The primitive road (the Bureau of Land Management, Park Service, and ranchers call it Main Street) that takes you to the Bar 10 is a good warmup for what the more primitive roads and trails offer, but it's only a warmup: Driving these 4WD trails requires due diligence (this place is very hard on equipment). Before leaving St. George, stop at the BLM/National Park office for the latest weather and road conditions and a map that will give you an idea of the millions of acres you're about to enter. Don't set out if it's raining, when the roads turn soupy.

We stopped 50 miles down Main Street at Mt. Trumbull School, where the kids who lived here between 1920 and 1960 learned the three Rs. No one works on-site, but it's open 24 hours a day so visitors can go inside and look around. You will be instantly carried back to a time when one-room schoolhouses like this were the center of the community and the backbone of rural America.

The school serves as a crossroads for off-road adventure. To reach the Bar 10, take the road where the sign points to Whitmore Canyon. For the next 15 miles wind down into the canyonlands below the Bar 10 Lodge. From the ranch, you go another tortuous 14 miles to the Colorado River overlook, which puts you inside the Grand Canyon. This is the only place you can drive down inside the Grand Canyon. From the overlook, it's another 700 feet down and a 45-minute walk (each way) along a trail to the Colorado River where you can soak your feet in the chocolate-color, muddy ribbon of water.