At least one of the areas that we will visit (or base camp, maybe) is actually on the edge of the Grand Canyon (pictures below). This point is about 100 miles from St. George Utah, one of the nearest cities with full facilities. The PNW history is facinating and we will post details as time passes.
From the National Park Service webpage ( http://www.nps.gov/para/ ):
Grand Canyon Parashant's natural splendor provides a sense of solitude to those who venture into its isolated domain. Located on the edge of one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Grand Canyon, the Monument's expansive landscape encompasses a chronicle of natural and cultural history.
Camping and hiking in the Monument is an adventure with over a million acres to explore. Only primitive camping is available.
A bit more history, from the BLM ( http://www.nps.gov/archive/para/history.html ):
This will be a 5/6 day trip. Travel time from LA to St. George is about 7 hours. Another 2 hours to the rim. We will limit the trip to a group of 6/7 vehicles. If more interest is shown, we will either establish a waiting list or a second group. We will announce the date shortly.The story of this land is rich and long. Two billion years of geologic history and more than 11,000 years of human history have shaped the land and its people, resulting in natural splendor and a sense of solitude in an area that remains remote and unspoiled.
The monument is a geological treasure. The sedimentary rock layers of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic times (600 million – 66 million years ago) are relatively undeformed and unobscured by vegetation. Layers of rock formations have been exposed by the eroding Colorado River, providing a clear view of the geologic history of the Colorado Plateau and testifying to the power of geological forces. The prominent cliffs of two major faults sever the Colorado Plateau. The Grand Wash Cliffs and the Hurricane Cliffs slicing north to south through the region continue to be major topographic barriers to travel across the area. The Grand Wash Cliffs also form a spectacular boundary between the tortured, tilted lands of the Basin and Range province and the horizontal layers of the Colorado Plateau province.
At the south end of the Shivwits Plateau, several tributaries of the Colorado River have carved spectacular Parashant, Andrus and Whitmore Canyons. Volcanic rocks and an array of cinder cones and basalt flows are evidence of more recent (9 million to 1,000 years ago) volcanic events that shaped this land. During this time lava flowed into the Grand Canyon at the Whitmore and Toroweap areas and dammed the river many times during the past several million years.
Archeological evidence indicates that humans have inhabited or used this area for more than 11,000 years. Because of the remoteness, sites have experienced little vandalism and provide valuable clues about the earliest human activity of the hunter-gatherers and puebloan ancestors. Since cultural artifacts are the best clues to ancient habitations, please leave artifacts as you find them. The Southern Paiute who lived in the area at the time of Euro-American contact continue to maintain their ties to this land.
Explorers crossed the area beginning with the Escalante-Dominguez expedition in 1776. Later Jedediah Smith, Antonio Armijo and John C. Fremont explored portions of this land. Explorations by John Wesley Powell and Clarence Dutton in the 1870’s provided stirring written descriptions of the geology, flora and fauna of the area.
This rugged land was settled by people who cherished it and fought to save the remoteness that drew them here. Ranch structures, corrals, fences, water tanks and ruins of sawmills are scattered across the monument and help to piece together the stories of the remote family ranches and lifestyles of a people that value freedom and individuality. Today the descendents of those early settlers continue to ranch in this area.