An Autumn RV Journey to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Point Imperial, the highest point on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Point Imperial, the highest point on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the wonders of the world, and a perfect destination on an RV trip. Avoiding the summer crowds also has its pleasures, so autumn is a great time to go. If you hurry, you can still get to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for a fall season RV trip beyond compare. The road closes with the first snowfall but you still have time to drive this scenic route and access the North Rim.

All the attractions listed are open until the main highway closes that takes you to the Rim, but all visitor services in the park closed on October 15. This is a truly spectacular part of the park and if you can make it during the uncrowded fall season, you are sure to get extra enjoyment from the trip.

Grand Canyon views are particularly beautiful from the north side. It is the perfect time of year to get in some hiking too! You can take an easy one-half-mile hike to Bright Angel Point (PDF). There are some amazing photo opportunities here. Enjoy the sound of Roaring Springs cascading over the rim. Taking the Clear Creek Trail will take you on a really long hike (8.4 miles) to Cheyava Falls, the highest waterfall in all of Grand Canyon. It is actually a backpacking adventure, so be sure to check weather conditions and be ready for an overnight camp out.

A full day hike is the one to Roaring Springs. This is along the North Kaibab Trail with the trailhead just two miles north of the Grand Canyon Lodge. Start early and ensure you don’t dawdle along. This area is still open for day use until the first snow.

If you don’t want to brave the backcountry so close to snow season, you can just take a short trail through the woodlands. A short trek takes you to Roosevelt Point, a wonderful place to visit with panoramic views. From this viewpoint you’ll be able to see a bit of the Colorado River and a lovely flat plain stretching between Vermilion Cliffs and Echo Cliffs.

As you move along Cape Royal Road, be ready to stop at all the amazing spots for views of the Canyon.  Angels Window will bring gasps of wonder as you come to the arch and move over this incredible formation. Cape Final is another stop on Cape Royal Road, and provides more views that you will get nowhere else.

Another must-see on the North Rim along Cape Royal Road is Walhalla Overlook. You will be able to view the delta of the Colorado where Puebloans used to farm. Take nearby trails to see more fascinating sights, like an ancient granary. If all this sightseeing has made you hungry, stop at Vista Encantada where you can enjoy a picnic while looking out over the canyon.

Perhaps now it is time to head home before the first blizzard strikes. You still have time to drive through Kaibab National Forest on your way home, with many scenic routes through the forests that are turning color. The Kaibab Plateau Scenic Byway is a favorite for the autumn colors.

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