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Cape Final Professional Review and Guide
"A short but rewarding plateau-top day hike or overnighter on the North Rim. This trail offers the greatest rewards for the smallest investment of time and effort of any of the North Rim’s plateau- top trails. The route follows a gently rising, long-closed road through parklike forests of ponderosa pine to a panoramic viewpoint on the east rim of the Kaibab Plateau, affording an unusual perspective of the Grand Canyon from high above Unkar Creek Canyon.This trip can be taken as a leisurely day hike or as an overnighter and is particularly attractive when summer heat grips the Inner Canyon. Few places in the park offers a setting for a Grand Canyon sunrise over the Painted Desert."
--Ben Adkison, Hiking Grand Canyon National Park (Falcon Guides).
This is a very rewarding train as it is easy, relatively short and gets you to some of the nicest vistas on the North Rim. There are three points where the trail "touches" the rim: The first one is a tease but is grand and shaded. The second, almost to the end is a perfect spot for a breather or lunch, if you plan ahead and bring your stuff. The final point is the actual Cape where you have beautiful views of the chasm itself, the Colorado River, the Little Colorado Gorge and as far as the San Antonio mountains and the Vermillion Cliffs. It is one of the highest points on the rim and you can see far into the Navajo country on the easternmost part of the Rim. On your way in and out there are flats and slopes of Ponderosa and on the rim, Juniper rules. Very enjoyable overall.
We found this to be an easy trail with a few moderate uphill sections. The beginning of the hike through the forest is unremarkable (as opposed to the hike throught the forest on the Widforss Trail, which is spectacular), but the reward awaits you at the top.
The views are breathtaking and the traffic on the trail is very light. It''s a good way to get way to get away from the crowds at Cape Royal (though don''t skip that trail just because there''s a lot of folks on it...it''s too great to skip!)
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