We will be doing an expedition to an area known as the Parashant in May of this year (details below.) The Parashant area is officially known as the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument (or as I will refer to it as, PNM) is located in north western Arizona in an area commonly referred to as the Arizona Strip. The PNM borders the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the Grand Canyon National Park. Included in these areas is the north rim of the Grand Canyon. These areas are very remote and not served by any type of facilities. A four wheel drive is necessary and you will need to carry everything needed for camp and travel, including gasoline.
Three of the areas we will visit are actually on the edge of the Grand Canyon (pictures below). Two of these areas are known as "points" as they are overlooks of the canyon below, and the views are spectacular. Each is at least 100 miles from St. George Utah, the nearest city with full facilities. The history of this whole area is fascinating and we will post details as time passes.
Although we will discuss this topic in much greater detail, we need to at least mention at the outset, that this trip is a unique opportunity for ham radio operators. Very shortly after we enter the actual Monument, all cell phone coverage ceases. Despite the distance from "civilization" there is exceptional VHF and UHF Ham coverage at just about every location we will visit. And, the elevation of our camps make for exceptional HF contacts.
We will be running APRS for the entire trip and those who wish to follow us may also text us, through APRS (more details later.)
This will be a 9 day trip (give or take a day or two.) Travel time from LA to Mesquite AZ, is about 7 hours. Another 2 hours to the first camp site. 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.
Dates: May 5-13, 2018 (with possible slight adjustments)
Number of campers: We currently have 6 confirmed who will be attending. There is room for one or two more. Sign-ups to follow.
From the National Park Service webpage ( http://www.nps.gov/para/ ):
Where the West Stays Wild
Parashant is one of the most remote and beautiful regions in the lower 48 states. Visitors who are prepared and equipped to explore the stunning landscape find that a trip into the Parashant is truly a journey into the wild. Visitors must be prepared to leave pavement and cell service behind. A high clearance 4x4 vehicle with off-pavement tires is strongly recommended to handle the rocky roads.
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.
The quote below originally came from the park service, but when they updated their website, it was omitted. I include it here as it is a very good introduction to the Parashant and the surrounding areas.
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.