Find solitary canyon views on this trail near the famous Point Imperial.


Analysing terrain data

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The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.

Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


Point Imperial is the high point of the Grand Canyon—no other spot on the rim is located at a greater elevation above sea level.

The view is especially impressive not only for its elevated perspective but also for the canyon features it overlooks.

Mount Hayden is the most obvious: it’s a narrow pinnacle of sandstone emerging from a ridgeline dead ahead.

The background of more distant rock towers is so dense that the river in the bottom of the canyon is hidden from view.

Across the great gorge lies the South Rim, much lower than the North, so you can see the flat expanse of the Painted Desert stretching away to the horizon.

All this is only from the roadside overlook at Point Imperial.

For more, hike the Point Imperial Trail. The trail departs from the parking lot opposite the overlook and heads into tall pines.

The forest is thin here because of a wildfire in 2000, but dense stands of young aspen are proof that it’s regenerating.

Wander through the aspen to eventually emerge at another view, Woolsey Point.

Though not as dramatic as Point Imperial, it’s a unique perspective of the canyon that far fewer people see.

You’ll notice the cliffs of Saddle Mountain resting on the rim of the canyon to the north.

Point Imperial Trail ends near that mountain, at the beginning of Nankoweap Trail, where a dirt road reaches the rim.

This makes a good turnaround point unless you are on a multi-day backpacking trip into the canyon. Source: