After a great time visiting National Parks in California it was time to see the North Rim of Grand Canyon. I’ve been to the South Rim before but I had never visited the North Rim. The rims are not connected via road, only trail.
As I was driving in from Hurricane I almost went to another favorite park of mine, Zion’s National Park. But I was Grand Canyon bound. The weather was stormy and big clouds was filling up the sky.
The drive is along a plateau full of trees and it doesn’t feel anything like the red rocks of Grand Canyon. It’s more mountain and forest like and then you arrive to open prairies where bison graze. I didn’t see any bison when I was there but I was told herds of them can be seen.
I arrived in time for the sunset. I went up to Bright Angel Point where the Visitor Center, Grand Canyon Lodge and other facilities are to check out the sunset. There is no reliable cellphone service in the park, for which I’m always grateful for as you don’t have to listen to people talking on their cell phones. I want to enjoy the sounds of nature when I’m in nature. Except we all had to as one person somehow managed to get enough service to loudly conduct his business yelling at whoever was on the other line for a good half hour. He ignored looks and being told to quiet. My advise, if you can’t leave Wall Street behind to enjoy the amazing Grand Canyon, stay there.
After watching the sunset at Bright Angels Point it was time to find a place to camp. With free camping in the National Forest right outside the park that’s where I opted to go. I found a great spot off a dirt road where clearly others had camped but since it was a weekday I was the only one there.
I got an eerie feeling as I pulled into the primitive “camp spot” but ignored it. As I got out of the car I felt as if someone was watching me. I looked around and told myself I was overreacting. I had a quick, easy dinner and then settled in but it wasn’t long after I got a really bad feeling. This was not a place for me to be. As a solo traveler, especially as a women, the way to stay safe is to listen to that gut feeling. If something doesn’t feel right there is a reason for that. I jumped in the driver seat and took off. Times like that being able to climb from the back to the front and having everything I need inside the walls of my vehicle is nice. As I drove off I kept feeling this deep panicky feeling that I had just escaped something bad. Not a great way to start the night. I quietly reprimanded myself for ignoring the feeling from the start.
After driving around for a while I found a new spot in an open area that felt safe. Needless to say I didn’t sleep great that night so when morning came I felt like staying in my sleeping bag. Which I did too long. By the time I drove into the park I could tell I was going to be just a tad too late for the sunrise. The sun was sitting at the top of the ridge already when I arrived at the rim. But I was blessed seeing beautiful colors as I drove in.
After enjoying the morning view along the point it was time to have breakfast at the Grand Canyon Lodge. I normally do not splurge but at times having breakfast with a view from a lodge is just what a girl needs. Plus after seeing the menu prices I was shocked at how inexpensive my breakfast was going to be considering where I was. Score! Plus they serve free-ranging, natural and local food as well as gluten free options.
After breakfast and sending off some postcards it was time to explore the rest of the park. The north side is so different from the south side but the vistas are just as incredible. There are two roads with overlooks within the park. One is the road out to Cape Royal where you stop at Roosevelt Point and Walhalla Overlook along the way and the other is to Point Imperial, which is the opposite direction. At each overlook or point you have incredible vistas of the Grand Canyon. Plan on at least a half a day to enjoy both scenic drives.
After a great day at the park it was time to start driving back home to plan the next road trip.
I had hoped to see some buffalo’s as I was leaving the park but they were grazing at other places. Until next time…