US Route 89-The West
US Route 89 Road Trip Guide-House Rock Valley

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Alternate 89-Bitter Springs to Kanab Road Trip Guide

Distance: 92.7 miles • Elevation Change: Bitter Springs 5108 ft.-Kanab 4970 ft.

The original route of 89 was across the Kaibab Plateau from Bitter Springs to Kanab. With the construction of a bridge over the Colorado River at the Glen Canyon dam, this section was designated as an alternative route.

From Bitter Springs, 89A goes north to Navajo Bridge at Lee’s Ferry in Marble Canyon. When the first Navajo Bridge was completed in 1929, it opened up travel between Utah and Arizona. At the time it was the only crossing for 600 miles in either direction. In 1995, a new Navajo Bridge was completed along side the original which is now open to pedestrians who wish to stroll out on it to stand 470 feet above the Colorado River.

From Marble Canyon, US Route 89A follows the Vermilion Cliffs through House Rock Valley then climbs 2,500 feet onto the Kaibab Plateau. Access to the north rim of the Grand Canyon is along Arizona Route 67 which intersects with 89A at Jacob Lake. This road is closed by snow from late October until sometime in May. Continuing on from Jacob Lake, the road descends the west side of the plateau to an isolated area known as the Arizona Strip. In Kanab, 89A rejoins 89.

Special Attractions:

Lee’s Ferry & Lonely Dell Ranch: From 1872 until the completion of Navajo Bridge in 1928, Lee's Ferry was the only way across the Colorado River for 600 miles in either direction. Today, Lee's Ferry is the launching point for raft trips through the Grand Canyon and for trout fishing upstream to Glen Canyon Dam. The Lonely Dell Ranch was home to the families that operated the ferry and is open for self-guided walking tours.
Vermillion Cliffs Condor Viewing Site: Head north on the House Rock Valley Road at the west end of the Vermilion Cliffs for three miles to the viewing kiosk. Look up toward the cliffs to spot the enormous black condors that were reintroduced to this area in 1996. Best viewing is mid- to late morning. Condors can also be spotted soaring over Marble Canyon near Navajo Bridge.
Grand Canyon National Park-North Rim: The north rim of the Grand Canyon is thirty miles south of Jacob Lake via Arizona Route 67. Views of the canyon from the north rim are quite different from the south rim. Because the north rim is higher and erosion has occurred from north to south, the rim is ten miles from the Colorado River. Thus the view is down long, deep canyons surrounded by towering buttes. Note: the road to the north rim is only open to vehicles from May to October depending on snow conditions.


Towns, Cities & Reservations:
Bitter Springs
Mable Canyon
House Rock
Jacob Lake
Kaibab-Paiute Indian Reservation

Public Lands & Historic Places:
Navajo Bridge
Pop-Up Story: The Dedication of Navajo Bridge in 1929
The First Navajo Bridge

Lee’s Ferry & Lonely Dell National Historical District
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Vermillion Cliffs National Monument
Dominguez-Escalante Intrepretive Site
Kaibab National Forest
Grand Canyon National Park-North Rim
Grand Canyon North Rim View Points East to West
Point ImperialCape Royal
Wotans ThroneAngels Window
Bright Angel PointPoint Sublime

Echo Cliffs
Colorado River
Marble Canyon
Vermilion Cliffs
House Rock Valley
Kaibab Plateau
Kanab Plateau

User Contributed Stories
Road Trip Sponsors

 A nonprofit organization that supports education, research, and visitor services at Grand Canyon National Park.

2010 Spring Road Trip

Paul Michael Photography

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