Easy, Scenic Hike
This is a short trail out to one of the more interesting views on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. After taking a 20+ mile drive across the heavily forested Walhalla Plateau, the trail begins a couple of miles short of the Cape Royal Point parking lot. The hike starts out with a mild ascent through a quiet forest filled with Ponderosa Pine and Quaking Aspen as well as some young Gambel Oak.
I spent nearly three days on the North Rim and never got a glimpse of the elusive Kaibab Squirrel, but this would definitely be the place to find him. The well-maintained trail meanders through the forest along the Rim with several random points jutting out into space where you get glimpses of the eastern part of Grand Canyon. The last half-mile takes you through a ravine filled with lightning split pines and believe it or not Prickly-Pear Cactus at nearly 8000 feet in elevation!
You finally have to boulder hop across the Cape's outcrop of limestone to get out onto the cliff itself. Watch your step here as the cracks and weather-worn points could send you tumbling to your peril off a huge face. From the Cape are beautiful views of Vishnu Temple, the Vermilion Cliffs and even Navajo Mountain near Lake Powell. You also get excellent views of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers. With such a short hike near the crowded Point road I expected many more people, but we only saw one other party on our way out. The pay-off of this hike is phenomenal in comparison to the small amount of effort used.
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.