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Camping at Toroweap

By George Stocking - August 3rd, 2000

There is a special place I go to check my pulse and feel my heart beat. This place is as dangerous as it is stunningly beautiful. It is a vertical world where the laws of gravity and nature are a constant reminder of human vulnerabilities. There are no guard rails here. When I want a glimpse of life on the edge, I go to the Toroweap overlook on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. The overlook and a small backcountry campground are on the far western boundary of Grand Canyon National Park. The remote location receives far fewer visitors than many of the park's other overlook points. And fortunately for me -- since I never know when the yearning to look over the edge will strike -- the access road to Toroweap is open year-round.

The elevation at Toroweap (4,600 feet) is several thousand feet lower than other overlook points on the north rim, making the winters here relatively mild, with little snow, if any.

When you stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon at Toroweap Point, or any overlook, you are seeing half a billion years of the Earth's geologic history. It is an awesome sight, not only because of the scenic beauty, but because the opportunity to look back over hundreds of millions of years of our planet's evolution is unmatched anywhere in the world.


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