Solitude on the Rim
If you want to enjoy the South rim views without jostling for elbow room at the view points, Shoshone Point provides for jaw dropping views with canyon solitude. An quick 1 mile easy walk under the cool pines along an access road will take you to the Shoshone Picnic area for some endless views of eastern GrandCanyon.
The hike/walk begins at a locked gate and follows the road in. It is a slight uphill walk under the ponderosa pines that cloak the rim. As you near the rim views open up framed by oaks, gnarled pinyons & junipers. The traffic noise on the East Rim falls away and sounds of nature take over -- the flutter of a pinyon jay and the buzz of bees in spring. You reach a developed picnic area at the loop at road's end which is outfitted with tables, firepits, grills and toilet.
Heading past this area your have another path for about 100+ yards that heads out north to the point with unobstructed views of the canyon. Looking up canyon (East) - you can see Hance Rapids and ocassionally hear the raging torrents. Longer views of the Desert View tower, Palisades of the Desert & Echo Cliffs take your eyes out to the horizon. You will also notice the prominent Vishnu Temple - a striking pyramidal peak anomg the spires and crags, buttes and mesas that stretch out below you. Pull out your topo and try and find the major landmarks to the east -- you can see Sinking ship, Horseshoe Mesa, buttes of Escalante and Cardenas, the deep incision made by Clear Creek Canyon...you could spend hours exploring the terrain from here. Return the way you came.
Solitude Buster: The Shoshone Picnic area located at the end of the road is rented out by the NPS for weddings/picnics/gatherings between May15-Oct15.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.