June 2019 – The Grand Canyon is a huge, winding crater that wanders across the northen part of Arizona for about 275 miles. However, Grand Canyon National Park’s North and South Rims take up just a few miles on either side of the Colorado River in the middle of it all. For anyone up for a little adventure, there are lots of other places along its length outside the National Park where you can peer over the edge in awe.
This past week we took our Polaris RZR on a back country tour through the woods and the aspen trees of Kaibab National Forest to check out one of the many overlooks that are outside Grand Canyon National Park: Saddle Mountain Overlook.
The two track road was fun to ride on, but the best part came at the end when we got to the overlook at Saddle Mountain. Wow!
We walked along the edge and admired the amazing views. Every time I see the Grand Canyon, I marvel that a narrow ribbon of river along with some wind and rain could have carved all these extraordinary patterns in the cliffs!
We had jumped out of the RZR as soon as we saw the views, and savored every one. After we’d gotten our fill of the beauty, we decided to continue down the two track road a little further to see where it led.
What a wonderful surprise it was to arrive at another overlook.
There was a narrow trail that led down a hill and then climbed up another, and Buddy and I just had to find out where it went. Mark stayed behind and watched us make our way out to the end of a stone peninsula. It didn’t seem so scary to us out there — there was plenty of room!
I have to admit, though, that when I crept towards the very end to get a photo, Buddy wisely stayed seated behind me. I scooched out in a sitting position!
The American West is full of places that have experienced huge land upheavals. The Kaibab Plateau, which surrounds the Grand Canyon, is part of the larger Colorado Plateau, and in some places it is easy to see exactly how huge expanses of land were thrust upwards, sometimes at an angle.
In the distance we saw the Colorado River winding towards us. It’s amazing how the land at the top is flat and featureless for miles and then a deep trench cuts across it, dug out by the river over many millennia.
We hopped back in the RZR and were soon back in the woods. The trees were really green and the cool shade felt so good. What a fun little excursion that was!
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More info about this area:
- Location of Saddle Mountain Overlook
- Grand Canyon National Park Official Website (both North and South Rims)
- Grand Canyon North Rim Official Info
- Grand Canyon National Park Map for the North Rim
- North Rim Area Campground Options
Other blog posts from northern Arizona’s pine forests:
- Grand Canyon – A Winter Wonderland with Snow! 01/18/19
- Grand Canyon’s North Rim – Breathtaking Bright Angel Point! 06/21/19
- Grand Canyon’s North Rim – Its Better Half! 07/31/08
- Grand Canyon’s North Rim – Magnificent & Intimate by Day or Night! 12/06/16
- Parowan UT, Las Vegas NV, Williams & Sycamore Canyon AZ – Wow! 08/28/11
- Petrified Forest NP and Mogollon Rim – Cool pines & hot rocks in AZ! 05/29/12
- Point Sublime – A Wild Ride to a Stunning Overlook in Grand Canyon! 07/12/19
- RV Camping in the Arizona Woods – Coconino National Forest 06/14/19
- Stunning Grand Canyon with a Private View at Timp Point 07/19/19
- Sunset Crater, AZ – Looks Like it Exploded Yesterday! 06/15/08
- What is happening to our Public Lands? 10/02/14
- Wupatki Nat’l Monument – Ancient Indian Ruins & Great Camping in AZ! 08/25/11
Links to all our travel stories from Arizona
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