We traveled from Fences Point to our turn-around at Locust Point to complete a section of the larger 22 mile Rainbow Ridge trail. Stunning views are visible along the rim throughout the journey. I consider this an easy trek, as there is not a lot of elevation gain.
Why North Rim?
The North Rim offers Canyon views with cooler weather. Walking through the pine forest offers a quiet solitude that we truly enjoy. You’ll want to smell the bark of the pine trees, as many smell like butterscotch. I promise! The forest supports lots of wildlife.
The North Rim has fewer visitors, as accommodations are scarce compared to the heavily-populated South Rim area.
We recommend Big Springs National Forest Rental Cabins, where the hosts are friendly and helpful. The cabins offer a wood stove, beds, dresser, and small closet, but you’ll need a sleeping bag, pillow or bed linens. The showers and bathroom had hot water, were clean and offered separate group facilities for men and women. Don’t forget a towel. There is a full kitchen with space in a refrigerator for you. There’s also a small pond, fire pit and seasonal creek on the property.
It was cool and sunny on this early June Day. You’ll start on a tree-lined trail that opens up into meadows with Lupine, Paintbrush and other wildflowers. Spring flowers bring fluttering butterflies in brilliant color. The bees were buzzing and the songbirds were singing throughout this adventure. Seriously, folks! We spotted hawks, grouse, songbirds, Kaibab squirrels, deer, and coyotes during this trip.
You’ll drive Forest Service roads, which can be unpassable due to fallen trees, snow or wash outs. Check with your hosts to navigate the roads and find the best trails.
We love spending the day in the wilderness. We get up early, eat breakfast and hit the trails. For a list of essential gear, you’ll want to read my Hermitage Point story. Don’t forget enough water for your entire day, snacks and lunch!
Rainbow Ridge provides wide ranging views, as well as peeks into adjoining canyons. During this trip, we also visited nearby Grand Staircase-Escalante, which along with Paria Road is the site of several TV and film locations.
As you make plans to go to the Grand Canyon, I hope you’ll consider the North Rim.