Grand Canyon’s North Rim may not be as well-known as the South Rim, but its majesty is comparable. Less crowded than the South Rim, North Rim lookout points offer panoramic views at heights that soar above 8,000 feet. If you’ve never been to the North Rim, it’s an entirely different experience than the South Rim and definitely deserves its own spot on the bucket list.
So where are the best views from the North Rim? This whole part of the park is magical, but you’ll want to include these Grand Canyon North Rim lookout points on your itinerary – Cape Royal, Point Imperial, and Bright Angel Point.
Peaking at almost 8,000 feet, Cape Royal offers an expansive view from the southernmost portion of Grand Canyon’s North Rim. From here, you’ll get 360-degree views of the canyon. Cape Royal has the widest panorama of the park, with vistas of Marble Canyon to the north, the Palisades of the Desert to the south, and the South Rim Visitor Center to the west. To the east, visitors will be enraptured by views of the Colorado River. This lookout also includes Wotans Throne and Freya Castle.
As one of the less visited areas of the park, Cape Royal offers a scenic point away from the crowds. The Cape Royal viewpoint is located 23 miles from the North Rim Visitor Center along the main park road. Guests can drive and use the Cape Royal Parking lot. The paved path winds a mile to Angels Window, a natural arch formation made of Kaibab limestone, before finally reaching Cape Royal.
You can take your adventure to new heights at Point Imperial, the Grand Canyon’s highest lookout point. Ascending 8,803 feet, Point Imperial gives unparalleled views of the Grand Canyon’s natural wonders including Marble Canyon and Vermilion Cliffs. Visitors can also see the prominent Boundary Ridge to the north and Saddle Mountain in the center.
Along the way, hikers cross through areas of the park scorched by wildfires in 2000. The easy hiking trail cuts through the Kaibab forest, still in recovery with post-fire vegetation slowly making a comeback. Enjoy the wildflowers growing in abundance along the hilly terrain. Panoramic views include both Echo and Vermilion Cliffs with glimpses of upper Colorado Canyon. This lookout point is an 11-mile drive from the North Rim Visitor Center.
Bright Angel Point
Bright Angel Point provides heavenly views that include the South Rim, just 11 miles straight across. A short walk along the ridgeline path opens to extraordinary views of the canyon. Take your time and step with caution; Bright Angel Point rises over 8,100 feet above sea level. High altitudes along narrow, steep ridges provide a thrilling hike along the trail.
This North Rim lookout is named after a character from the book, Paradise Lost, and it’s not hard to see why. At the start of the trail, green pinyon and juniper trees grow along the slope before tapering off, since the hot sun and dry air means large trees cannot grow on the bare rock. Views show Bright Angel Creek, the large canyon tributary on the east, which is sourced by drainages from Roaring Springs. Bright Angel Point also overlooks The Transept, with Oza Butte and Manu Temple. To the east, look for the red and white slopes of the flat Walhalla Plateau.
So, if you prefer experiencing Grand Canyon off-the-beaten path, the scenic North Rim may be just what you’re looking for. With views over 8,000 feet above sea level, the North Rim has unforgettable panoramas without the crowds. Enjoy amenities like the North Rim Visitor and Grand Canyon Lodge.