The Toroweap (or Toroweep) overlook is the most exciting place I've visited on the Grand Canyon north rim thus far. It is in the western part of the canyon and can only be reached via 60 miles of dirt road. The first 50-odd miles were very well maintained when we visited but once one enters the national park the road becomes almost unmaintained and a vehicle with good clearance is required.
Beyond the difficulty of access, there are a number of reasons that make this overlook special. It is not at the very top of the rim, which means one is inside the canyon itself as opposed to peering down from above. Thanks to the vertical cliffs one can see the river flowing straight down as opposed to seeing it far in the distance, and the red sandstone layers reach all the way down to the river, which makes for a much more beautiful inner canyon than the black layer in the central part of the grand canyon. Finally, the thrill of being able to walk up right to the edge and peering down is priceless. At that point one is typically standing on a sandstone block that has clearly started to split off from the rest and is getting ready to slide down into the abyss sometime soon--in geological time.
From the parking lot at the end of the road one has to scramble a bit over the rocks to see the views east, south and west. This specific pano is taken shortly after sunset from the top of those rocks and gives a 360 view around. It's a cylindrical pano, not a spherical one.
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.