Saddle Mountain Overlook – A Different View of the Grand Canyon!

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.

Saddle Mountain Overlook above the Colorado River in Grand Canyon Arizona-min

Outside of Grand Canyon National Park there are many absolutely stunning overlooks.

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.

Two track road through aspen trees-min

Our RZR ride took us through ponderosa pine forests and aspen groves.

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!

Saddle Mountain Overlook Grand Canyon Arizona-min

Saddle Mountain Overlook

Saddle Mountain Overlook Grand Canyon Colorado RIver-min

What a wonderful view this was after riding through the woods for a few hours.

Grand Canyon Saddle Mountain overlook in Arizona-min

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Colorado River overlook at Saddle Mountain-min

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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!

Erosion patterns Colorado River overlook at Saddle Mountain-min

Beautiful patterns carved by the Colorado River over the course of millions of years

Red rock erosion patterns Saddle Mountain Overlook at Grand Canyon Colorado River-min

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Saddle Mountain overlook on the Colorado River at Grand Canyon-min

Saddle Mountain Overlook offers a different view of the Grand Canyon!

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.

Puppy watches the approach of a RZR side-by-side-min

Buddy ran out front for a while and then stopped to watch Mark drive the RZR down the trail.

Puppy watches the approach of a RZR side-by-side-min

“Want a ride?” “Sure!”

What a wonderful surprise it was to arrive at another overlook.

Panorama view of Saddle Mountain Overlook at the Colorado River Arizona-min

A little further down the trail we found another stunning view.

Grand Canyon view from Saddle Mountain in Arizona-min

We made our way through the brush for a closer look.

Grand Canyon from Saddle Mountain Overlook-min

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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!

Walking to the overlook at Saddle Mountain Grand Canyon-min

Mark hung back to take pics while Buddy and I ventured out on a rock outcropping

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!

Grand Canyon Saddle Mountain Overlook Arizona-min

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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.

Uplift of Kaibab Plateau and Colorado Plateau-min

“The earth moved under my feet.”

Overlook at Saddle Mountain on the Colorado River-min

The Vermillion Cliffs are in the distance. Three “prescribed burns” of about five square miles each were burning on both the North and South Rims, making the air hazy.

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.

Looking down on the Colorado River from Saddle Mountain Grand Canyon-min

Lined by steep cliffs, the Colorado River disappears into the distance.

Colorado River views from Saddle Mountain overlook at Grand Canyon-min

The Colorado River lies at the bottom of those steep canyon walls.

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!

Happy campers in the aspen trees-min

Mark and Buddy took a break in the cool shade.
What a contrast to the sun baked and wind whipped red rocks of the Grand Canyon!

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18 thoughts on “Saddle Mountain Overlook – A Different View of the Grand Canyon!

  1. Very nice! How tough would it be to use this two track road with your truck? Looks very tight if you came across someone driving back from the overlook. Approximately how many miles is it from the main road?

    • We wouldn’t take our truck on that road because it’s quite bumpy and extremely narrow in places. If two cars met I’m not sure what they’d do besides back up until one found a wider spot to pull over. It was about 12 miles.

  2. Hi you three!!
    We love that area and atv up there about this time of year..its even too hot in the flag area to camp..if you happen to come across a mens wedding ring I lost up there last year…

    • LOL!!!! If we find it, Stephen, we’ll send it back to you and with any luck your wife will never know you lost it. We’ve had some hot days even up here at 9,000 feet and sweated it out. But we’ve also woken up to 33 degrees outside and run the heater for a while. It’s all good. Have fun with your ATV!!!!

  3. Emily,
    What beautiful scenery. Amazing beauty. BTW, who is that strange looking fellow next to Buddy? 🙂
    Bob

  4. I always enjoy your adventures and pictures! What a spectacular wonder of the world! Rich and I hope to get back to the north rim again soon! Safe travels!

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