North Rim of the Grand Canyon….Or, “Getting to the Point”

Richard Charpentier Arizona, HDR, Off Road Adventures, Photographing Arizona, Photography, RLC Design 4 Comments

Last week I set off to do something I haven’t done before.  Time on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Until last week I’d never been there.  But man, I’ve been closer to the North Rim then I thought.  Vermillion Cliffs?  Yeah, right around the corner folks.

A good spot to sit on the way to Bright Angel Point

Needing to step away for a few days, the North Rim seemed like the perfect spot.  I’ve been told over and over again that it’s nothing like the South Rim.  Not loaded with tourist buses, not swarming with people, nobody tries to push you over the railing near the edges.  Seriously, I’ve seen Germans, French, and Japanese tourists all shoving people right against the rails on the South Rim.  What’s that about the “ugly American tourist?”  Spend a day on the South Rim and talk to me about it!  🙂

Nearing Bright Angel Point

After hearing nothing but good stuff regarding the South Rim I decided to check the area out.  No disappointments either.  It’s a fantastic spot.  Cool temperatures, places to hike alone, off roading galore, and more!

Sunset from Imperial Point

The Airstream was parked at Demotte Campground.  It’s 23 miles North of the rim.  It’s a “primitive” campground which means no hook ups for the Airstream, but that’s okay.  The temperatures were amazingly cool.  Who needs Airconditioning?  🙂  Oh, and the campground is first come, first serve.  The sites are fantastic to boot!  Big thumbs up for Demotte.  Did I mention the Aspen groves…….?

A scene from the walk to Bright Angel Point

After dropping the Airstream off on Day 1 I headed immediately to the park and the main lodge area.  Located on the edge of the North Rim, the lodge offers amazing views and accommodations for visitors.  It also offers access to Bright Angel Point which was my first stop.  Short hike down to the point for some outstanding views!

Part of the scene from Cape Royal

With the initial visit to the official main park area under my belt, the rest of the trip involved so many “points” of interest.  See, there are many “Points” to visit.  You’ve got Imperial Point, Bright Angel Point, Timp Point, North Timp Point, Cape Royal (oh, there’s a point there), Roosevelt Point, Point Sublime, & many more.  The trip was all about “getting to the point(s).”  I know, horrible joke, but hey, I’ve been away from the blog for a while!

Near Roosevelt Point

So, a good bit of the trip involved driving to this point and that point.  It also involved hiking out to the points, sitting down at the points, watching clouds roll by, and wondering why I hadn’t been to the North Rim before.  I have no good answer, but I can say I will be returning again before the year is out.  There’s a lot of the North Rim that I haven’t explored yet.  Can’t wait for another visit!  🙂

A 14 image panoramic near Saddle Mountain

Glad to say, everything went well on this short vacation.  The Airstream did great, and really is the perfect rolling photo studio.  The Titan, as always, kicked butt hauling the Airstream and acting as my dirt road magic carpet.  It can handle a lot.  Of course, it can’t handle a nail in the tire.  On Friday I had to make a special trip up to Jacob Lake for some tire repair.  So glad I’ve got my portable air compressor in the truck, otherwise I would have been in trouble!

The view from North Timp Point

There’s a lot more to tell you about the North Rim, but I’m going to save it for another time.  I’ve barely started in to the images shot on the trip, editing video, and unwinding.  I’m willing to bet it will be a week before I really pick favorite images from this excursion.  In the meantime, the quick first round of images have hit the blog.  Enough to wet your appetite I’m sure.  But they’re nowhere near where I want them to be, and the “picks” I’ve made so far for print reproduction haven’t been posted here yet.  You’re seeing the “B” images for the moment.  We’ll show the “A” images later.  Still, I bet you’d like to take a trip to the North Rim now……

Comments 4

  1. I have been shooting at the South Rim twice, and North Rim once…I like the South Rim better for its unobstructed expansive points of view, but…it is far more populated with people. For a truly “The Canyon and You” experience, the North Rim seems to offer a better experience. I hope to make it to the GC in a couple of months.

    It looks like you had a grand time and beautiful weather!

  2. Post

    Let me know when you’re coming through Adolfo! The North Rim has a lot to offer in my opinion, and some interesting shooting opportunities as well. I think it’s a matter of time of year and how much off road time you have. The best location I found on my trip was Saddle Mountain. Next trip out I’ll be exploring that area further.

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