Arizona Strip to Whitmore Canyon
By Kyle Renzelman | November 15, 2015 6:57 pm
This is a trip that has been on the bucket list for a while. Whitmore Canyon provides an unparalleled view of the Grand Canyon. The end of the trail leaves you several hundred feet below the rim with many more to go. It provides a phenomenal place to camp as well.
The trail we took in was fairly easy and only required 4-wheel drive in a couple spots, however high clearance is a must. The trail starts off at the River Rd. exit on Utah Highway 7. Heading down on BLM 1069 also known as the Mt. Trumbull Loop. The road, for the most part, is easy, but can be impassable if wet. We stopped at the old Mt. Trumbull School house for a break before continuing south on Road 257, which later becomes BLM 1045.
Continuing south the road slowly deteriorates and becomes more rutted and rocky. It’s not difficult, just slowed the driving pace. We eventually come across the Bar 10 Ranch. We didn’t stop in this trip, but they people there are very welcoming. Just a little further down the road we pulled into the Whitmore International Airport. It probably wouldn’t me my first choice of airports to fly into.
At this point we’re in the home stretch heading into Whitemore Canyon. The last seven miles become very rocky and rough. At this point we switched to 4-low as we descended to the camp spot, just to keep from cooking our brakes. When we arrived we were welcomed by stunning views.
As we set up camp and got the fire going the moon and stars lit up the night sky.
The next morning we broke camp and started out the way we came in. Just past the Bar 10 Ranch we chose to take a different route and turned onto BLM 1023. This road would eventually connect us with the Mt. Trumbull Loop east of the school house. BLM 1023 is definitely not a maintained road. It was severely washed out and rutted in places. This required walking ahead at times to get a feel for where the road was going and to make sure we could continue. The road climbed high into the forrest and eventually we were in the snow and pine trees.
Eventually the road smoothed out and we were able to pick up the pace. We were greeted by some 4-legged friends along the way as well.
We made out way back to the school house and continued towards the highway where we aired up. For a quick weekend trip we had just about everything we could have imagined trail conditions and of course the scenery was second-to-none. This is a place we will definitely be going back to again soon.
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