Oct 23, 2018

Grand Canyon ~ North Rim

Because the weather was good and with snow in the forecast for the next few days, we headed to the North Rim of the canyon on Saturday, October 20th, roughly 100 miles from the RV park.   This would be our third adventure in three days not to mention driving the previous two days.  All I can say is go if you can.  The North Rim is beyond stunning.  We oohed and awed at the South Rim but we never expected the sheer beauty and the magnitude of the North side.  It is truly amazing and so much more vivid.  We were able to see the immensity of the canyon itself and often felt like we were directly within the canyon from the various dramatic viewpoints.

We fell in love with the area as soon as left the parking for the Visitor Center and the Grand Canyon Lodge.  Such cozy little cabins complete with a porch and two handmade wooden rocking chairs and some overlook the canyon.  The day started out at 38F with a high of 52F, it was likely mid 40’s when we got there.

I want you notice how far the parking is from Bright Angel Point.  You actually walk right out into the canyon to reach the end of the viewpoint.  The trail is described as 0.5 miles, a short, but steep, walk on a paved trail to a spectacular view of the grand Canyon.

There was no mention of how narrow the path was nor the lack of handrails.  I was seriously debating turning around at this point.  I only let Colin take this photo as I could hold onto the tree.  I was worried about becoming dizzy and losing my balance.  Note how the path disappears behind me, it went down, up and all around and yes steeply.

This trail seemed to go on and on and on.  Notice that my jacket is unzipped.

A panorama shot of the view from Bright Angel Point.

Pure raw wilderness and we felt so much closer to nature and the canyon itself.  This is the only viewpoint on this side of the North Rim.

Cape Royal Road is the only other road  ( 20 miles one way ) with viewpoints and this first one was eight miles away.  Point Imperial  is the highest viewpoint in the Grand Canyon at 8,803 feet.  The Colorado River is nearly seven miles from here and one mile straight down.

We could easily have stayed at any one point and enjoyed the endless vista for hours on end.

We were fortunate to see several mule deer going to the far point and back again.

We found a balancing rock on the way up to the Angels Window.

Angels Window

Perhaps the most dramatic view of the Colorado River through the hole in the rock led to its name.  The river is the  wide brown curve with the green to the right of it.

The actual viewpoint is to the upper left on top of the window.

Panorama shot from the edge of the viewpoint.  We met a ranger today who hiked from rim to rim just a few weeks ago.  She said that it was very difficult.

Using a zoom lens you can actually see the Desert View Watchtower, also known as the Indian Watchtower at Desert View which is a 70-foot-high stone building located on the South Rim .  On a clear day you can also see the outline with the naked eye which we did.

No I was not on the edge.  It was cool and breezy.

We walked a bit further to the Cape Royal viewpoint which is at 7865 feet, the lowest of the seven viewpoints that you can access by vehicle.  There are another eight viewpoints that can be reached by hiking, anywhere from 2 miles one way to 12.1 miles one way.

While we were up there we met these three lovely ladies.  The two on the left are visiting from Budapest for three weeks.  The one on the right is originally from Budapest but now living in Olympia, Washington and is showing her friends some special attractions here in the US.  They are traveling by car and have no access to internet so I am not able to add their names to this photo at this time.

Such different views from the North Rim.

Looking over to the South Rim.  It was time to walk back to the car as it was getting late in the afternoon and we did not want to do the long winding road in the dark. I have been meaning to mention the green on all of our Grand Canyon photos.  This is not normal.  We asked a ranger about it and he said that in his 20 years here this is only the second time he has seen the green.  This was a drought year until Hurricanes Rosa and Sergio sent some rain this way.  Nature is amazing.

On the way down we saw a Kaibab squirrel as it ran across the road in front of us.  Love the large fluffy white tail.  There was so much more to see but we ran out of time.  I was disappointed that we missed the bison.  Maybe next time.

Mother Nature gave us a lovely sunset as we drove out of the park.  The burned out trees are from one of the several forest fires at the Grand Canyon’s North Rim this past summer.

It is a long drive out of this side of the Grand Canyon and we had already been gone for nine hours with yet another hour to go so we made a final pit stop.

A very cozy foyer.

We had also stopped here in the morning. on the way into the Park.  They have a diner style counter with stool seating as well as a formal dining room.  There is also a large gift shop with much Native art.  I fell in love with paintings by George Molnar but at $700.00 plus for a numbered print it was not in the budget, besides we have not a single spare inch in either the house nr the RV to display any art.  Click here to see some stunning photos of his art.  He has a most unique style that delves into the spirit of his subject.

We stopped primarily for a snack to keep the hunger pangs at bay.  We were tired of Clif Bars, nuts and fruit.

We had been told by someone here in the park office about these world famous cookies and I had also read about them.  We got four and it was a hard swallow to pay those prices but each bite was perfection.  Be sure to stop by and get a few cookies when you visit the North Rim.

We got back safely despite the many deer on both sides of highway.  We were fortunate to be far enough behind the vehicle in front of us as he hit his brakes as a deer crossed directly in front of him.  No one was hurt but all the drivers on the road slowed down a tad as a precaution.  We were glad to get out of the forested part of the road where we could relax a bit.  It was a very long day but we would do it again tomorrow if we could.  Unfortunately it has been snowing up there ever since we left.  The North Rim receives up to 12 feet of snow each winter while the South Rim gets about 5 feet of annual snowfall.  So glad that we pushed ourselves to go despite being tired.





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22 responses so far

22 Responses to “Grand Canyon ~ North Rim”

  1. Looks like you guys are really having a great time! The pictures are incredible! Have fun!

  2. SandyM says:

    Spectacular photos of North Rim and Antelope Canyon – thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Arrowhead Gramma says:

    So pleased you were able to view the canyon from the North Rim as it is spectacular. Have wonderful memories of that area.

  4. George Yates says:

    Suzie wonderful views and awesome photos, Deer in the rads at things time if year are a huge hazard especially early morning and dusk.
    There is no way I could have walked out that view point, glad you took us there.

  5. Gene Siesky says:

    Thank you for the photos on the North Rim. It was nice to see it again, and Jacob Lake Inn.

  6. Kathryn Tycho says:

    We road the motorcycle from Kanab to the North Rim two years ago and loved it. I chickened out on the narrow path…good for you that you kept going!

  7. Gail Todd says:

    My friends and I prefer the North Rim. We stay at an RV park at Jacob Lake and visit as a day trip to the rim-sightseeing, followed by a picnic lunch. Have seen the buffalo many times.

    • contessa says:

      We would have loved to camp nearby but everything is closed up in that area although inside the park still has camping. I like where we are as it is central to all we are seeing and we don’t have to keep setting up every other day.

  8. Phyllis S says:

    Following each day of your fabulous trip and loving it!

  9. Deborah S. says:

    Have you considered walking or trekking poles for balance? They were a real help to my mother in law after she lost one eye and with it her depth perception.
    Keep posting the great pics!

  10. Maxx Trails says:

    There was too much snow at the North Rim when we went to the Grand Canyon so we were unable to visit. Thanks for the pictures, it sure looks beautiful!

  11. Roger says:

    Looks like you 2 are having a great trip, just wondering if you have heard anything from the Isla and how it fared with the storm

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