Grand Canyon, Mount Trumbull


By: Harry Melts


Over the Labor Day weekend Siina and I visited spectacular and scenic Grand Canyon National Monument (not to be confused with Grand Canyon Nat. Park). We found it a unique bit of desert wilderness, ours being the only car to visit one of the two camping areas in the monument. The 90 miles from St. George, Utah to the 310 square mile monument is traveled over a graded gravel road beyond the first few paved miles. The monument and its surroundings give a feeling of delightful loneliness and a sense of space on a scale seldom experienced elsewhere. No wonder that the park ranger, Mr. Riffey, has chosen to stay at the same post for 21 years and refers to the monument as "my place".

Sadly, Mission 66 will be there soon with its usual elaborate road construction programs. Roads seem to be the main concern of the NPS, often at the expense other improvements. Doubt was expressed as to whether enough funds would remain after the road construction to improve the foot trails and to purchase some of the extensive grazing rights inside the monument.

Siina and I hiked the old and dim Tuckup Trail, a trip I highly recommend to others visiting the monument. To get to the trailhead, leave the Canyon Rim road north of the camping area and drive east about three miles to roads end. From here, hike along the winding rim at least as far as Big Point, a distance longer than it appears to be since several deep side canyons force you quite a distance inland. The views are superb, the depth of the canyons emphasized by steep walls on both sides of narrow chasms. Several of the side canyons are as deep as the main canyon. Cove Canyon and Big Point Canyon being particularly impressive. The trail and mining road are marked on the Grand Canyon National Monument Map. Hurry and visit this scenic desert wilderness before the bulldozers, high speed roads, crowds, and transistors move in. The road to the monument will take you within less than a mile of Mt. Trumbull (8O28'). Walk to the summit for a rewarding view of this bit of primitive America.

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