We headed out this morning to visit the north rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The road from the north into the park as well as visitor services opened for the season in the morning. There were a good number of people there though it ultimately never felt too busy. The weather was generally excellent with reasonable temperatures and a mostly clear sky though some clouds did occasionally pass by.
Bright Angel Point Trail
We started out with the short hike along a paved trail to Bright Angel Point. We actually ended up walking down a brief unpaved section that starts by the Grand Canyon Lodge before joining the main paved portion of the trail. This trail is short though a bit steep in places. Normally it would be pretty easy but was definitely a bit interesting with an injured leg and using a crutch for support! We slowly but surely made it to the very end and were able to enjoy some spectacular scenery!
With the assistance of a telephoto lens, we were able to see portions of the Bright Angel Trail as it winds downwards from the south rim into the canyon. Also visible are many of the buildings on the significantly more developed south rim.
Afterwards, we headed back and enjoyed the view from the lower deck of the lodge. We also walked a tiny portion of the Transept Trail to reach the very first viewpoint before returning to the lodge for lunch.
After lunch, we drove towards Cape Royal, stopping at the east facing Point Imperial to enjoy some more spectacular views. Point Imperial is the highest viewpoint on the north rim. A ridge that juts out eastwards had some very red sand that reminded us of the mountains of Kauai in Hawaii!
Next, we headed south and briefly stopped at Vista Encantada, another east facing viewpoint. This location has a different view of the red colored ridge that was visible from Point Imperial.
The next stop as we headed further south was Roosevelt Point, named after Teddy Roosevelt. While there is an easy trail here with views of the canyon, we opted to skip it and move on.
As we neared Cape Royal, the last viewpoint was the Walhalla Overlook. This viewpoint is a bit larger with a very short trail that juts out from the canyon rim. We were also alerted to the presence of an interesting looking dead tree by another photographer. It was indeed an interesting scene and reminiscent of a similar tree at the edge of Crater Lake in Oregon! There is also a short trail on the other side of the road that leads to the ruins of a pueblo. There isn’t really much left to see unfortunately.
Finally, we reached Cape Royal at the end of the road! Cape Royal extends southwards towards the Colorado River and is a bit closer to the south rim than other areas of the north rim. We first got a good look at Angels Window, a spectacular natural arch with a relatively small window beneath it. We followed up by taking the spur trail that goes over the arch! Luckily, the flat area atop the arch is surrounded by sturdy metal railings! In some of the photos, the window is visible in the shadow cast by the arch!
We ended our day at the end of the fully paved Cape Royal Trail. This fantastic viewpoint has some amazing scenery with fantastic rock formations as well as views of the Colorado River! A rather rare sight on the north rim as it is not visible from most locations!