Nothing will ever draw a visitor to an outlook as the promise of the “widest panoramic view” and Cape Royal Point just so happens to hold true to that promise. Overlooking the entire range between Marble Canyon on the northern side and Palisades of the Desert on the south, Cape Royal offers a 270 degree view, the most expansive one you’ll find at the Grand Canyon.
A view this magnificent comes at the price of a topsy-turvy drive- you’ll be turning and swiveling along scarred roads, but we promise the views are amazing. Cape Royal is located along Highway 67, 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the Grand Canyon Lodge or the Visitor Center. The road will fork about 5 miles (8 km) in where you’ll find a huge parking lot. The drive to the lookout point itself is a scenic masterpiece. Some say that the drive itself is enough of a viewing buffet, but nothing beats actually standing on the rocky peninsula and gazing out over the chasm yourself.
While the drive can be dangerous in the dark, perhaps the only extremity of the actual trail is the exposure. Cape Royal is located on a jutting bit of stone about half a mile (.8 km) in length, the only thing between you and a sheer drop being a metal hand-rail. However, since the trail itself is barely a mile out and back along a consistently flat (and fenced-off) pathway, you’re safety is almost absolutely guaranteed, the ‘almost’ inferred from any impulsive or careless behavior on your part.
Also, since a very small portion of visitors make it to the North Rim, and even fewer of those make the drive to Cape Royal Point, it is likely you’ll have the whole very-narrow pathway to yourself.
From the outcrop of rock that is Cape Royal, you’ll see an almost impossible expanse of chasmic beauty, preceded by the natural rock arc that is Angel’s Window a short stretch before the main lookout point.