When Google Gives Bad Directions And Sends You Into the Desert
Googling directions to Grand Canyon from St. George can lead you into trouble. There’s a place on the Arizona Strip named Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument. Sometimes when tourists google the directions, it leads them down river road, past Bundyville and towards this monument all on dirt roads. This is a wilderness area, and most are not prepared for the conditions they travel over.
Brice Provost is a ranger for the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument and said this happens multiple times a year. “In the beginning of March there was a couple in a BMW SUV,” said Brice. “They had typed in Grand Canyon and google took them that way. They ended up sliding off the road and crashing. We had to go down there and pick them up. The car ended up sitting down there for a month and a half until the rental agency could go down there and find it.”
Officials have asked Google to change how it gives directions, but the company says they can’t change it without messing up the algorithm.
“The monument is looking at changing their name,” said Provost. “It will be a completely new name so that won’t happen anymore.”
Before heading out on the Arizona Strip, visitors need to be prepared for conditions. In the winters there is snow on the roads and year-round there are problems with punctured tires. It is not uncommon for visitors to have multiple flat tires and if they only have one spare, they can end up stranded without cell service.
You can stop by the Arizona Strip District office at 345 E Riverside Dr. In St. George for information during business hours. And if you’re looking for the Grand Canyon, don’t trust google.
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Gallery Credit: Sofia Voss