Point Sublime is one of the majestic viewpoints in the Grand Canyon. There aren’t too many places there where you can see a view of more than 180 degrees around you, but it can be done on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, at Point Sublime. The road going out to Point Sublime is 18 miles long, it’s dirt and rocks, and should not be navigated with passenger cars. People do run it in rental SUVs, but if a flat tire has to be changed out for the donut spare, it could be difficult to drive out. There is also the issue with most rental car contracts not covering offroad activity. The photo of the road that you see here does not look like the bad sections of the road; they are much worse.
The photo labeled as dispersed camping is one of the semi-secret places next to the Grand Canyon, that most tourists drive right by. If you are on the main road going to the Lodge, take a left at Forest Road 611, a couple of miles or so before the park entrance. It’s a gravel road, much better than the road to Point Sublime, and it leads to a series of nearly hidden primitive campsites on the East Rim of the Grand Canyon. These sites are free, but not all of them are on the edge of the canyon, and sometimes most of the view is blocked by trees. The air temperature at night can get down to 29 degrees in late September, or it can even snow, so be prepared. The cold wind seems to pick up in the evening and blow off of the high ground down the hill, but then the direction of the air flow reverses early in the morning, when things start heating up. Watch out for bees.
That all sounds a bit rough, but of course this is paradise in the Kaibab National Forest, and at the time of this article, the camping is free, no need to get any permits ahead of time. If on the other hand you wanted to reserve one of the two elite campsites at Point Sublime, you’ll have to work it out ahead of time with the Park Rangers, at the Backcountry office, which is located shortly before the Lodge. You can reserve a camp spot at Point Sublime a few weeks ahead of time via mail or fax; allow for at least five weeks lead time.
These photos were all shot with the Sony a7R, using an old Pentax-M 35mm f/2.8 lens, with the exception of the long shot of Isis Temple Butte, which was taken at 150mm with a Tamron 150-600mm lens.