American Locations 42 – Vermilion Cliffs

The trip is from Natchez Trace, Tennessee, to Dodge City, Kansas, by way of Tucson, Arizona.

 Vermilion Cliffs, Arizona

After our third night at the campground in Tusayan we drove north back into the park to the visitor center, then turned east. On the way out of the park we stopped at an archaeological site.

1594_GC South Rim

From this location we had a good view of Humphrey’s Peak that dominates Flagstaff, which was 87 miles to the south.

1595_GC South Rim

We also stopped several times for final looks at places we had rushed past the day we arrived when we were concerned about securing a camp site.

1598_GC South Rim

1600_GC South Rim

1604_GC South Rim

1608_GC South Rim

We drove east on Rte. 64 out of the park and through Kaibab National Forest. Once we were on the Navajo Reservation we stopped at several roadside stands to shop for some Native American merchandise. Then we continued east on 64 to Cameron, where we turned north on Hwy 89. At the little town of Bitter Springs 89 split, and we continued north on 89A. The desert we drove through was barren.

1615_Vermillion cliffs


1614_Vermillion Cliffs

Until we came to the Navajo Bridge, which spans the Colorado River at a place just before it flows into the Grand Canyon.

1616_Navajo Bridge


1618_Navajo Bridge

Once across the bridge, 89A turned west. We drove along the foot of the Vermilion Cliffs. Another astounding drive.

1621_Vermillion cliffs

1622_Vermillion Cliffs

1627_Vermillion Cliffs

We continued east on 89A back into the Kaibab National Forest. At Jacob Lake, which is located at the turn-off to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, which at the time wasn’t open, we turned north. We quickly gained elevation as we climbed into the mountains. While still in the national forest and high up in the mountains, we pulled into the trees to do our first dry camping on public lands.

1629_Kaibab Forest

1631_Kaibab Forest

It went well. We set up within sight of the road, yet it was a quiet secluded place and no one bothered us. The next morning I went for a hike in the woods. There were a lot of logging roads back into the trees, and the forest had been thinned considerably.

1633_Kaibab Forest

Later that morning we continued north through Arizona.

Next Location – Zion National Park, Utah


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