It covers nearly three million acres and includes a huge piece of North America called the Grand Canyon. Parashant National Monument was set aside and designated as a National Monument in 2000 by then President Bill Clinton. The drama and majesty of the landscapes include a collage of pine-covered mountains, mesas, buttes, grasslands, and chiseled canyons that lead to the Grand Canyon itself. As far as the eye can see, there is rangeland where grass-fed cattle intermingle with mule deer and old buildings from an earlier day, when the people who actually called the Arizona Strip home hung tenaciously on, unwilling to let go.

The Arizona Strip remains the most bypassed, unheard-of slice of land in the contiguous United States and is tailormade for those seeking an escape from a fast-paced world. It provides the kinds of primitive roads and trails (more than 2000 miles total) where 4WD trucks, SUVs, and crossovers can be challenged to perform as they were designed to. With the Strip's lack of the human footprint, those who visit leave forever altered by what can only be characterized as a surreal type of experience.

We've made forays into the Strip with a Ram 2500, Jeep Wrangler, and GMC Yukon Hybrid, and what follows is a chronicle of our discoveries as we explored just a few of its nooks and crannies.

The Arizona Strip stretches from the Nevada border in the west to Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River in the east, a distance of 200 miles. From the Utah border, it wends south to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River where at its widest point the Strip is 120 miles.

A guest lodging called the Bar 10 Ranch was our base camp. Located 65 miles directly south of St. George, Utah, the Bar 10 is a working ranch that includes a lodge that's open year 'round. It offers hot and cold running water, excellent ranch-style fare, and a warm, hospitable lodge where Ned and his wife Kristin welcome visitors.