and designated camping. Below you will find information on who, what, where, and when. I hope this article will give you a starting point for finding your next adventure. Bookmark this article because you might want to come back. Continue reading
By far the best 4×4 adventure in Arizona.
The Grand Canyon is one of the largest canyons in the world. Most people will never get a chance to experience most of this natural wonder. To reach many of the canyons overlooks, you must have a highly modified 4×4, superb driving skills, days to spend, and a full tank of extra fuel. Don’t forget your camera, because you’re going to need it! Continue reading
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.
Before I made the trek into Parashant, I had no idea of the beauty that was just hours away from my home. It’s easy to underestimate the Parashant. I have seen so many pictures of the Grand Canyon; I feel like I’ve been there a million times. But there is nothing like camping right on the edge of the canyon.
An incredible route through the Parashant National Monument
We started around 8 A.M. With just 3 hours of sleep. Waiting for the trail leader to arrive kept everyone up all night. I had a cooling fan go out on my way up. After acquiring the part and changing it out, I was hours late. Close communication kept everything smooth.
Continuing down the trail, we reach Jacobs Well just in time for lunch. Everyone gathered near an old cabin for a quick bite to eat. I took a walk around to look at the old relics in the area. An old windmill, a couple of unknown pieces of machinery, and an old cabin are scattered across the field. It appears to be used by ranchers but located on public land.
Okay folks, mark your calendars!
Episode 2 of the Parashant National Monument Backcountry Expedition.
After a wonderful, festive night of entertainment at Parashant Canyon, we will navigate Parashant and Andrus canyons to our original destination of Mollies Nipple. If time allows, We will spend two nights at Mollies Nipple before our departure.
|View of Parashant Canyon from episode 1. Our trail can be seen at the bottom of the canyon.|
Arrive at Hells Hole camp around 4 pm.
A great resource to find your next adventure.
If you don’t have a 4wd to get into the deep backcountry of your state, then you might like this map. On this map, you will find various places to visit on Bureau of Land Management land. This information is provided directly from BLM’s website.
This map has everything from hiking trails and facilities to kiosk locations, wilderness boundaries and campgrounds. Not just for Arizona, but all BLM public lands across the US and Alaska.
Many places are accessible by car and suitable for RV’s. It’s your responsibility to do your research before making any decisions.
Sorry, no legend or downloads. Enjoy!