From Rim to Rim

1st July – 208 miles from Flagstaff, Arizona, to Kanab, Utah

It’s about ten miles as the crow files from the south to north rim of the Grand Canyon. By road, it’s over two hundred miles.

Navajo Bridge, Arizona

We left Flagstaff via a scenic road heading for the Navajo Bridge, the nearest place to cross the Colorado river. We stopped for lunch in the nearby town of Lees Ferry and, other than a quick stop at a viewpoint, we carried on straight through to Kanab, in Utah.

Viewpoint along the road

Kanab was our stop for the night and base for a trip to the rim the next day.

It turned out that Kanab was in a dry county, so we were unable to have a drink that night. We ate in a steak house, where we were given the choice of eating in the front, or in the restaurant section at the back where we told we could order alcohol with the meal. We opted for the latter, even though it was a few dollars more for the same food in the fancier section. We shouldn’t have bothered. It turned out that the only option was low alcohol beer! If we’d known, we’d have eaten at a window seat in the front section, where at least we could watch the world go by.

2nd July – 210 miles to the Grand Canyon and back

Bright Angel Point, North Rim of the Grand Canyon

We drove from Kanab out to the North Rim, a drive made slower by an RV that wouldn’t allow faster vehicles past and a terrible section of unmade road due to resurfacing.

It was very busy at the rim lodge, so we bought a picnic lunch, got back in the car, and set off to find the various viewpoints. We found an unmarked trail through some pleasant pine woods to an outcrop overlooking a sheer drop. It was a pleasant spot to eat, cooler at the higher elevations than the South Rim.

Our lunchtime picnic spot on the North Rim

We spent the afternoon exploring various trails before heading out to Cape Royal, the southern most viewpoint on the North Rim and some 20 miles from the visitor centre, for sunset. With some time before the sun went down, we started off down another trail but it seemed to be leading nowhere and getting progressively more dangerous, so we gave up on that.

Sunset at Cape Royal, North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Returning to the rim as the sun went down, we went our separate ways to explore different views. Once again, the glow in the canyon after sunset was amazing, and it was incredibly peaceful at the more isolated viewpoint that we’d chosen. The road back from the rim proved a little more challenging than its South Rim equivalent. There were far more deer off to the side of the road and barely visible in the dim light, so we had to take it quite slowly and it was late when we got back to our motel.

Previous: “To the Grand Canyon”
Next: “Scenery Overload”