Camping at the Grand Canyon
On the Grand Canyon’s size:
As we stood marveling at the elemental beauty of the Grand Canyon, we saw why it’s one of the most popular national parks in the United States. Millenia of geological activity and erosion from the Colorado River carved a mile-deep, 277-mile-long and 18-mile-wide path through the Arizona desert that Mother Nature filled with striking, raw beauty.
With our Ooni Pizza Oven and camping gear in tow, there was plenty to behold in a park of this size, but we found it nearly impossible to visit the entire park in one day. At first glance, we thought attractions on the north and south rims were only a few miles apart. But, to actually drive between them, we would’ve needed to loop around the canyon, bringing our total travel distance to 215 miles (or about five hours of driving). The good news is that there are beautiful vistas dotted all along the canyon, so no matter where you are in the park, there’s always a beautiful view close by.
On the best view:
If, like us, solitude is something you seek, Tuweep Overlook is the place for you. Also known as Toroweap, we thought this isolated location with dramatic views offered the uncrowded, road-less-traveled adventure many of us who head to the Grand Canyon are looking to experience.
This path is not for the casual traveler. Located in the ancestral home of the Southern Paiute people, we had to weather difficult roads in a high-clearance vehicle to find our way to the precipice. But standing at the edge of a 3,000-foot sheer drop looking out over the North Rim and the Colorado River, we saw a certain rugged beauty that made us feel instantly at one with nature. This remote area is open for camping, so we set up our portable Ooni oven alongside our tent and cooked a top-tier fireside meal. Relying on our Ooni oven made cooking under the stars easy. We brought everything we needed with us since there are no food, gas or phone services nearby.
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On hikes and activities:
There’s plenty to do for travelers of all skill and accessibility levels, and we kept ourselves busy with everything from mule trips and river rafting to stargazing, scenic drives and hiking. Some of our favorite activities were the popular day hikes available year-round throughout the canyon (though, many seasoned hikers also opt to go backpacking overnight in the backcountry).
For our trip, we thought the Canyon Rim Trail was a nice place to start. This entry-level hike was mostly level, well defined and welcoming to beginning hikers (or for people more interested in views and photo ops than completing a difficult trail). For hikers looking for a challenge, we heard the Bright Angel Trail may be worth exploring. Either way, we definitely worked up an appetite that had us dreaming up topping combos the whole way back to our campsite where our Ooni oven waited.
On dining options:
As the sun started setting on our last day of desert adventure, it was time to light a fire and soak in the sense of accomplishment. Elated at how easy it was to transport our Ooni oven, we couldn’t help daydreaming about what adventure we would take it on next. And you know what made that euphoria even sweeter? Celebrating with a final slice of wow-worthy pizza.
The dry desert heat made it easy to fire up our Ooni oven, and as the temperature dropped, we started our end of day ritual with our favorite food. A quick stretch, shape and topping, and into the oven it went. Sixty seconds later, the pie sizzled away, ready to be sliced and savored with the moment. There’s no better feeling than gazing out over the edge and taking a bite of crispy, cheesy, saucy goodness at this most epic of outlooks.
(And we were careful not to drop any toppings over the cliff face, we promise.)