Kaibab Plateau, Jacob Lake, Arizona USA

Jacob Lake Travel Blog

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FS 22

The Kaibab Plateau is accessed by US Hwy 89A that runs through Fredonia, then Jacob Lake, then down off the plateau to the BLM land. The highway goes by the Vermillion Cliffs to Marble Canyon city; then crosses the Colorado river at Marble Canyon (into the Navaho Indian Reservation) and merges back into US Hwy 89 at the nearby Bitter Springs. The Kaibab Plateau is Federal land featuring the North Kaibab N Forest with its own overlooks on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. From Jacob Lake take Arizona Hwy 67 to the Grand Canyon (North) National Park with a few very good view points. Some of the Kaibab Plateau extends Northward into BLM Land including a rough driving dirt trail from East of Fredona to the extinct town of House Rock at the bottom of the East side of the plateau.

FS 22

Of course I picked the back road of Forest Service 22, just East of Fredonia and missing Jacob Lake going to the dirt roads and free Forest Service camps on the North Rim in the North Kaibab N Forest. The first fifteen miles of uphill paved road is all BLM land. The Kaibab N Forest (22) is all dirt roads that was fun to cruise with Old Blue. Most of the Forest Service roads in the Kaibab are in good condition and are well marked with signs.

Big Springs is a Forest Service outpost with cabins for rent. From there the FS 22 winds its way uphill (mostly) and downhill following the natural canyons. I finally turn right on FS 425 to the overlooks while FS 22 continues to the paved Utah Hwy 67 just North of the Grand Canyon N Park. After about fifteen miles of fun cruising FS 425 I reach the abandoned coral just before FS 292.

Jacob Lake 50 miles
At the start of FS 292 is the faint bad trail 292C (following Crazy Jug Canyon) that also goes uphill to Crazy Jug Point. (That is four wheel drive uphill and the return downhill is an easy two wheel drive back).

We continue FS 292 a few miles uphill to the junction. FS 292A follows the North Rim Westbound with few good views, and FS 292B goes to Crazy Jug Point, my favorite overlook. Last year the Forest Service closed their overlooks to camping, but this year they removed most of their "no camping" signs except on the trail head...OK with me!

Long ago when Arizona was geologically active a major fault formed Crazy Jug Canyon to the Grand Canyon. The parking area ends in a large loop with about an eighth of an acre of forest inside the loop.

Kaibab N Forest
..where I set up my camp.

There is a short short walk from trailhead to overlook. The afternoon sun made the best pics to the East and Crazy Jug Canyon instead of South or West to the Grand Canyon. All of my view pics were from Crazy Jug Point overlook, but most are East views instead of the Grand Canyon. 

Since Crazy Jug Point is an open Forest Service overlook, some people come there and park at the trailhead and are gone in an hour. There were two seperate full sized trucks that camped at the parking area, but not at the trailhead. They were good back country campers and I did not see or hear them after they made their camps in the open parking. I still had my solitude and views to myself as I did not approach the other camps.

I made my dinner and had a great pleasant evening with an occasional walk to the overlook.

Big Springs
There is a nice walking trail around Crazy Jug Canyon and the Grand Canyon side for different views. There is another walking trail below the other with the best views, but is very hazardous following the tops of the cliffs on unstable dirt.

I had a pleasant cool morning with long coffee break. I took a walk to the overlook and the photo opps were poor then. I herd a rumar that the Forest Service has imported Bison that could be seen from the meadows so I departed from Crazy Jug Point. (I saw no Bison.) We drove the few miles downhill on FS 292 and turned left (North) on FS 425 for a nice ride. On FS 425 we passed a Kaibab squirrel with a black body and a silver tail. (The Kaibab squirrel is found only on the Kaibab Plateau cuz it can not cross the desert that surounds the plateau.

Big Springs
This squirrel is doing well up here and is often seen from the dirt roads.)

We turned right (SE) on FS 22 for another nice ride through forest and meadows. At the paved AZ 67 we had three options. Turn right (South) on AZ 67 to the Grand Canyon N Park. Go straight on the dirt FS 610 for overlooks on the "East Rim" (not an official name) of the Grand Canyon. Those overlooks face the East over Marble Canyon. My favorite is on FS 612 ending at several great private camps. From there you have a private view of Marble Canyon; on a clear day you can see the US Hwy 89 traffic around Cedar Ridge. There is even a very hazardous road with dangerous switchbacks going down the Kaibab to Marble Canyon of the Colorado River and more free camps; then Northbound to US Hwy 89A for a through route.

Big Springs
I think that is four wheel drive now. 

With other places to see I took the third option, North on AZ 67, another nice ride. I passed the burn area from a bad fire years ago. I remember on the National news that the people were trapped on the Grand Canyon North then for days or a week. I have no idea why the people that wanted out were not instructed to take the good FS 22 back to Fredonia.

At Jacob Lake AZ Hwy 67 ended at US Hwy 89A where I turned right (East). At the top edge of the Kaibab Plateau there is a nice large scenic overlook where the Vermilion (pink) Cliffs dominate the view. About 100 meters further is an short dirt trail to a unnamed better overlook. I call that Walter's Overlook cuz I allways have that completely to myself and Old Blue.

FS 22

We took the AZ Hwy 89A, with a steep winding road, slowly down the Kaibab and at the bottom we entered BLM land. At a good spot on the highway, my front starboard tire did a pop and we had to stop. Having two full sized spare tires that was not a major problem. I used my spare tire from inside the back of Blue. We continued Eastbound following the Vermilion Cliffs.

The town of Cliff Dwellers is an interesting place to stop briefly. There are no true cliff homes, but they built habitation structors under the large rocks that have fallen down from the cliffs. Off the grid with no easy water source, I think that nobody lives there now.

Just past the town of Marble Canyon is the Marble Canyon of the Colorado River...a great place to stop.

FS 22
They have rest rooms and Navajo Native American venders. Still there is the old (lane and a half) bridge over the Colorado river that I drove long ago. Now the old bridge has been converted to a foot bridge for a scenic walk and pics. I did not stop there on this trip. The Colorado River seperates the BLM land to the West, and the Navajo Reservation to the East.

We continued South on US Hwy 89 to Flagstaff. (The locals call it Flag.) Somewhere near the US Hwy 160 to Tuba City my spare tire went flat in less then a minute. (not repairable) This was a reality check for me as I remembered that my two spare tires came before Old Blue arrived for me. The tires looked good but were old and unrelable. I only got to park about five feet from the road with traffic going up to 70 mph.

FS 22
My last spare tire was underneath the back of Blue and very hard for me to get down to use. I filled up all my tires before I left home, but now the last tire was flat. I had no cell phone coverage to call for help. I used my cigerette lighter DC air pump to fill the tire with air, but it was leaking put. Then I drove for about five minutes till the yaw affected my driving then I had to quickly find a place to turn off the highway without getting stuck in the soft sand. Repeat, repeat, repeat! 

When I got to Cameron I got cell coverage so I called AAA for a free tow to Flagstaff to Discount Tire. I purchased three new truck tires (just before they closed for the day) and was back to six wheels again.

We drove a short distance West on Interstyate Hwy 40 to my emergency camp on A-1 Mountain Road.

FS 425
The first quarter mile was A-1 Mountain Estates, private property with a great view of the old volcanic San Francisco Mts by Flagstaff. Then I passed the fence, cattle guard, and to the dirt road of the Coconino N Forest and nice free camping under medium sized Ponderosa pine. I had a very nice evening with Old Blue.

After my morning coffee break we were off to the high energy of the Sedona Vortex.

completed

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FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
Jacob Lake 50 miles
Jacob Lake 50 miles
Kaibab N Forest
Kaibab N Forest
Big Springs
Big Springs
Big Springs
Big Springs
Big Springs
Big Springs
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 425
FS 425
FS 425
FS 425
FS 425, abandoned coral
FS 425, abandoned coral
FS 425, abandoned coral
FS 425, abandoned coral
FS 292
FS 292
FS 292 (not a straight road)
FS 292 (not a straight road)
FS 292
FS 292
FS 292C (the very faint trail)
FS 292C (the very faint trail)
FS 292 uphill
FS 292 uphill
FS 292 uphill
FS 292 uphill
FS 292B junction
FS 292B junction
FS 292B Junction
FS 292B Junction
FS 292 Junction
FS 292 Junction
FS 292B
FS 292B
Crazy Jug camp
Crazy Jug camp
viewpoint trailhead
viewpoint trailhead
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Crazy Jug Canyon
Grand Canyon (West View)
Grand Canyon (West View)
Grand Canyon (West View)
Grand Canyon (West View)
dinner (big white thing is cabbage)
dinner (big white thing is cabbage)
dinner
dinner
morning camp
morning camp
morning coffee
morning coffee
leaving Crazy Jug Point, FS 292B
leaving Crazy Jug Point, FS 292B
FS 292 downhill
FS 292 downhill
FS 292 downhill
FS 292 downhill
FS 292 downhill
FS 292 downhill
FS 425 Kaibab Squirrel
FS 425 Kaibab Squirrel
FS 425 Kaibab squirrel
FS 425 Kaibab squirrel
FS 425
FS 425
FS 22 junction
FS 22 junction
FS 22 (do not shoot, LOL)
FS 22 (do not shoot, LOL)
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22 (turn right for four wheel d…
FS 22 (turn right for four wheel …
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22, turkeys
FS 22, turkeys
FS 22, turkeys
FS 22, turkeys
FS 22, potential camp
FS 22, potential camp
FS 22, Fire Point access
FS 22, Fire Point access
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
FS 22
Arizona Hwy 67, a dry lake
Arizona Hwy 67, a dry lake
AZ 67
AZ 67
AZ 67 Northbound
AZ 67 Northbound
AZ 67
AZ 67
AZ 67
AZ 67
AZ 67
AZ 67
AZ 67
AZ 67
AZ 67
AZ 67
AZ 67, burn area
AZ 67, burn area
AZ 67, burn area
AZ 67, burn area
AZ 67
AZ 67
AZ 67
AZ 67
end of AZ 67 at Jacob Lake
end of AZ 67 at Jacob Lake
end of AZ 67 at Jacob Lake (Forest…
end of AZ 67 at Jacob Lake (Fores…
Kaibab N Forest information
Kaibab N Forest information
Kaibab N Forest information
Kaibab N Forest information
Forest Service information
Forest Service information
Forest Service information
Forest Service information
Forest Service information
Forest Service information
scenic overlook with Vermilion Cli…
scenic overlook with Vermilion Cl…
scenic overlook
scenic overlook
Walters Overlook
Walter's Overlook
Walters Overlook
Walter's Overlook
Walters Overlook
Walter's Overlook
Walters Overlook
Walter's Overlook
Walters Overlook
Walter's Overlook
Walters Overlook
Walter's Overlook
Walters Overlook
Walter's Overlook
BLM land
BLM land
Vermilion Cliffs
Vermilion Cliffs
Vermilion Cliffs
Vermilion Cliffs
Vermilion Cliffs
Vermilion Cliffs
Vermilion Cliffs
Vermilion Cliffs
town of Cliff Dwellers
town of Cliff Dwellers
town of Cliff Dwellers
town of Cliff Dwellers
town of Cliff Dwellers
town of Cliff Dwellers
town of Cliff Dwellers
town of Cliff Dwellers
town of Cliff Dwellers
town of Cliff Dwellers
town of Cliff Dwellers
town of Cliff Dwellers
more Vermilion Cliffs
more Vermilion Cliffs
more Vermilion Cliffs
more Vermilion Cliffs
more Vermilion Cliffs
more Vermilion Cliffs
more Vermilion Cliffs
more Vermilion Cliffs
town of Vermilion Cliffs
town of Vermilion Cliffs
town of Vermilion Cliffs
town of Vermilion Cliffs
town of Vermilion Cliffs
town of Vermilion Cliffs
town of Vermilion Cliffs
town of Vermilion Cliffs
town of Marble Canyon
town of Marble Canyon
town of Marble Canyon
town of Marble Canyon
town of Marble Canyon
town of Marble Canyon
canyon of Marble Canyon
canyon of Marble Canyon
canyon of Marble Canyon
canyon of Marble Canyon
canyon of Marble Canyon
canyon of Marble Canyon
canyon of Marble Canyon
canyon of Marble Canyon
Cameron bridge over the Little Col…
Cameron bridge over the Little Co…
bad news
bad news
at Discount Tire
at Discount Tire
A-1 Mountain camp, morning coffee
A-1 Mountain camp, morning coffee
A-1 Mt camp
A-1 Mt camp
A-1 Mt camp
A-1 Mt camp
view from A-1 Mt Estates (the smal…
view from A-1 Mt Estates (the sma…
view from A-1 Mt Estates
view from A-1 Mt Estates
facility at A-1 Mt Estates
facility at A-1 Mt Estates
1985 A-1 Mt Road
1985 A-1 Mt Road
1985 A-1 Mt Road
1985 A-1 Mt Road
lane closed on Interstate Hwy 40
lane closed on Interstate Hwy 40
1993 pic (with Molly) at Marble Ca…
1993 pic (with Molly) at Marble C…
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Jacob Lake
photo by: walterman9999