Grand Canyon - North Rim - Lodge area - Vol.3
Updated: Apr 2, 2019
The North Rim Lodge sits at over 8,000 feet, which is about 1,000 feet higher than the South Rim, 10 miles across from it. It's a mile down to the Colorado River. The North Rim Lodge sits near the end of a rim peninsula that stretches well over a mile "into" the canyon. Beyond the Lodge, the plateau narrows to just a few yards wide and continues its thin "rocky finger" another quarter mile to end at Bright Angel Point.
North Rim Lodge
There are photo opportunities on the large stone terraces behind the lodge as well as some nearby overlooks. There are also numerous places on, and just off, the short .25 mile paved trail down to Bright Angel Point.
As you can see from the above image, the sun is setting over the adjacent side canyon wall, not over the main canyon. Even in August the nights get cold and you can see a large fire burning in the patio fireplace.
Bright Angel Point
The Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim is directly across the canyon. The deep canyon cutting left to right is formed by the Bright Angel Creek, that empties into the Colorado River. This was shot along the trail, shortly before the final overlook. Here, I was able to get some foreground trees in the picture for added interest. This short trail is the busiest area on the North Rim.
I also tried some night photography, as there was no moon out, making for very dark skies. There was a forest fire going on to the east and to the south a lightning storm, with the Milky Way showing above it. It made for great entertainment. These were shot at f4, ISO 3200, 16-18 mm for 15 seconds. On the 3 images of the south rim, you can see the faint lights of the hotels, 10 miles away .
Uncle Jim Trail
This trail begins from the mule coral and North Kaibab Trailhead parking area. You start on the Ken Patrick Trail. The entire trail is relatively flat and well marked. They run mule trains over this area too, so there will be mules and mule poop to contend with. The image below is from the "Overlook" at the far end of the trail loop. You can see portions of the North Kaibab Trail winding down the right side of the massive canyon walls. There are a number of nice composition opportunities from this spot. I also hiked out to Uncle Jim Point (see map above), but the trail is not obvious and it required some bushwacking. While the views were nice, I would say it is not worth the considerable effort and additional time.
The trailhead for the Widforss Trail is just a couple minutes drive from the Lodge. The last, short segment, is on a dirt road. This is an easy, mostly level hike. There are some good views from the trail and much of it is shaded, but I would skip this one if you are short of time. Most hikers do just the first 2 miles (4 miles round trip), which have the best views and are well marked.
North Kaibab Trail
This is the most used trail for hiking from the North Rim to the South Rim. The first portion is very popular with day hikers and mule trains as well.
Coconino Overlook is the first stop on the trail. It is steep, with numerous switchbacks, but well maintained. You descend about 800 feet over 0.7 miles. I made this hike a couple times and it is well worth it. Near the bottom, of the picture below, you can make out the Redwall Bridge (about 1400 feet below).