Grand Canyon–Parashant National Monument (also called Parashant National Monument), is located on the northern edge of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The national monument is very remote and undeveloped and is jointly managed by the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management. There are no paved roads to the monument and no visitors services.
The monument is a rewarding experience for those willing to make the long and remote drive. One will be rewarded with spectacular vistas and vegetation ranging from that of the Mojave Desert to ponderosa pine forests. The Grand Canyon is worthy of the hype but it can also be very crowded - especially in the peak season.
What The Parashant National Monument Protects
- Established: In 2000
The lack of infrastructure in the national monument is common in national parks in Alaska (most of which have no road access), but unusual for parks or monuments in the Lower 48. Parashant National Monument is a great place for people looking to find a really remote place away from all the crowds.
It is a very large park, being larger than the state of Rhode Island.
- Size: Over One Million Acres
Vegetation ranges from Mojave Desert flora to ponderosa pine forest. The elevation in the monument ranges significantly from 1,230 feet or 370 meters above sea level around Grand Wash Bay at Lake Mead to 8,029 feet or 2,447 meters at Mount Trumbull.
The monument also includes the lower part of the Shivwits Plateau - an important watershed for the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.
- Joshua Trees: Grow At Lower Elevations (Ponderosa At Higher Elevations)
The monument is home to biological, geographic, and geological transitions that give rise to the monument's astounding ecological diversity. Here the Basin and Range meet with the Colorado Plateau as well as where the Mojave Desert meets with the Colorado Plateau.
- Name: Parashant Is From Paiute "Pawteh 'ee oasoasant" Meaning "Tanned elk Hide" or "Softening of the Elk Hide"
What To See And Do In The Monument
There is more than the wilderness to discover here, there is also a number of ruins of former Mormon settlements - like Oak Grove Dairy.
One can see the remnants of ranching, mining, and timber cutting at sites like Tassi Ranch, Nixon Sawmill, and Pa's Pocket Line Shack. Heading much deeper into the past there are thousands of archaeological sites like agave roasting pits, pueblos, petroglyphs, artifacts, and more.
In this remote monument, countless biological, historical, and archeological treasures await. Come and discover deep canyons, mountains, and lonely buttes. See how the relentless hands of nature and erosion have played out and eroded the land into the colorful vistas one sees today.
The monument has its share of wildlife, while hiking keeps one's eyes peeled for mule deer, bighorn sheep, wild turkeys, and four species of rattlesnakes. One of the best locations in the United States for seeing wild animals in Yellowstone National Park - go in different seasons to see different animal behavior.
At night the sky is a wonder to behold. It has been designated as the Parashant International Night Sky Province for its pristine and breathtaking night skies. It is one of the best places in the world to gaze up and see the stars and planets.
- Designated: Parashant International Night Sky Province For Brilliant Night Skies
Tip: Bring A Telescope
Activities in the monument include hiking, horseback riding, four-wheel-driving, wildlife viewing, hunting, and visiting archeological sites.
- Hunting: It Is A Premier Mule Deer Hunting Area, Permits Are Extremely Limited And Regulated By The Arizona Game and Fish Department
Visiting The Monument
Getting to this remote monument is something of a challenge. One should get a map at the Interagency Information Center in St. George in Utah before heading to the monument. From St. George, one should take River Road south to the Utah Stateline with Arizona, from there BLM Road 1069 leads to several access points.
- Admission Fees: Free - There Are No General Visitor Fees
- Facilities: There Are no Facilities In the Monument
- Camping: There Are No Developed Campgrounds - Nearest Lodge Is In St. George, Utah
According to Grand Canyon Trust, much of the monument remains unexplored. In fact, they state that only 5% of the protected land has been surveyed.
There are plenty of hiking trails in the monument and they are listed on the National Park's Website.
There are also guidelines for hiking in these fragile ecosystems - like if hiking in the Mojave Desert hike in the dry washes as much as possible to protect the fragile desert soil and plant roots.
Tip: Bring A Compass or Have a Compass App On The Phone
- Caution: It Is Easy to Get Disoriented Because of The Lack Of Landmarks