Camping At The Bottom of Grand Canyon and Toquerville Fall in UT - Boogielanding Series EP1

For Memorial Day weekend 2023, I embarked on a journey that I revisited a spot I visit 3 years ago, as well as completed a bucket list quest that I've been trying to finish.

The first time I heard of "overlanding to the bottom of Grand Canyon and camp" was back in 2017, when I picked up my first offroad capable rig (Toyota 4Runner) was fairly green to the overlanding scene. I remember I was looking at different overlanding destinations online and dying to go there: Black Bear Pass, Imogene Pass, Moab, and even Alaska to name a few.
However, there was one myth that I've read about repeatedly but with next to zero information for me to act on: camping at the bottom of Grand Canyon by the Colorado River. It's like one of those things in life (finding happiness, building a successful business, finding the perfect wife, etc) that you know it's there and other people have done it, but no one will tell you how to get there. It's a well-guarded secret. So I searched and searched, and after a year of looking without turning up anything solid, I gave up and focused on other destinations.

And just like those previously mentioned things in life, you get what you want with a bit of luck. That break came in May 2023, when I was watching the Enlightenment Series of Throttle House on YouTube. They went where I was looking for! I spent one day at the office piecing together the clues that I found in the video and compared their route and their video against Google Map, Google Earth, Google Street View, and pieced together where this was. 6 years later, I can finally check off that item on my bucket list!

So, I plotted the route on Gaia GPS and downloaded it to both my phone and my offroad navigation tablet, loaded up my truck, and was on my way.

I will not disclose where this is. If you know, you know. 

Long story short, I drove for 6 hours only stopped once for fuel and got there at around 3PM. I paid the tribal ranger (hint hint) and went down the 10 miles dirt road. With my Fox 2.5 and 35s, the road was decent and smooth enough without airing down. But since this was the first long dirt road my 35s saw, I figured why not. At 25psi, the dirt road was as smooth as some of the freeway in California, and I sent it. For regular folks the trail may take up to an hour, but I completed it in 20 minutes while making splashes through numerous water crossings. I had a lot of fun.

It was quite warm at the bottom of Grand Canyon, and I thought about going into the river to cool off. However I didn't have my shower kit with me. So I set up camp, took out my EcoFlow AC, and chilled in my Gazelle that I bought as a "hang out tent" while reading a good book.

Campsite was great: the ground was level enough, there were awnings and picnic tables provided, and prebuilt fire rings so I didn't have to do the work.
As sun sets and got blocked by the canyon walls, temperature dropped and it went from "hot" to "comfortable. I made dinner, and sat by my campfire while enjoying a good cigar. A few sites over, my neighbors were having good times of their own too.
The next day, I packed up camp, went back down to the river for a few more shots, then waved goodbye to this buck list site.
It wasn't really life changing event, but it was quite a drive. I was still going pretty fast on the way up, but also took the time to take in the scenery.
And Also made some friends along the way. I wasn't sure if these guys are used to seeing vehicles or not, but they look quite curious about the shiny blue object. Unsure how friendly these guys are, I refrained from hopping out for cleaner pictures and waited till the guy on the left to join his friends before I pushed on.
As I was airing up at the trailhead, the tribal dog came and looked at what I was doing. Dude ran away as soon as I picked up my camera though. I guess he's camera shy?
I aired up using my onboard ARB single mounted on NH Overland engine bay mount. This is the first time I run compressor under the hood in my own personal vehicle; I had it in the trunk area of my 4Runner before. I kind of miss having the compressor in the back, but that is just because having the compressor near my MOORFLATE inflator/ deflator kit was stored saved me a lot of set up time.
But the NH mount is great! I like how they incorporated a switch mount AND a air chuck mount. My ARB didn't come with extended line for air chuck relocation, but I may change that in the future.
I won't go into further detail about the mount, since I'm saving that for another thread in the future.
Using the Moorflate kit is my favorite way to air up and down. The air pressure is equally distributed among 4 tires, and I don't run into problem of having different tire pressure each wheel. It is also convenient; I just set everything up, go chill until the truck tells me the tires are done (through tire fill assist, but I found that honking horn annoying. Is there anyway to turn off the honking?) and put away everyhing. It takes about 7 minutes or so to fill all 4 tires from 25psi to 40psi. Enough time for me to drink some soda and smoke a cigarette.
And I pressed on to Toquerville, UT. I had the option of going west through Las Vegas and up to Toquerville, or go east through Flagstaff, AZ and around Grand Canyon then cross into Utah. It would take about 4.5 hours going the Vegas route, while it'd take 5.5 hours (excluding UT AZ time zone change) to go through Flagstaff.
So I went east for a more scenic drive. Because this route is not the route that I would normally take.
I was at the Toquerville Fall in 2020 with my 4Runner, and I wanted to recreate this shot with my truck. This is the part of the journey where I revisited a spot I was at.
There's only one word to describe the very same trail I took 3 years ago: rough.
This was a smooth hill in 2020, but turned into a multiple diagonally rutted steep hill climb.
There were also a few "water falls" that range from 2-4ft high, and a few section of endless rock gardens.

In 2020, I barely put the 4Runner in 4Lo on this trail; 4H was more than enough to handle the "obstacles." In 2023, combining longer wheelbase and a rougher trail, I was in 4L for nearly 80% of the trail. There were also many times I had to park the truck and walk the trail to assess the trail, pick a line, memorize the spots for tire placement, and even stacked rocks at one obstacle.
I was prepared for more scraping and even damages, but thanks to years of wheeling experience and taking it slow, I was able to clear the obstacles with just touching the sliders.
It was quite crowded at the waterfall, but so much more water than 2020. I played around the waterfall, took some pictures, and setup camp near the fall.
I had another steak, and cooked under my Devos Light Ranger. This is such a great addition to my camping gear; I now have a good light source that I can use that keeps the bugs away from my "kitchen" when I extend the light high enough. Then, I can just install the add-on filter that gives a yellow hue that bugs can't see! Best of all, I can turn the output all the way to the lowest and it will run the whole night. I keep it on at the dimmest level throughout the night, just so that it makes my presence visible to other campers and I don't have to put on headlamp when I need to use the restroom in the middle of the night!

It was a peaceful night, and I fell asleep with the sound of waterfall.
Total mileage for the weekend: 1328.3 miles.
Average MPG for the trip: 15.2, including me hauling *** through highways fighting headwind and gravity (going up hill), and the slow crawling section of the trail.

Would I do this again? Absolutely!

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