On our third day out West, we ventured from Utah to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon. Because it was the week of the 4th of July and crowds were a guarantee, we opted to go to the North Rim. According to the U.S. National Park Service, the North Rim “is visited by only 10% of all Grand Canyon visitors.” It is also only open from May 15 to October 15 because of snow. If you are not looking to deal with crowds or fight other tourists for the best picture spots, the North Rim is a good alternative.
We went later in the day to catch the sunset. Upon entering the park, we were immediately greeted by a herd of buffalo casually grazing not far from the road. It was a good way to start off our time in the park. After a few minutes of admiration for the animals, we made our way up through the woods until we got to the lodge and the visitor center. The area has gift shops, restaurants, ice cream, and restrooms, but at this point, we were just interested in the view.
Bright Angel Point Trial
Bright Angel Point Trail- Easy, 0.07 round trip
Our first stop was Bright Angel Point Trail which starts right by the lodge. It is not really a hike, more of a scenic stroll where you can overlook the canyon from different angles. While I do not like heights, this did not scare me (as long as I didn’t stray too close to the edge). The walk can be narrow in places, but there were only a handful of other people on the trail at the same time. When you reach the actual Bright Angel Point, you will have an almost 360 degree view of the canyon stretched out before you.
The magnificence of the canyon is simply stunning. It seems to go on in every direction forever. There really is no name more fitting than The Grand Canyon. The rock formations rise and fall over one another filling your view. You will see plateaus and mountains of reds, browns, and whites dotted with green from the trees. While Bryce Canyon National Park was still my favorite national park we visited, The Grand Canyon was certainly a must see when traveling based on the sheer size of it alone.
After soaking in that view, it was off to the next lookout with new sites to take in. We drove to the highest point on the North Rim, Point Imperial, to see the eastern side of the canyon. (Note- There is no shuttle service within the park and the lookouts can be miles apart.)
Personally, Point Imperial was my favorite view of The Grand Canyon. As you walk to the lookout, the Painted Desert will be to your left. Continue reading “The Grand Canyon North Rim- DAY 3”