There are three North Rim views that should absolutely be included on your Grand Canyon travel itinerary: Cape Royal, Point Imperial, and Bright Angel Point.
This 11-mile (one way) drive from the Visitor Center leads to Point Imperial, the highest rim overlook in the park at elevation 8,803 feet. From here the canyon view encompasses Mt. Hayden, Vermilion Cliffs and Marble Canyon as well as an area of the park that was burned by the 2000 Outlet wildfire. Picnic tables are located at the point and an interpretive sign describes geologic formations.
Cape Royal is situated at almost 8,000 feet and is the southernmost vantage on the North Rim. It is spectacular and provides the closest thing to a total panoramic view of the Grand Canyon. Visitors who go the extra distance to reach this scenic point will be rewarded with views and solitude. Drive 23 miles (one way) on the main park road from the Visitor Center to road’s end at the Cape Royal parking lot. Park and follow the paved path for a mile to the natural arch, Angels Window, and then to Cape Royal Point. From this rocky outcrop you can see the Colorado River.
Bright Angel Point
Easily reached via a half mile paved walkway, Bright Angel Point has spur paths where visitors can enjoy sweeping views of Bright Angel Canyon below and canyon buttes and temples. The South Rim is 11 miles as the eagle flies on the other side, and far in the distance to the south are the San Francisco Peaks. The path to the Bright Angel Point begins at the Visitor Center parking area.
Want to Venture Deeper?
Point Sublime North Rim Views
Getting to this remote Grand Canyon vantage point requires a 4WD vehicle or strong legs and a mountain bike. It is 17 miles (one way) to Point Sublime on a bumpy dirt road that is often washed out in places. Or, for a shorter trip, drive 4 miles, park your vehicle or ride your bike another 4.5 miles to Tiyo Point. Overnight camping with a permit is allowed at the points. Access road to Point Sublime is off AZ 67, 2.7 miles north of Grand Canyon Lodge.